27 Aug 2012


Extension of the mandate until 28 February 2014

The Security Council has decided to extend until 28 February 2014, the mandate of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA). A letter dated August 21, addressed to the Secretary- General of the UN by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of August, formalizes this decision following a request by Mr. Ban Ki-moon.

UNOCA has "contributed to our efforts to promote peace and security in the sub-region. The Regional Office has closely followed the development of the situation in the sub-region, made summaries, and submitted periodic reports to the Security Council", said the Secretary-General, recalling the missions entrusted to him by the Council, including new responsibilities assigned to the Office after the submission of the first progress report in November 2011.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon evokes a positive assessment of the actions undertaken, citing in particular the coordination and development by UNOCA, of a regional strategy to fight against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), rebel movement whose atrocities affect people of Uganda, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. The Security Council welcomed this strategy during its meeting on June 29. The executive body of the UN asked UNOCA to support its implementation. A technical meeting held in Entebbe (Uganda) from 25 to 27 July helped to lay the foundations of this vast project.

The Secretary General of the UN also recalls that the file relating to the fight against maritime piracy calls out UNOCA along with the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), to assist States and sub- regional organizations to convene a joint summit of countries of the Gulf of Guinea. The main goal of this Summit is the definition and adoption of a regional strategy to fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea. Since May 2012, several initiatives have been taken to this effect with the participation of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC).

Mr Ban Ki-moon points out that the extension of the mandate of UNOCA will enable him to continue to follow these important issues while continuing to take up challenges that motivated its creation. These include cooperation with ECCAS, Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) and other key partners and, where appropriate, "to support their efforts to promote peace and stability in the broader Central Africa subregion." The exercise of "good offices" for conflict prevention also occupies a central place in the priorities of the Regional Office as well as the fight against youth unemployment, supporting the work of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) of which UNOCA provides the Secretariat since May 2011, etc.

Inaugurated on 2 March 2011, UNOCA had an initial mandate expiring August 30, 2012. The Office is based in Libreville and is headed by Mr. Abou Moussa, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Africa. It covers ten ECCAS countries: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe.

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