Africa’s Great Lakes region is on a recovery trajectory amid commitment by multilateral institutions, regional blocs and local communities to address persisting challenges and threats to peace and stability and consolidate gains achieved to date, a senior UN official said on Saturday.
Xia Huang, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, said it is on course towards full recovery as key stakeholders intensified search for peace, cohesion and integration.
“Concrete steps towards cross-border cooperation and integration have been taken by stakeholders at all levels, with women and youth increasingly being recognized and involved as key agents of change,” Xia said in a statement issued in Nairobi to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.
He said that critical milestones have been achieved towards greater stability in Africa’s Great Lakes region despite challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.
Xia said the 75th anniversary of the UN provides an opportunity to strengthen multilateralism amid the quest for durable peace and shared prosperity in resource endowed Africa’s Great Lakes region.
“As Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, I will spare no effort to ensure the future for a peaceful, inclusive, prosperous and resilient region becomes now for all the people and communities in the Great Lakes region,” said Xia.
Xia said that the recently developed UN’s strategy for peace consolidation, conflict prevention and conflict resolution in the Great Lakes region, will boost the quest for long-term stability and economic growth in a region that has for decades grappled with civil strife and under-development.
According to Xia, the strategy aims to promote dialogue, justice and people-centered development in the Great Lakes region while boosting action on armed groups and criminal networks that are a threat to peace and security.