On 28 October 2022, the Office of the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region (O/SRSG-GL), UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), African Union (AU), International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) jointly convened a webinar forum on Multi-track approaches to peacebuilding and the role of women and youth in addressing inclusive political participation, peace, security and confidence building in the Great Lakes Region. The virtual dialogue took place on the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the adoption of the landmark UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) 1325 (2000) and for preparation of the Peace Building Commission meeting on the Great Lakes Region, scheduled for 31 October 2022.
The webinar brought together civil society representatives from women and youth-focused organisations, peacebuilding networks, and high-level representatives from the abovementioned partner organisations and Regional Economic Communities (REC’s), such as the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). This group of stakeholders sought to understand the current challenges for peace and security in the Great Lakes Region and to identify strategies to increase the meaningful and inclusive participation of women and youth in peace processes that respond to the current context, including how governments need to forge new social contracts to drive innovative ways to resolve conflicts. In doing so, several priority areas were identified to feed into a regional flagship programme for WPS and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS).
The opening segment of the webinar featured remarks from Dr Vasu Gounden, Founder and Executive Director of ACCORD, His Excellency Mr Huang Xia, the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General (OSESG) for the Great Lakes Region for the UN; His Excellency Ambassador Téte António, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola and ICGLR Chair; Her Excellency Ms Michelle Ndiaye, Special Representative of the Chair of the Commission (SRCC) and Head of African Union Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Liaison Office; and Dr Rhuks Temitope Ako, Focal Person Youth For Peace (Africa) Programme. Please follow the link to download and read the dialogue outcome statement.