Heads of United Nations entities in Central Africa meet in Libreville, Gabon, to address cross-border and regional threats to peace and security in the region

Heads of United Nations entities in Central Africa meet in Libreville, Gabon, to address cross-border and regional threats to peace and security in the region

Libreville (Gabon), 23 March 2017 – The Office of the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region is participating in the meeting of the Heads of United Nations Presences in Central Africa taking place in Libreville, Gabon. The meeting, which is organized by the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) focuses on the theme, “Strengthening Central Africa’s National and Regional Capacities for Crises and Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding”. Participants will explore opportunities to further enhance the meeting as a forum to strategize and ensure United Nations programmes and activities address cross-border and regional threats to peace and security.

The annual meeting of the Heads of United Nations Presences in Central Africa was launched in 2011 as a joint forum for information exchange, shared analyses and enhanced collaboration amongst United Nations entities in the Central Africa region on peace and security challenges in the sub-region. The meeting, which comprises Special Envoys and Representatives of the Secretary-General, Regional Directors of United Nations entities and United Nations Resident Coordinators, also addresses topical thematic regional and cross-border challenges, as part of a broader strategy to enhance coherence in the United Nations approach and support for conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts in the region.

The Office of the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region is represented at this high-level meeting by its Chief of Staff, Aniefiok Johnson.

The meeting takes place over two days, 23-24 March, with the first day structured to facilitate information exchange on current peace and security challenges at national, regional and thematic levels. In particular, day one also aims at identifying opportunities to utilize UNOCA’s preventive diplomacy and good offices mandates, as appropriate; and foster cross-border collaboration and lessons sharing among United Nations entities in the region.

The second day will focus on the theme for the year, with an aim of identifying challenges, opportunities and concrete ways the United Nations system can help strengthen national and sub-regional institutions in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and sustaining peace in Central Africa. Specific focus will be placed on institutions or structures on governance, justice, conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

The meeting has three main objectives, including to: (i) share information and take stock of the overall peace and security situation in the sub-region, including cross-border, regional and thematic challenges; (ii) identify challenges and opportunities for strengthening national and sub-regional institutional capacities in the areas of conflict prevention, peacebuilding and sustaining peace; and (iii) identify areas for increased collaboration among United Nations entities in Central Africa in addressing cross-border and regional peace and security threats.

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