UN / GREAT LAKES REGION

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12-Apr-2021 00:02:41
UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region said he is “particularly concerned about the level of violence which continues to affect the security of individuals, in particular that of women and young people,” in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GREAT LAKES REGION
TRT: 2:41
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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DATELINE: 12 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE

1.Exterior shot, national flags at the UN Headquarters

12 APRIL 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2.Multiscreen, Security Council in virtual session
3.SOUNDBITE (French) Huang Xia, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Great Lakes Region:
“It has been a year since the first case of COVID-19 infection was reported in the region. Since then, nearly two million cases have been recorded across the 13 countries signatory to the Framework Agreement. Over 60,000 lives have been lost.”
4.Multiscreen, Security Council in virtual session
5.SOUNDBITE (French) Huang Xia, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Great Lakes Region:
“Despite this particularly difficult context, the leaders of the region have remained committed to the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement, as evidenced by several political, security, judicial and economic initiatives.”
6.Multiscreen, Security Council in virtual session
7.SOUNDBITE (French) Huang Xia, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Great Lakes Region:
“Despite this progress, challenges remain in the region, exacerbated by COVID-19. Among the well-known challenges, I remain particularly concerned about the level of violence which continues to affect the security of individuals, in particular that of women and young people, and to hamper the full development of communities. The violence that armed groups continue to perpetrate is appalling. We must put an end to it, not only through the strong measures already taken, but also through recourse to justice.”
8.Multiscreen, Security Council in virtual session
9.SOUNDBITE (French) Mohamed Edrees, Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission:
“The PBC noted that the COVID-19 pandemic could contribute to the deterioration of regional macroeconomic indicators, the disruption of economic activities and increased pressure on national budgets, thereby affecting the country's capacities to address peace and security challenges.”
10. Multiscreen, Security Council in virtual session
11. SOUNDBITE (French) Mohamed Edrees, Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission:
“The Commission, committed to remain engaged with the countries of the Great Lakes region, including by advocating for resource mobilization and giving due attention to women-led peacebuilding and development initiatives in the region, the PBC will continue to advocate for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth in peacebuilding integration in line with its recently adopted Action Plan.” 12. Multiscreen, Security Council in virtual session

STORYLINE:

UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region said he is “particularly concerned about the level of violence which continues to affect the security of individuals, in particular that of women and young people,” in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

One year since the first COVID-19 case was reported in the Great Lake Region, “nearly two million cases have been recorded across the 13 countries of the region and over “60,000 lives have been lost,” Xia Huang, the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Great Lakes Region told the Security Council in a virtual briefing on Monday (12 Apr).

In his briefing, the Special Envoy called on the Council members to continue their efforts towards more equitable and affordable access to vaccine, including in zones of armed conflict, as called for by the Council resolution adopted in February this year.

However, Xia reported, “despite this particularly difficult context, the leaders of the region have remained committed to the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement, as evidenced by several political, security, judicial and economic initiatives.”

He singled out efforts of the presidents of the DRC, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi to find concrete and durable solution for the armed groups causing chaos in the eastern DRC.

“Despite this progress,” Xia said, “challenges remain in the region, exacerbated by COVID-19.”

Apart from the “well-known challenges,” Xia said he “remain particularly concerned about the level of violence which continues to affect the security of individuals, in particular that of women and young people, and to hamper the full development of communities. The violence that armed groups continue to perpetrate is appalling. We must put an end to it, not only through the strong measures already taken, but also through recourse to justice.”

Also briefing the Council, Mohamed Edrees, the Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission said that his Commission “noted that the COVID-19 pandemic could contribute to the deterioration of regional macroeconomic indicators, the disruption of economic activities and increased pressure on national budgets, thereby affecting the country's capacities to address peace and security challenges.”

Edrees also said “the Commission, committed to remain engaged with the countries of the Great Lakes region, including by advocating for resource mobilization and giving due attention to women-led peacebuilding and development initiatives in the region, the PBC will continue to advocate for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth in peacebuilding integration in line with its recently adopted Action Plan.”

According to the UN Secretary-General’s latest biannual report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region issued on 30 March and covering the period from 16 September 2020 to 15 March 2021, 940,000 Congolese refugees remained dispersed across the region at the end of 2020, most of them (421,563) in Uganda. The DRC itself is host to some 490,000 refugees from Burundi, the Central African Republic, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law continued in the region, especially in areas affected by conflict. Some violations resulted from the activities of armed groups, notably their continued use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war. Other violations were linked to restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms in political and electoral processes and to restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, according to the report.
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