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Great Lakes region must take ownership in implementing stability pact, UN envoy says

Great Lakes region must take ownership in implementing stability pact, UN envoy says

SRSG Ibrahima Fall
The 11 countries of Africa’s Great Lakes region, which has been mired in deadly conflict for the past decade, must take control of implementing an historic pact that could pave the way for peace and prosperity, the top United Nations envoy to the region said today.

Addressing the Security Council on progress made towards implementing the Pact on Security, Stability and Development, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region Ibrahima Fall told the Council that “today more than ever, the countries of the region need to effectively exercise their ownership of the process.”

Mr. Fall, whose mandate expires at the end of this month, said he is confident that the Pact, which was concluded in Nairobi, Kenya, at December’s Second Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, will receive the necessary eight out of 11 ratifications it needs to go into effect.

“The region is still fragile,” he said, but “the process with respect to the conference has create an atmosphere of trust.”

However, he warned this atmosphere is “tenuous, and without prompt ratification and implementation… of this Pact, the atmosphere could quickly deteriorate.”

At the almost two-hour-long meeting, 13 of the 15 Council members spoke, including Pascal Gayama, a representative from the Republic of the Congo, a Great Lakes country and participant in the Pact.

The Pact is a “fragile” reality, Mr. Gayama said, and ownership is necessary to “ensure that things move from dreams to reality.” He also called for continued support from the international community as the region’s International Conference becomes viable.

The Nairobi summit also established a Conference Secretariat, to be headquartered in Bujumbura, Burundi, and headed by Liberata Mulamula, the First Executive Secretary.

As his four-and-a-half-year mission nears its end, Mr. Fall said, “I think this mission has been a very successful story for the UN,” adding that he hopes this regional approach will be duplicated in other areas.