Delegation urges more women's representation in joint solidarity mission to Burundi

Date: Sunday, August 12, 2018

Arlette Mvondo from UN Women Burundi Country Office shares a moment with First Lady Denise Nkurunziza during the visit to her office in Bujumbura. Photo: UN Women/ Faith Bwibo

Arlette Mvondo from UN Women Burundi Country Office shares a moment with First Lady Denise Nkurunziza during the visit to her office in Bujumbura. Photo: UN Women/ Faith Bwibo

The signing of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework agreement for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes region in Addis Ababa on 24 February 2013 and the adoption of Security Council resolution 2389 on the DRC have not only opened new perspectives on the resolution of the conflicts faced by the Great Lakes region, but have also encouraged a concerted and integrated approach by the United Nations, African Union and regional bodies, including the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community.

Progress, while limited, has been made in the achievement of the objectives set out in the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region and in the implementation of the Framework. However, problems persist and continue to impede the peaceful conduct of the political process and the establishment of security and lasting peace in the region. In this context, women are most significantly affected, as crises keep them in a permanent state of vulnerability.

In July 2016, the Women’s Platform for the Framework agreement met in Goma, DRC, and identified ways to strengthen the role of women in peace and security in the region. In the Goma Declaration adopted at that meeting, the Women’s Platform “requested the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region to organize a Joint Advisory Board mission to countries affected by conflicts”. At its meeting in Nairobi on 22 February 2018, the Advisory Board also resolved to undertake such visits in 2018 to Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.

A section of the 200 participants from civil society groups follow the proceedings during a forum held in Burundi. Photo: UN Women/ Cynthia Kimana
A section of the 200 participants from civil society groups follow the proceedings during a forum held in Burundi. Photo: UN Women/ Cynthia Kimana

The main objectives of the missions are to obtain political commitment by the leaders in the concerned countries to ensure women are fully involved in political and peace processes in the region; Enhance linkages with the ministers of gender and high-level national government officials to promote inclusive political processes and gender equity through the adoption of specific framework Action Plans for women’s contribution and participation in political and dialogue processes.

In Burundi, to recommend an enhanced mediation process to achieve a fair and inclusive dialogue process that fully involves women and advances Women, Peace and Security priorities.

The high-level delegation comprised members of the Advisory Board of the Women’s Platform and was carried out in cooperation with the African Union FemWise- Africa network, the ICGLR’s Women Forum and UN-Women. More specifically, the delegation was made up of Ms. Speciosa Wandira Kazibwe, former Vice-President of Uganda, Co-President of FemWise-Africa and member of the African Union Panel of the Wise; Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, former Executive-Secretary, ICGLR, and Guest Researcher and Associate Director of the Institute of African Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University; and Dr. Attiat Halleem, President of ICGLR Regional Women, Khartoum, Sudan.

During the mission, the delegation met with the president of Burundi, H.E Pierre Nkururunziza, First Lady H.E Denise Nkurunziza, political parties, the diplomatic community, women from civil society organizations and ministers of various government ministries, including ministry of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender.