New UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa first visit to the region includes South Africa

New York – The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Mary Robinson, will make her first visit to the region in this new capacity from 29 April to 5 May. She will visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and South Africa, before concluding her mission at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Special Envoy looks forward to initiating discussions with leaders and officials from key countries that recently signed the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region on how to translate this encouraging new agreement into tangible actions and cooperation to end the recurrent cycles of crisis and suffering in the eastern DRC.

She will also meet with regional and sub-regional organizations and envoys working on issues surrounding the Great Lakes; representatives of NGOs, including women’s organizations; and UN and international partners.

Highlights of the Special Envoy’s travel (subject to change):

  • 29-30 April (DRC): Meetings in Kinshasa on 29 April with President Joseph Kabila and Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda; leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MONUSCO); civil society; international community. Visit to Goma on 30 April: meetings with local authorities, representatives of NGOs, and UN peacekeeping and humanitarian partners.
  • 1 May (Rwanda): Meetings in Kigali with officials including Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo; NGOs; international community and the UN country team.
  • 2 May (Uganda): Meeting with President Yoweri Museveni; Crispus Kiyonga, Minister of Defense and Facilitator of the Kampala Dialogue; and representatives of NGOs.
  • 2-3 May (Burundi): Meetings in Bujumbura on 2 May with President Pierre Nkurunziza; Prof. Ntumba Luaba, Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes  region; leadership of the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB). Meeting on 3 May with Boubacar Diarra, African Union Special Representative for the Great Lakes.
  • 3 May (South Africa): Meetings in Pretoria with senior government officials to be confirmed.
  • 4-5 May (Ethiopia): Meetings in Addis Ababa, including with Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Media contact:

Jared Kotler, United Nations Department of Political Affairs

Mobile: + 646-496-6075; Tel: + 917-367-5264