What We Do

To provide a forum for key regional partners and stakeholders to assess the needs for strengthening ICGLR regional mediator networks and explore how insider mediation can enable the DDR/RR in the GLR, the Strategic Planning Workshop titled ‘Towards the Effective Implementation of the ICGLR Network of Regional Mediators for Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Resettlement and Reintegration’ was held on 10 – 12 September 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Throughout the past decades, political and security developments in the African Great Lakes region, have provided significant challenges to civilians, communities, and governments. The continued violence in some areas, unresolved underlying conflicts and activities of illegal armed groups in border areas, keep hindering reconstruction and development efforts in this region despite the huge potential.

“The Great Lakes region is, more than ever before in recent history, resolutely committed to pursuing stability for itself”, Huang Xia said in his first briefing to the 15 ambassadors since being appointed in January.

Mr. Huang listed recent developments, including strengthened diplomatic engagement following the election of a new President in the Democratic Republic (DRC) last December, the signing of an agreement aimed at easing tensions between Rwanda and Uganda, and regional cooperation to counter armed groups in the eastern DRC.

On 19 February 2019, Amb. Said Djinnit, the United Nations Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region (SESG-GL) and the co-champion of the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework (GLRSF), Lola Castro, Regional Director of the World Food Program (WFP) for Southern Africa chaired the third meeting of the Management Board (MB) of the GLRSF in Nairobi. The aim of the meeting was to discuss progress and performance made towards the implementation of the GLRSF since the second Board meeting in Nairobi, January 23, 2018 and to discuss GLRSF key priorities and management arrangements for 2019.

UNHCR and UNDP join forces to find sustainable solutions for Congolese refugees and host communities. Working in line with the objectives of Pillar Three Mobility of the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework, UNDP and UNHCR have just published (link) a joint programming booklet to respond effectively across the humanitarian-development nexus to the DRC situation.

Under the Pillar 3 – Mobility of the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework, a multi-agency and cross-border project between Burundi and Tanzania is currently being implemented by UNDP, IOM and UNHCR. Protracted displacement has led to a range of pressing concerns within the Great Lakes Region, including tensions and challenges in social cohesion in border communities, as well as presenting obstacles to human development and challenges for the host communities. The history of the GLR is one of mass movement of populations: The Great lakes region has a history of traditional free mobility of labour, services and goods; of family separation and reunification; and of protracted as well as surges of refugees and IDPs.

Key message on Gender parity from the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region

Since 2013, the Office of the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes has been promoting and strengthening women's role as agents of change in all aspects of social, political and economic life. The most recent initiative included a Joint Solidarity Mission composed of women leaders from Women's platform, African Union, FEMWISE Africa and the ICGLR's Women Forum. The delegation travelled to Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan to discuss ways to achieve gender equality in the region.

Watch Message on YouTube


On January 23, 2018, Resident Coordinators from the Rwanda, Burundi, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Tanzania, UN Regional Directors from Eastern and Southern Africa, Pillar Leads and representatives from the European Union Delegation and the World Bank came together in Nairobi for the second Management Board and Steering Committee meeting of the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework.