27 September 2019, New York, USA – The Assistant Secretary-General (ASG), Executive Director of United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Mr. Nikhil Seth, delivered a speech at the ‘International Conference on Peace and Investment Prospects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region’ which took place in New York, USA.
The conference which aimed to benefit the peace, security and development of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region had in attendance high-level stakeholders and facilitators as well as representatives of governments, including the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo; Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), H.E. Ms. Leila Zerrougui; the Coordinator/Head of the National Oversight Mechanism of the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement, H.E. Mr. Claude Ibalanky and The United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Mr. Huang Xia. The ‘International Conference on Peace and Investment Prospects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region’ converges stakeholders to discuss avenues to promote regional economic integration; restore the essential prerequisite of peace and security, and promote regional economic policies amongst other development mandates.
In a speech delivered by the Head of UNITAR New York Office, Mr. Marco Suazo, Mr. Nikhil Seth expressed pleasure on UNITAR’s involvement as facilitator and convener during the discussions. Connected to the Goal 17 of the most visionary 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he commended the crucial decision for stakeholders from government, international organizations, private sector, financial institutions, international investors, civil society, experts, peace practitioners to participate in a dialogue focused on operational cooperation and practical action steps which would lead to unlocking positive, durable peace and prosperity in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region. Mr. Seth highlighted the great assets found within the DRC and the Great Lakes region and reminded the audience of the necessity for a holistic approach which involves all voices, to empower individuals; uphold strong environmental safety, anti-corruption and human rights norms, in addition to focusing on positive peace, stability, and sustainable development.
He described the fundamental role of the UN in accelerating and facilitating opportunities for global cooperation, partnerships and solidarity, as well as encouraging public-private sector engagement. In discussing the Peace-Development nexus, Mr. Seth voiced the necessity for collaboration between all sectors in a coordinated way in order to achieve the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework. He also encouraged support for the integration and reintegration of ex-combatants and urban and rural youth into vocational training, entrepreneurship productive employment.
In closing, Mr. Seth reiterated UNITAR’s dedication to building bridges between actors, stakeholders and change agents from diverse sectors of society. He expressed eagerness to discuss innovative ideas and proposals as well as the exchange of information and good practices which would enable synergies and partnerships.