Ex-Irish leader is new ambassador for Great Lakes

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Irish president Mary Robinson the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Robinson is bringing diplomacy to the Great Lakes region.
Robinson is bringing diplomacy to the Great Lakes region.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Irish president Mary Robinson the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa.

“Robinson will play a key role in supporting the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for DR Congo and the Great Lakes region of Africa, by the signatories,” said a statement issued by Ki-moon’s spokesperson.

Signed in February by Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia, the framework agreement aims to stabilise the situation in the DRC.

Robinson, who served as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002, will bring to her current position four decades of political and diplomatic experience.

She was President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997 and a member of the Irish Senate from 1969 to 1989.

In a statement, Robinson appreciated the appointment.

“I am honoured that the Secretary-General has entrusted to me this important responsibility, to which I am already focusing my energies,” she said.

It added that the latest developments in the eastern DR Congo, where fighting between two factions of the M23 led to several hundred people, including combatants, crossing into Rwanda, underscores the importance of the security framework as an instrument to address the root causes of instability in the Great Lakes region.

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