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Mary Robinson appointed UN Special Envoy for African Great Lakes region

The announcement was welcomed by NGOs working in the region as well as Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

FORMER PRESIDENT OF Ireland Mary Robinson has been appointed UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region in Central Africa today.

Ongoing political and social strife in recent years has destabilised the region with NGOs reporting that volatile environments have made it increasingly difficult for them to implement their development programmes.

Today, Plan Ireland, which operates in several countries in the region said the appointment of somebody with Robinson’s experience and stature is likely to give “extra impetus to the efforts to find a resolution to the area’s difficulties”.

CEO of Plan said that any move which will “increase the chances of bringing greater stability and calm to the region is to be welcomed, as it will enable NGOs, like Plan, to carry out our work much more effectively”.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore also welcomed the announcement, hailing Robinson for her “exceptional skills and experience as well as her global profile and reputation”.

Ireland has had a long and significant involvement in efforts to promote peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a country which has for far too long endured conflict and tragedy. Ireland strongly supports the leadership offered by the United Nations, and in particular the personal diplomatic engagement of the Secretary-General, in this renewed effort to break the cycle of violence in eastern DRC.

Robinson will play a central role in overseeing the implementation of the new regional agreement as well as facilitating leaders of the region to address the challenges faced by the DRC.

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