Note to Correspondents: Peacebuilding Commission Press Statement on Peacebuilding Priorities in the Lake Chad Basin

The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) stressed the need to increase support for the implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram affected Areas of the Lake Chad Basin Region, with a focus on the critical role of the Territorial Action Plans (TAPs). The Commission met on 20 April with regional and local actors as a follow-up to the third Governors Forum of the Lake Chad Basin, held in October 2021, during which the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) asked the Commission to utilize its convening and bridging platform to mobilize further support for the region’s peacebuilding priorities.

The Deputy Secretary-General delivered a pre-recorded message, in which she emphasized the extraordinary opportunities and untapped potential of the region. This was echoed by the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, the Governor of Cameroon’s Far North Region, the Senior Adviser of the Governor of Borno State in Nigeria, and civil society representatives from Cameroon and Nigeria. The briefers stressed that a purely military approach is insufficient and called for sustained political will and scaled up funding to address the root causes of insecurity and violence. Statements of civil society briefers from Chad and Niger, who could not connect due to technical difficulties, were distributed after the meeting. They brought to the Commission’s attention that climate change had further exacerbated the region’s challenging development trajectory. They noted that adaptation funding remained inadequate, with many communities being unable to tackle ever-increasing threats of droughts and floods, food and water shortages, rising temperatures, along with changing weather patterns. They expressed concern over the disproportionate impact on women and stressed the need to increase the participation of women and youth, particularly in the humanitarian and development components of the regional strategy.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) Managing Director for Africa, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, the UN Development Coordinator for the Sahel, and the ASG for Peacebuilding Support intervened from the floor, highlighting ongoing initiatives in support of social cohesion and cross-border cooperation and the helpful contributions of the LCBC Task Force of Implementing Partners and the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund.

The Commission welcomed the expansion of the Lake Chad Basin Commission’s support base to include humanitarian, development, and peace actors, and encouraged sustained partnership among the LCBC, AU, ECCAS, ECOWAS, the UN, and the Governors in the implementation of the regional strategy. It welcomed in particular the use of dialogue platforms which allow the key implementing actors to interact with civil society and the private sector in the conceptualization of interventions. The Commission discussed concrete ways of enhancing local resilience and expressed full support for placing women and youth at the heart of efforts to implement the TAPs. Many recognized the need for predictable funding for the implementation of the regional strategy, including through the establishment of a basket fund, underscoring the need for projects specifically dedicated to strengthening institutional capacity of LCBC States to implement the regional strategy.

Source: UN Peacebuilding Commission