Virtual ministerial meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly spotlights the CAR
A high-level virtual ministerial meeting on the Central African Republic (CAR) was organized by the United Nations on 1 October 2020, on the sidelines of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
Co-chaired by the Head of State, Faustin-Archange Touadéra and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, the meeting was attended by the President of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Gilberto da Piedade Veríssimo. The gathering brought together several countries of the subregion as well as members of the International Support Group for the CAR (ISG-CAR).
Over 100 of the CAR’s international partners took part in the virtual gathering, convened to take stock of the progress made and the manifold challenges in the CAR at a critical time – with the organization of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled to kick off on 27 December 2020 in full swing, in the midst of the global Covid-19 health crisis, while the effective implementation of the 6 February 2019 Political Agreement for Peace and Stability in CAR (APPR-CAR) signed between the Government of the Central African Republic and 14 armed groups remains a pressing priority.
“This ministerial meeting once again demonstrates the continued commitment of the United Nations in particular and the international community in general, to the people of the CAR,” said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in CAR and Head of MINUSCA, Mankeur Ndiaye.
With the elections just three months away, the MINUSCA chief called on the good conduct of all stakeholders “so that the vote is free, democratic, transparent and inclusive”. He expressed regret that refugees would be excluded from the ballot – a cause that the Mission had strongly advocated. He condemned the attacks of the 3R armed group on electoral officials that are impending election preparation in parts of the country.
Secretary-General Guterres spotlighted the progress ushered in by the peace deal which had helped deliver “a significant reduction in violence in the CAR”, in his remarks to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly on le 22 September 2020:“Under the auspices of our UN peacekeeping mission– and with the backing of the international community -- the national dialogue is underway to support upcoming elections and continued implementation of the peace agreement.”
On behalf of the people of the Central African Republic, President Toudera expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the UN Secretary General for his “multifaceted, relevant -- initiatives in favour of a definitive return of peace in our country” while pledging to support the organization of credible elections within the constitutional timeframe.
“In a global context marked by Covid-19, CAR needs more than ever the solidarity and support of the international community in this new stage of its history. However, it is first and foremost the Central Africans who have the enormous task of contributing to their collective quest for lasting peace and political stability without which no democracy is viable,” noted Special Representative Ndiaye.