UN Office in Central Africa (UNOCA)
Expected Council Action
In August, Council members will hold consultations with the special representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), Abou Moussa. The Council is due to receive the first Secretary-General’s report on UNOCA in August.
Background on UNOCA
On 11 December 2009, the Secretary-General advised the Council of his intention to establish UNOCA. After eight months delay, the president of the Council responded on 30 August 2010 that the Council considered that the mission should be established with a two-year mandate, to be reviewed after 18 months.
Key Recent Developments
On 2 March, the UN inaugurated UNOCA, located in Libreville, Gabon, to support central African nations in consolidating peace, preventing conflict and tackling cross-border arms-trafficking and organised crime. UNOCA is also charged with coordinating UN efforts in the region against armed groups, such as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
The Secretary-General announced his intention to appoint Moussa as head of UNOCA on 11 March. On 3 June, Moussa briefed the Council prior to his deployment, giving the Council the opportunity to exchange views with him on the missions’ priorities and expectations.
On 21 July, the Council held a private meeting on the LRA. In the following press statement the Council requested UNOCA to facilitate cooperation between the UN and the AU on issues related to countering the threat posed by the LRA.
A key issue for Council members, following the 21 July meeting, will be discussing with Moussa the role that UNOCA can play in addressing the LRA problem and other regional threats on the Council’s agenda.
A second issue is the progress UNOCA is making with its wider mandate.
- issuing a press statement following the briefing, reaffirming support for UNOCA’s activities in the region; or
- taking no action.
Some Council members were initially hesitant about establishing UNOCA. However, there is now wider support for UNOCA and members are interested in discussing UNOCA’s priorities, its work during the first months of operation and its capacity to implement its mandate. Some members are particularly interested in UNOCA’s capacity to coordinate UN efforts to address the LRA issue.
Security Council Letters
Security Council Press Statement