First ever joint AU/UN high level visit on women and peace ends


The United Nations deputy chief wrapped up her visit to two African countries – Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – where she stressed the importance of women’s participation in peace, security and development processes.

The final day’s itinerary for Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed included a visit to Mugunga camp for internally displaced persons, on the outskirts of Goma in restive eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Mohammed said she is resolved to ensure women in the camp return home in “dignity and humanity, which is not a favour but a right,” promising to embark on an advocacy initiative to finance better settlement of the women as they return to their places of origin.

She also commended women at the camp for their involvement in small trade through micro-financing, which enabled them to meet the needs of their families.

Regarding the victims of sexual violence, she said: “These are our African women and we will take their voice out” to the international community and see what can be done to put an end to the scourge.

In the DRC, the Deputy Secretary-General also visited the women’s economic and empowerment centre and stressed the mission was intended to “revitalise women’s participation and leadership in peace, security and development”.

The mission also sought the support of the governor in the work of women in the provinces and advocated for implementation of legal texts in favour of gender equality, she said.

Mohammed began the trip on July 18, with Nigeria her first stop. She was joined by the UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, as well as UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, and the African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Bineta Diop.

This first-ever joint AU/UN high-level trip is the first part of a two-part mission focused on women’s participation in peace, security and development. A similar mission will cover two other countries later this year.