Presented at the High-Level Side Event on CAR at the 70th UN General Assembly, October 1, 2015
Since the latest crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) erupted in 2012, the country has made great strides in emerging from a violent internal conflict, including the signing of a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between armed groups on 23 July 2014, and the holding of local consultations throughout the country which culminated in the Bangui Forum on National Reconciliation held in May 2015.
The Bangui Forum marked an important milestone in fostering national cohesion around a series of objectives and outcomes to achieve stabilization in CAR. It brought together nearly 700 representatives from the Transitional Authority, armed groups, civil society, religious, youth and women’s groups to discuss the different elements of the country’s peace consolidation agenda and define a shared vision and aspirations for the future of their country. Significant outcomes of the Forum included the Republican Pact on reconciliation laying out priorities for the country as agreed by Central Africans, an agreement on the principles of the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation process, and an agreement to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
The international community has pledged its full support to the Transitional Authority’s efforts to end the crisis in CAR and to bring the political transition to an end through democratic elections. Key international partners, already on the ground in CAR, including the African Union, the European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank, as well as bilateral and regional actors including the Mediator, are working in support of the CAR authorities and to maintain international attention on CAR. International partners have stepped forward to fund important objectives such as elections; however, other critical activities remain unfunded or partially funded.
While significant challenges remain to address humanitarian and longer-term development needs, momentum needs to be maintained on the most critical priorities articulated by Central Africans themselves during the Bangui Forum, which include: i) DDRR and SSR, ii) Justice and Reconciliation, and iii) Decentralized State Authority and Economic Development. The CAR authorities and their partners have identified these priorities, which include the elections, as the most urgent and achievable in the immediate post-election period (12-18 months) and the most transformative for the peace process in the long-term. This document outlines the rationale for the three critical priorities and includes a high-level overview of the main activities foreseen under each, as well as a table with funding requirements which is presented in annex I.
Important progress has been made in a number of areas, in particular since the Bangui Forum, including in electoral preparations, security and justice and reconciliation. The Government has set up a Monitoring Committee to follow up on the Bangui Forum and entrusted the members of this Committee to implement the Forum’s conclusions. In the same vein, a Strategic Committee working solely to advance the electoral process has been set up, involving the Government, the National Election Authority (ANE), the National Transitional Council, the Constitutional Court and the international community.