The Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel visits The Gambia
The Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel Urges the Gambians to Build Consensus Ahead of December Elections
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, concluded today a three-day visit to the Republic of The Gambia.
The objective of the visit was to assess the status of transitional reform processes and the preparedness of the institutions towards the holding of peaceful, free, transparent, inclusive and credible elections, scheduled on 4 December 2021.
During his visit, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General was received in audience by the President of The Gambia, HE Adama Barrow. He also met with key national stakeholders including the political parties, the Speaker and Members of Parliament, members of the cabinet, the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), civil society organizations, the diplomatic corps and development partners.
The Special Representative commended the Government of The Gambia for the progress being made in the reform processes. He emphasized the significance of completing the ongoing consultations on a new Constitution in a timely manner, which will contribute to the consolidation of peace and democracy, and to the organization of peaceful and inclusive elections.
In this regard, he urged the Gambian stakeholders to redouble their efforts to build consensus which will help create an enabling environment for the 4 December elections, and lay the foundations for a democratic and prosperous Gambia.
He commended the strides made so far by the TRRC aimed at promoting individual and community-based reconciliation while furthering the fight against impunity. He urged to establish effective mechanisms for the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations following the completion of its mandate and called upon all stakeholders and partners to support the reparations process as a precondition for national healing.
Furthermore, the Special Representative reiterated the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective to ensure that women and girls are not disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of livelihoods, educational opportunities, sexual and gender based and domestic violence.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, renewed the UN full support to help the Gambian people consolidate peace and development.