The Political Affairs Division (PAD) provides expertise to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) and other senior Mission officials on strategic priorities, including good offices and support to peace processes, and offers political advice and strategic guidance in line with MONUSCO's mandate. PAD monitors, assesses and analyses political developments in the DRC and the region and their implications for the Mission.
PAD also supports the SRSG in the implementation of her/his good offices mandate, works with national and international partners to promote democracy, rule of law and security sector reform (SSR); develops early warning system, particularly in the pre- and post-election periods; and regularly produces pre-emptive analysis documents on the political, institutional and security situation in the country, including reports, diplomatic cables, briefing notes and thematic notes, as well as various other reports on the political and socio-economic situation.
MONUSCO's PAD is headed by a Director (DPAD) assisted by a Deputy Director (DDPAD). PAD is divided into three substantive sections: the Regional and Provincial Section (RPS), the National Institutions Section (NIS) and the Conflict Prevention and Mitigation Section (CPMS). PAD also includes political affairs sections (PAS), deployed in provinces where MONUSCO still has an operational presence, namely Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, as well as in provinces where the Mission has residual presence and is collocating with UN Agencies, Funds and Programs, like in Haut-Katanga, Kasai Central and Tanganyika.
PAD is guided by the overall objectives of the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative and is one of the instruments for the operationalization of the following core principles in the implementation of the Mission’s mandate through regular reporting on the Comprehensive Planning and Performance Assessment System (CPAS):
Primacy of politics
PAD aims to promote an environment in which all segments of society, including women, youth and Indigenous people, can participate in an inclusive democratic state, promoted and protected by relevant national institutions. Recognizing that progress towards the Mission’s end state in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is inherently linked to politics and political will, PAD leverages its good offices and those of the Mission’s leadership, both at national and provincial levels in the pursuit of its objectives. PAD also supports, as appropriate, efforts at regional level to address drivers of conflict and instability.
The protection of civilians must be supported by PAD broader political engagement. In the same vein, PAD is increasingly focusing on using its good offices, technical assistance and convening power to support national capacities to ensure a protective environment. This includes helping to address the root causes of conflict; disarming armed groups, focusing on the neutralisation and marginalisation of their political and economic allies and supporters; promoting community reintegration of ex-combatants; and deterring hate speech and discrimination, while promoting national cohesion and unity.
Building good neighbourly relations in the Great Lakes region
As part of the implementation of the regional commitments of the 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region (PSC Framework), PAD contributes to peace and security in the Great Lakes Region as well as to the improvement of bilateral relations between the DRC and its neighbours through political analysis and other support to the implementation of the PSC Framework, in close collaboration with the Office of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region (OSESG-GL).
Partnerships and sustainability
Political solutions ultimately rest with the Congolese people and leaders. PAD's work duly considers the national sovereignty of the Congolese state in a spirit of partnership. PAD also further builds partnerships with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and other multilateral and bilateral regional and international partners in support of the mission’s transition, peacebuilding, and stabilization priorities, among other things, in the area of community stabilization (implementation of the P-DDRCS and of the law protecting and promoting the rights of indigenous peoples) and Security Sector Reform.
Enhancing the peacebuilding impact of peacekeeping
The PAD continues to engage in Kinshasa and the provinces with traditional leaders, civil society, religious groups, women, and youth organizations to expand the conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms already in place.
National Institutions Section (NIS)
PAD/NIS supports and complements the political engagement and good offices of the SRSG and mission leadership at the national level to foster an environment conducive to a peaceful, transparent, inclusive (women, youth, indigenous populations, and other minorities) and peaceful electoral process – in close collaboration with DRC institutions, political parties and groups, civil society, and partners, including UN agencies, funds and programmes. In addition, PAD/NIS conducts good offices to strengthen the stability of national institutions, including through decentralization, and to combat hate speech and tribalism. PAD/NIS also promotes good governance and the fight against impunity and corruption.
Regional and Provincial Section
PAD/RPS contributes to MONUSCO's conflict prevention and resolution strategy to achieve peace in eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region through political means and peace processes (e.g., Nairobi and Luanda processes). The section focuses its activities on contributing to the implementation of the tasks mandated by the Security Council, mainly the protection of civilians and support to the stabilization of the eastern provinces.
Conflict Prevention and Mitigation Section (CPMS)
PAD/CPMS works towards preventing and mitigating inter-communal/ethnic tensions and elections-related conflicts in provinces where MONUSCO no longer has an operational presence. PAD/CPMS contributes to addressing root causes of conflicts through preventive diplomacy/good offices, engagements with national and provincial stakeholders, and mobilization of other bilateral and multilateral partners, in consultation and coordination with other Mission components and UN agencies, funds, and programs.
Women, Peace and Security (WPS)
As part of MONUSCO’s implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and support to DRC’s National Gender Policy, PAD streamlines WPS agenda in all its activities. Notably, the Division advocates for the adoption and full implementation of laws and policies for gender equality and the empowerment of women. These efforts include support for the effective and meaningful participation of women in political, electoral and peace processes; the promotion of gender-sensitive laws, policies and programmes; and ensuring that international standards are met.
Youth, Peace and Security (YPS)
As part of MONUSCO's implementation of Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015) on YPS, PAD streamlines the YPS agenda in all its activities. Notably, the Division contributes to the Mission's support to the DRC Government's national youth policy. It further promotes the active participation of young people in political, electoral and conflict prevention and resolution processes, and their inclusion in public institutions and decision-making through awareness-raising activities, including good offices, capacity-building workshops, and education campaigns against hate speech and incitement to violence.