In addition, the Conference addresses Cross-cutting Issues such as Gender, Environment, Human Rights, HIV/AIDS and Human Settlements. There are two main principles that guide the approach of the ICGLR. First, a sustainable solution for peace, stability and development in the Great Lakes Region has to be based on strong ownership of the countries of this region themselves. Second, the ICGLR is based on partnership with stakeholders, in particular the Group of Friends and Special Envoys which provides financial, diplomatic, technical and political support.
The Group of Friends and Special Envoys is co-chaired by Canada and the Netherlands. Its member countries and organisations include Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany and Greece. Others are the Holy See, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
In order to ensure the rightful implementation of its projects and protocols the ICGLR brings together experts and authorities from its Member Countries to meet on a regular basis. Twice every year, the Regional Inter-Ministerial Committee (RIMC) as Executive board of the ICGLR to assess the progress that has been made. The Summit of Heads of State which is the supreme organ takes place at least once every two years. In case of emergency the Chair of the Summit may call for an extraordinary Summit of the Troika. This emergency caucus comprises the Chair of the Summit, his/her predecessor and his/her successor and thus includes representatives of three member countries.
On the national level, each of the Member States has put in place a National Coordination Mechanism (NCM) also including representatives of civil society, women and youth in order to ensure the follow up and implementation of decisions made by the Summit and the RIMC.