|Date||26 January 2000|
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The situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Qin Huasun
|Mr. Mohammad Kamal
|Sir Jeremy Greenstock
We have a very busy agenda, very limited time and a presidential statement to issue.
Let me thank those nations that have agreed to circulate their statements; I will ask the Secretariat to do so. Those countries are Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Eritrea, India, Israel, Lesotho, Norway, Tanzania and the United States. If any other nation wishes to distribute its statement, we will be happy to do so.
During its presidency of the Security Council in September of last year, the Netherlands organized a special meeting to help the Council focus more closely on the daunting issues facing Africa at the outset of what we hoped would be the "African century". Surely the current "month of Africa", so energetically sponsored by you, Mr. President, is an auspicious first step at the start of this new century.
We were impressed by the attendance at this debate of so many heads of State from the countries most immediately involved in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Surely this bodes well for the future of that troubled region. In particular, we hope that further talks will produce a realistic timetable for the implementation of the Lusaka Agreement.
We have before us a very thoughtful and thought-provoking report of the Secretary-General (S/2000/30). It makes the point that the international community's intensified involvement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is predicated upon the renewed and strengthened commitment of the parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. It makes it just as clear that there is no realistic alternative to the Lusaka Agreement. It is therefore all the more distressing that the Agreement is being violated systematically. We urge the signatories to end all military action in violation of the Agreement.
Priority attention needs to be accorded to improving the disappointing performance of the Joint Military Commission (JMC). The Netherlands supports the JMC financially; in fact, international financial support for the JMC is such that lack of resources cannot credibly be said to be an obstacle to the JMC's taking the key role foreseen in the Agreement. The JMC needs to meet more frequently to monitor the numerous ceasefire violations. The opening of a permanent JMC secretariat should be considered in order to facilitate a more hands-on approach. We call on all parties and the Organization of African Unity to renew their efforts to improve the JMC's effectiveness and credibility. Without a reinvigorated JMC, the efforts of the United Nations will fall on barren soil.
A new political arrangement is necessary inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the development of democratic and accountable State structures which address the problems of multi-ethnicity and power sharing. While we regret that the national dialogue in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has taken so long to get off the ground, we look forward to early results from President Masire's endeavours as the facilitator of this process. I would second the United Kingdom Minister's view that a starting date for this dialogue should ideally be announced this week. The Netherlands firmly pledges its financial support to the process.
A key threat to the Lusaka Agreement is constituted by the Interahamwe and former Rwandese Armed Forces, whose activities, past and present, are at the root of the conflict. Their disarmament, demobilization and reintegration into society, though a monumental task, will be a crucial step in the peace process. The restoration of the territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo will need to go hand in hand with the accommodation of the legitimate security needs of its neighbours. In fact, such is the involvement of regional Powers in this conflict that in due course, an international conference will need to address the question of peace, stability, democracy and development in the Great Lakes region as a whole.
The purpose of our current debate is twofold: apart from reaffirming the parties' commitment to Lusaka, it will serve to inform the Council's response to the Secretary-General's recommendations for the second phase of the United Nations operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite the obvious risks of deployment in an environment of instability, the Netherlands supports the dispatch of 500 observers, as proposed in the Secretary-General's report, if adequate protection can be ensured. We must get it right this time, and we must be willing to adopt the right mandate with matching resources. The success of your efforts, Mr. President, to bring the United States Congress on board will, of course, be crucial to our ability to find these resources.
The conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has only aggravated the misery caused during a long history of human rights violations. All over the country, the parties to the conflict have been involved in such violations. We call on the parties to respect human rights and ensure the punishment of those who violate them.
Finally, there are two important aspects that directly and indirectly fuel the conflict: the arms trade and the exploitation of natural resources.
The Council, in September last year under the Netherlands presidency, devoted a special session to small arms and called for measures to discourage arms flows to countries in conflict. The Council, on that occasion, also referred to the possibility of voluntary and regional moratoriums to facilitate reconciliation. These recommendations apply very specifically to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in view of the large quantities of weapons on its soil. As a first step, we would call on United Nations Member States that have not done so yet to adopt the policy and the guiding principles of the European Union Code of Conduct and refrain from arms exports to the Great Lakes region.
The exploitation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's economic resources by several parties helps to continue the conflict, enabling them to finance military expenditures. We need to redress this situation quickly and prevent the illegal exploitation of these resources. Perhaps it would be feasible for the Secretary-General to report back to the Security Council on this aspect on the basis of findings of a panel of experts, similar to the approach that has been followed in the case of Angola. We support wholeheartedly the very sensible suggestions made to this effect by the ministers of France and, on an earlier occasion, the United Kingdom.
As this may be his last appearance before the Security Council, we warmly welcome Ambassador Qin Huasun.
The Chinese delegation wishes warmly to welcome the participation of the heads of States of so many African countries; the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), Mr. Salim Salim; and Sir Ketumile Masire to the Security Council's consultations on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the same time, we would like to thank you, Sir, for the efforts you have made and for this innovative arrangement.
To help the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo free themselves from the sufferings of war and to bring peace to that country poses a serious challenge to the international community, especially the Security Council. The Chinese delegation has made repeated appeals to the international community and the United Nations to commit the necessary financial and human resources as soon as possible to resolve the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so as to avoid paying an even higher price in the future. To resolve this conflict, African countries and the international community made unremitting mediation efforts and brought together the various sides to the conflict to sign last July's Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. Regrettably, however, the Agreement has not been effectively observed or implemented. The long-awaited United Nations peacekeeping operation has yet to be put in place, even though the issue has been the subject of lengthy discussion in the Council.
We are gratified to see the detailed report that the Secretary-General has prepared on United Nations action in the next phase. In the report, the Secretary-General proposes that military observers and troops be sent to the region. We hope that the Council will make full use of this rare opportunity, while heads of State of the African countries concerned are gathered here in New York, and move promptly. We support the adoption by the Security Council of the presidential statement before us and hope that it will mark a new starting point for the support of the international community for the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation there.
The Chinese delegation has listened with great interest to all previous speakers, including the heads of State of African countries, Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Secretary-General of the OAU, Mr. Salim Salim. I now wish to take this opportunity to emphasize the following points.
First, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo must be fully respected and safeguarded. This is a prerequisite for resolving the conflict.
Secondly, the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, as the basis for resolving the conflict, should be implemented in full and scrupulously. The Agreement is a worthy attempt by the African people to resolve their conflicts. The mediation efforts made by President Chiluba, the OAU and the Southern African Development Community should be respected and supported by all sides.
Thirdly, the timely deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an essential guarantee for resolving the conflict. Having listened to the views of relevant African countries, the Council should accelerate its consideration and implementation of the Secretary-General's proposal to send up to 500 military observers and 5,500 troops to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The peacekeeping mission should be given an appropriate mandate. This is crucial under the current circumstances and will be a critical test of the Security Council's political will and determination.
Fourthly, all-inclusive national political dialogue is an effective means to realize national reconciliation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the same time, internal dialogue within the Democratic Republic of the Congo will not be possible without a stable external environment. The peace and reconciliation processes go hand in hand. We welcome the appointment by Secretary-General Annan of Sir Ketumile Masire, former President of Botswana, as the Facilitator. We wish Sir Ketumile every success.
Fifthly, eradicating poverty and ensuring economic development with international assistance are the fundamental way for the Democratic Republic of the Congo to achieve lasting peace and stability. In this connection, we support the proposal that an international conference on peace, stability, democracy and development in the Great Lakes region be convened.
The road to peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will not be smooth, but we are confident that, so long as the international community seizes its opportunities and makes concerted efforts, and so long as the various sides to the conflict engage in genuine reconciliation and honour their commitments, an era of peace and stability will soon begin for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region.
I thank the representative of China for his kind words addressed to the American presidency.
I want to welcome to the Chamber the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity, Mr. Salim Salim; the Foreign Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the Minister of Cooperation of Uganda; and other representatives who have come here for this extraordinary meeting.
I also want to thank the representative of Egypt for announcing that he, too, will circulate his statement. I consider this a great act of friendship in the interests of our effort, particularly coming from a country of such enormous importance to all of us in Africa and around the world.
By convening this meeting, the United States presidency has provided the Security Council with an opportunity to reinvigorate the process for peace and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, by extension, in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
Last week, the Council heard from former President Nelson Mandela, who apprised us of the developments in the Arusha peace process for Burundi. We recognize only too well the interconnection between the Lusaka and the Arusha processes and commend you, Sir, for your foresight in making the linkage between two crisis situations as the Council focuses on Africa this month.
It is against this background that we join previous speakers in welcoming the participation in this meeting of so many African leaders and the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Their presence here underscores the important role which the United Nations can play in bringing peace to the Great Lakes region.
My delegation further wishes to thank the United Nations Secretary-General for his comprehensive and detailed report on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and for his valuable introductory statement. In particular, we welcome his analysis and recommendations, which should form the basis for action by the Council. My delegation also wishes to express appreciation to the Secretary-General and his special representatives for their efforts to move the peace process forward.
My delegation recognizes only too well the difficulties and complexities that must be overcome in order to achieve a durable peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We are aware of how seemingly intractable the problems are, but no matter how difficult it might seem to find solutions, the suffering of the people involved impels us to use our best efforts to put an end to their misery. We believe that, even where there appears to be doubt and pessimism, the strength and determination of a few can become a catalyst for the movement towards peace.
My delegation has therefore been heartened by the expressions of hope and the pledges of political will and commitment made by all the African leaders in their statements before the Council. We agree that it is vital to create the conditions for lasting peace based on the full implementation of the Lusaka Agreement. The elements of such a peace must include the security of borders of the States concerned, their sovereignty and territorial integrity, and their full enjoyment of their national resources.
In this connection, we support the call for the immediate cessation of hostilities and reaffirm support for the unity, stability and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the charter of Organization of African Unity. To this end, the withdrawal of foreign troops from the Democratic Republic of the Congo must take place in accordance with the Lusaka Agreement.
Jamaica supports the pursuit of a national inter-Congolese dialogue. This dialogue, we believe, is an indispensable step towards national reconciliation and lasting peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We are pleased that the former President of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire, has accepted the appointment as facilitator of that dialogue, and we wish him success in his efforts -- which deserve the material and moral support of the international community.
The precarious security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to be a cause for concern. The heightened military activity of armed groups and the danger of large-scale violence among ethnic groups seriously diminish the achievement of the goals of the Lusaka Agreement. We urge those who believe that they have a legitimate right to petition for justice and full participation in the political governance of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to do so through the processes provided at the bargaining table and not at the end of the barrel of a gun, recognizing that there can be no military solution to the conflict.
My delegation is deeply disturbed by the worsening humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially by the fact that increased insecurity in the war zones is making it difficult for humanitarian aid workers to have access to vulnerable populations. We have noted from the Secretary-General's report that more than 960,000 persons are now mostly inaccessible. The increasing number of internally displaced persons and refugees has serious ramifications not only for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but also for the neighbouring countries -- with some 280,000 citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo now being refugees in the Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Tanzania. We call on all the parties to the conflict to respect the civilian and humanitarian nature of the refugee camps and to act in accordance with international humanitarian law.
We also wish to pay tribute to and encourage the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme and the non-governmental humanitarian organizations involved in caring for and facilitating the repatriation of refugees to continue their work despite the difficulties encountered.
The Secretary-General's report also highlighted the critical food insecurity facing some 10 million persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the high levels of chronic and acute malnutrition in children under five. We urge the international community to respond favourably to the United Nations Consolidated Appeal for 2000, and we note with deep regret that the low response to the 1999 Appeal made it impossible for the United Nations to provide life-saving intervention.
The Secretary-General's report also draws attention to reports of the victimization of children and their recruitment as child soldiers. We agree with the Secretary-General that in order to ensure that the lives of children are protected, it will be necessary to act before the fragile Ceasefire Agreement further erodes. In this regard, the Secretary-General has pointed to the valuable assistance that the civilian protection personnel authorized under resolution 1279 (1999) could give, once they are in place in ensuring a comprehensive approach to child protection throughout all the stages of the making and consolidating of peace and in complementing the work of the United Nations Children's Fund.
The Lusaka Agreement has allowed the demobilization and rehabilitation of ex-combatants to move forward, and we urge the parties to cooperate in implementation of this, beginning with the vulnerable groups: children, the handicapped and the chronically disabled.
My delegation is concerned that inaction on the part of the Security Council could result in continued loss of life, further deterioration in the humanitarian situation, and a reversal of the progress already achieved in the implementation of the Lusaka Agreement. We therefore believe that the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's report must be speedily acted upon.
We support the view that the Joint Military Commission (JMC) has a key role to play and that it should be established on a permanent basis in order to carry out its functions. Efforts to coordinate its activities with those of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) should be continued. Given the crucial role assigned to the JMC, it must be provided with resources to support its operations. We must acknowledge with appreciation the support already pledged by several countries. Jamaica supports the expansion of MONUC, as proposed by the Secretary-General, and the eventual deployment of a peacekeeping mission. In this connection, we believe that the forces involved must operate under robust rules of engagement.
We remain firmly committed to the belief that collective action is the best approach to addressing the complex situation which obtains, and we wish to place on record our appreciation of the efforts of the OAU, the Southern African Development Community and President Chiluba, which have resulted in significant strides towards brokering peace in the Great Lakes region. This notwithstanding, the Security Council cannot abdicate its role in the maintenance of peace and international security. The United Nations must continue to work closely with the OAU in a coordinated way to promote mediation and negotiations among the parties concerned and to support the African leaders, who have sought to provide an African solution to the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will not be achievable without addressing the security situation of the entire Great Lakes region. Jamaica therefore fully supports the holding of an international conference on peace and security and development in the Great Lakes region, in due course, under the auspices of the United Nations and the OAU. It is our belief that only a holistic and integrated approach to the crisis will result in lasting peace.
We believe that we must go forward from here determined to make a difference in promoting peace and security for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the people of the Great Lakes region and the people of Africa. We share in the hope of those who believe that peace and security are not only possible and attainable, but important for the international peace and security of us all.
I would like to announce that two more countries or organizations will waive their right to speak. The first is Mr. Bouabid, from the International Organization of la Francophonie, and I thank him. The second is Japan. We will circulate both of their statements.
Ambassador Yukio Satoh, to whom I am deeply grateful, has asked me, however, to read two sentences from his speech to all of you now because they are of great importance.
"Japan is prepared to make an additional financial contribution of $300,000 to promote a national dialogue facilitated by Sir Ketumile Masire. With the contribution of $200,000 already made last November to the Joint Military Commission (JMC), Japan's financial contribution to the Lusaka peace process now amounts to $500,000."
I would ask Mr. Salim to bring this to the attention of the facilitator as soon as possible. I think it will be welcome news.
Ukraine entirely associates itself with the judgement that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the major challenge facing Africa, the United Nations and the international community as a whole. Nothing is more convincing in this regard than the unprecedented high profile of the Council's meeting last Monday. Therefore, the Government of Ukraine will support any endeavour that can bring us closer to achieving success in coping with the formidable task of the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It is against this background that Ukraine praises the initiative of the American presidency of the Security Council in organizing this meeting, which already has all grounds to become an extraordinary one.
We applaud and warmly welcome the leaders of the countries that signed the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, whose very presence here gave an important signal that peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an achievable goal. Ukraine shares the dominant view that the Lusaka Agreement represents the most viable basis for the resolution of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Perhaps since the beginning of contemporary international relations, diplomacy has produced hardly any single perfect international treaties. The only technique for achieving perfection -- that is, for restoring peace, resolving disputes or settling differences -- has been the strict implementation of the provisions of the treaties in question. We are strongly convinced that in order to achieve peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the whole Great Lakes region the same technique should be applied to the Lusaka Agreement.
Like the other members of the Security Council, Ukraine is gravely concerned at the further deterioration of the military and security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and at the ongoing violations of the ceasefire. We are also seriously worried about the deepening of the humanitarian crisis in the region, which we consider to be a direct result of the continuing disregard of the Lusaka Agreement.
We strongly support the call for a renewed commitment by the parties to that instrument. In that connection, we are encouraged by the statements that heads of State from the region made two days ago before the Security Council. The Secretary-General is absolutely right in concluding that such strengthened commitment is an essential prerequisite for vigorous international action in support of the Lusaka Agreement and for allocation by the international community of the significant resources required to that end.
At the same time, we also strongly believe that any further hesitation on the part of the Security Council in speeding up the United Nations deployment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would have a negative effect on the peace efforts in that part of the world.
In that respect, we thank the Secretary-General for his well-conceived recommendations for the next stage of the deployment of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, submitted in his report of 17 January 2000 (S/2000/30). Ukraine will encourage the Security Council to take prompt action on those recommendations. The deployment of United Nations military observers will leave no excuse for further delays in the implementation of the Lusaka Agreement. We call on the parties to reach an accord on a new, realistic and workable calendar for implementation of the Agreement.
The parties to the Agreement should pay special attention to putting an end to the presence of foreign troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo when that presence is inconsistent with the principles of the United Nations Charter. Ukraine strongly maintains that no consideration can justify measures taken in violation of fundamental principles of international law, in particular the principles of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States.
Furthermore, we would like to express our concern at the reports of illegal exploitation of the economic resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Security Council should be prepared to take concrete measures to stop such illegal activities.
We recognize that the problem of armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo dangerously affects the security of many States in Central Africa. Particular emphasis has to be placed on the problem of security on the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We agree that launching a comprehensive disarmament and demobilization process for the armed groups operating in that country is a matter of urgency.
Ukraine also supports the initiative of the French Government to convene at an appropriate stage an international conference for the Great Lakes region to address comprehensively all remaining root causes of the current conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, some of which, as we know, go deep into history.
Recent events should not be forgotten either. That is why, in our opinion, the report of the independent inquiry into the actions of the United Nations during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda should become the subject of our thorough consideration.
In conclusion, I would like to express our optimism that this "week of the Democratic Republic of the Congo" within the Security Council's "month of Africa" will produce very concrete results contributing to the restoration of peace and security in the Central African region. The presidential statement to be issued today is a good first step. Quick Council action on the Democratic Republic of the Congo will meet the long-held expectations of African countries and of the whole international community, thus strengthening the credibility of the Security Council. From what we heard on Monday, I think there are good grounds for such optimism. Let us work together to bring peace to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I wish to thank the representative of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for also yielding his place as a speaker; we shall distribute the text of his statement.
In view of your appeal for brevity, Mr. President, and as testimony to my delegation's readiness to cooperate with you as always, I shall read out only excerpts from my prepared statement.
Six months have passed since the parties signed the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, but the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has not improved and continues to be a serious cause for concern. The peace accord is still very fragile. My delegation could not agree more with the Secretary-General's assessment that
"the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement remains the best hope for the resolution of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo". (S/2000/30, para. 86)
We firmly believe that the future peace and stability of the region rest on the successful implementation of the Agreement. My delegation joins other Council members in renewing the call on all the parties to uphold that Agreement and to use the Joint Military Commission more effectively to deal with allegations of violations of the Agreement. The conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo cannot be resolved without the full commitment and cooperation of all the signatories. Having commended them for their good judgement in signing the Agreement, we now urge them to show greater political will and commitment to make the process work. It is imperative that the parties work together in good faith and contribute positively to the smooth implementation of the Agreement.
As we remind the parties of their obligations and of their commitment to the peace process, we should equally remind ourselves of our own responsibilities here in the Council. The Security Council should make good its promise to act promptly with a view to deploying a full-fledged peacekeeping mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Were the United Nations to fail in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ramifications would almost certainly be far-reaching and wide-ranging. The very credibility and authority of the Council would be in question. How we respond to the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be a litmus test of the Council's commitment to maintaining peace and security in Africa. Time is of the essence, as a further delay in the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers would run the risk of unravelling the Lusaka Agreement.
Malaysia welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on further deployment of United Nations personnel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2000/30). We agree fully with the view that any United Nations force deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo should necessarily be large and adequately mandated to take up the task of monitoring the ceasefire and verifying the withdrawal of all foreign forces. This is in addition to the still unresolved question of who will bear the responsibility of disarming all armed groups in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While we support the Secretary-General's recommendation of an initial force of 5,537 officers and men to protect military observers and civilian staff of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), we would like to stress that this should be followed up quickly with a more substantial presence.
The deployment of United Nations peacekeepers will not in itself guarantee peace and security for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries in the region. Those countries will have to bear the principal responsibility for their own long-term security. Continued support by the international community will be contingent upon renewed and strengthened commitment by the signatories to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. We therefore call on the parties to cease military hostilities forthwith and to fully ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel. The parties should cease their hostile propaganda, in particular incitements to attack unarmed civilians.
The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has an external and an internal dimension. Clearly, the final resolution of the conflict will have to take into account both the legitimate security concerns of all the States involved and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In our view, the role of the Joint Military Commission is crucial to the success of the ceasefire and the subsequent consolidation of peace. In this regard, the Council should support the move to give the Joint Military Commission the appropriate enforcement authority.
In conclusion, my delegation reiterates its support for the convening of an international conference on the Great Lakes region, under the auspices of the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations, to lay the foundation for regional cooperation and durable peace. It should address comprehensively all the relevant and critical issues faced by the countries in the region. Such a conference is timely now and should be given the necessary impetus by the international community.
Russia regards the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement as a real basis for a political settlement of the problem in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of that country and for reaching consensus on ways to achieve national reconciliation and unity and democratic development in the country.
We attach great importance to close coordination between the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Southern African Development Community in the provision of assistance for the implementation of the Lusaka Agreement and in the mobilization of international support. Russia welcomes the appointment of Mr. Berhanu Dinka as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region and of Mr. Kamel Morjane as Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
At the same time, it is clear that the primary responsibility for observing the ceasefire and for implementing other specific commitments lies with the parties that signed the Lusaka Agreement, which are committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure the effective work of the Political Committee and of the Joint Military Commission.
We are sorry to see that, despite some positive movement, there has still been no implementation of the provision in resolution 1234 (1999) regarding the withdrawal of uninvited forces from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are still massive violations of the ceasefire, the humanitarian situation remains dramatic and the national dialogue has not begun. We hope that the facilitator appointed by the OAU, President Masire, will be able to get things moving.
Russia supports a further expansion of international efforts to find a settlement to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including deployment of a United Nations mission in the country. The timing of such a deployment should respond to the rate of progress in the peace process and, when the necessary conditions exist, should comprise a large-scale peacekeeping operation. The necessary conditions are that the belligerents actually respect the ceasefire, that the will to constructively resolve disputes is clearly demonstrated and that the security of international personnel is assured. All of this is essential to ensuring a successful operation. The failure of such an operation would have extremely negative consequences for the further development of the situation in the region, and also for the authority of the United Nations and the Security Council.
Because of the complex nature of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, any settlement will necessarily also be complex. One of the key elements in the process is finding the right political solution, one that ensures security and the inviolability of the borders of all the States in the region and that strengthens cooperation between these States on the basis of the principles of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other States and the non-use of force, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
The specific mechanisms and guarantees for ensuring security and shared borders after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be worked out within the framework of the Lusaka Agreements on a bilateral and regional basis with broad international support. In this context, we support the idea of an international conference on peace and security in the Great Lakes region.
Russia will continue to provide assistance to the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the context of the Lusaka Agreement and through Security Council decisions. We are also willing to study the possibility of Russian participation in international efforts to respond to the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region as a whole.
The next speaker is the representative of Portugal, which currently occupies the Presidency of the European Union. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union -- Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia -- and the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, as well as Iceland, align themselves with this statement.
The European Union welcomes your initiative, Mr. President, to focus discussions of the Council during the month of January on Africa, and today on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We also warmly welcome the presence at this important meeting of the heads of State of Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. I would also like to acknowledge the participation in this meeting of ministers from the Governments of Belgium, Burundi, Canada, France, Mali, Namibia and the United Kingdom, as well as the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity.
This meeting of the Council clearly demonstrates that there is the political will in the region and the international community to advance peace and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the wider Great Lakes region. But peace and security in the region are only achievable if firmly rooted. The European Union believes that the Lusaka Agreement is the most viable basis for a resolution of the conflict.
The European Union regrets that adherence to the provisions of the Lusaka Agreement by the parties has been far from complete, and that implementation is way behind schedule. Without a full and sustained commitment to the Ceasefire Agreement, the international donor community, of which the European Union represents a major part, will find its ability to contribute to the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo limited.
The presence of the leaders of the States signatories to the Lusaka Agreement in New York this week, however, presents a critical opportunity for the parties to set this right and make clear their commitment to the Agreement and its implementation. We hope that one of the results of this week's discussions will be a clear and credible declaration to this end. Such a declaration would offer a firm basis for further deployment of the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There are a number of other key targets for this week. The European Union believes that progress must be made to establish the essential institutions and channels that will form the framework for the implementation of the Lusaka Agreement. In this connection, the European Union considers that the Joint Military Commission has a crucial role to play, and we encourage efforts towards integration of its work with that of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The European Union also stresses the need to ensure a peaceful and permanent process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the militia groups currently operating in the region. We also hope to see progress this week towards an outline of how this will be achieved. Finally, the European Union stands ready to give its support to the national dialogue in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which it considers to be an essential element of the reconciliation process. Funding by the European Union is available to assist the political dialogue as soon as the parties themselves show their firm readiness to initiate the process. In this context, the European Union welcomes the appointment of Sir Ketumile Masire as the facilitator for the national dialogue and stands ready to help him discharge his mandate. The European Union stresses the need for the dialogue to begin at an early date.
These are the objectives which we hope the parties will work towards this week.
The European Union considers that the United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, has a crucial role to play in the peace process. It is the European Union's intention to provide the support needed to ensure the success of MONUC in its second-phase expansion and a subsequent third-phase peacekeeping presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For the second phase, we welcome the recommendations of the Secretary-General on the deployment of 500 military observers with a United Nations force. In this regard, the European Union stresses that it is essential to ensure adequate United Nations military protection.
As is clear from the very highest level of representation of the countries in the Great Lakes region here today, a settlement of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo needs to be considered within a regional framework. That is why the European Union reaffirms its support for an eventual international conference on security and cooperation in the Great Lakes region to address and resolve the underlying causes of conflict in the region. The European Union encourages the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and all African countries concerned to begin preparatory work as soon as the main elements of the Lusaka Agreement have been implemented and announces its readiness to cooperate with the parties by providing technical and financial assistance in this regard.
The European Union remains deeply concerned at the immense human suffering caused by the conflict to the civilian population of the region, in particular the dramatic situation faced by the large number of refugees and internally displaced persons. We emphasize the importance of access by humanitarian organizations to all people in need. The European Union reiterates the importance it attaches to the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, particularly regarding the protection of children and the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of child combatants.
The European Union is fully committed to supporting initiatives that will bring peace to Africa. It is also actively engaged in assisting African countries to develop their economies. However, assistance for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be made only under the necessary conditions of peace and security. The European Union therefore appeals to the leaders gathered here today to take this historic opportunity to bring peace to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the wider region and to all its people.
I welcome to the Security Council once more our distinguished, dare I say beloved, Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, who will be leaving in about two hours for Moscow on a trip of great importance. We wish him well and thank him for joining us at this point in the process, and we applaud again his enormous efforts to promote the cause of peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the important other issues he will take up when he visits Moscow.
Following consultations among members of the Security Council, I have been authorized to make the following statement on behalf of the Council:
"The Security Council expresses its appreciation to the heads of State of Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and to the Foreign Ministers of Namibia, South Africa, Burundi, Canada and the United States, the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium, the Minister Delegate for Cooperation and Francophonie of France, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, and the Minister of Armed Forces of Mali, who participated in its meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 24 January 2000. The Council also expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the representative of the Chairman of the OAU, and the OAU-nominated Facilitator of the Congolese national dialogue. Their presence and their statements attest to their renewed commitment to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement (S/1999/815) and to the search for a durable peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region. Their presence in New York also reinforces the progress made at the Maputo Summit of 16 January 2000 and the Harare meeting of the Political Committee of 18 January 2000. The Council expects that this progress will continue at the next Political Committee Meeting and Summit of the Signatories to the Agreement.
"The Security Council urges all the parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement to build on the momentum of these meetings in order to create and sustain the climate necessary for the full implementation of the Agreement. It underlines the importance of a revised implementation calendar for the full and effective implementation of the tasks in the Agreement.
"The Security Council reaffirms the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including over its natural resources, in accordance with the principles of the Charters of the United Nations and the OAU. In this regard, it reiterates its call for the immediate cessation of hostilities and the orderly withdrawal of all foreign forces from the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in accordance with the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. The Council reaffirms its support for the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement and also reaffirms its resolutions 1234 (1999) of 9 April 1999, 1258 (1999) of 6 August 1999, 1273 (1999) of 5 November 1999 and 1279 (1999) of 30 November 1999.
"The Security Council welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 17 January 2000 (S/2000/30). The Council expresses its determination to support the implementation of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. Accordingly, it has now begun consideration of a resolution authorizing the expansion of the present mandate of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) along the lines recommended by the Secretary-General in that report. It expresses its intention to act promptly on this basis. It expresses its intention to consider at the appropriate time preparations for an additional phase of United Nations deployment and further action. It welcomes the statements by the heads of State and delegation in support of the proposals of the Secretary-General. The Council welcomes the arrival of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, expresses its support for his efforts, and urges all parties to provide him with the assistance and cooperation he will require to carry out his functions.
"The Security Council supports the establishment of a coordinated MONUC/Joint Military Commission (JMC) structure with co-located headquarters and joint support arrangements. The Council believes this is a vital step in enhancing the ability of the United Nations to support the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. In this regard, the Council urges Member States and donor organizations to continue to provide assistance to the JMC.
"The Security Council underlines the absolute necessity of security and access for United Nations personnel deployed in support of the Lusaka process, and stresses that such a climate of cooperation is an essential prerequisite for the successful implementation of the mandate of MONUC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Council calls on all signatories to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement to provide assurances of safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel, and in this regard attaches importance to the statement by the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the security of MONUC and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
"The Security Council stresses the importance of the national dialogue as called for in the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, and affirms that it must be an open, inclusive and democratic process conducted independently by the Congolese people under the established facilitation. It further affirms that the national dialogue is the best means for all Congolese parties to address the political future of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"The Security Council strongly supports the designation of the former President of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire, as the Facilitator of the national dialogue as provided for by the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, and calls on Member States to provide full financial and other support to his efforts and the process as a whole. The Council welcomes the declared readiness of the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to begin the national dialogue, and to guarantee the security of all participants.
"The Security Council stresses the need for the continued operation of United Nations and other agencies' humanitarian relief operations and human rights promotion and monitoring under acceptable conditions of security, freedom of movement, and access to affected areas. The Council expresses its serious concern over the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as the shortfall in responses to the United Nations consolidated humanitarian appeal. It therefore urges Member States and donor organizations to make available the necessary funds to carry out urgent humanitarian operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"The Security Council expresses its concern that the presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo of non-signatory armed groups that have yet to be demobilized constitutes a threat to the Lusaka process. The Council recognizes that disarmament, demobilization, resettlement and reintegration (DDRR) are among the fundamental objectives of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement.
"The Council underlines that a credible plan for DDRR must be based on an agreed and comprehensive set of principles.
"The Security Council expresses deep concern over the illicit flow of arms into the region, and calls upon all concerned to halt such flows.
"The Security Council values the continuing leadership of the peace process by the President of Zambia and the vital contribution of the Southern African Development Community through its Chairman, the President of Mozambique. It also expresses its appreciation to the current Chairman of the OAU, the President of Algeria, and to the Secretary-General of the OAU for the organization's vital role in the Lusaka process. It urges them to continue their essential efforts in close cooperation with the Security Council and the Secretary-General."
This statement will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/PRST/2000/2.
The next open meeting of the Security Council on Africa will be on Monday, 31 January. President Chiluba is going to remain in New York to make a final statement of a comprehensive nature, going beyond the issues of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We invite other speakers to take part. I thank all those who have participated, and we look forward to turning the gavel over to our friends from Argentina next Tuesday.
The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.