|Date||16 July 2007|
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Security Council mission Report of the Security Council mission to Addis Ababa, Khartoum, Accra, Abidjan and Kinshasa, 14 to 21 June 2007 (S/2007/421 and Corr.1)
|President:||Mr. Wang Guangya
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. De La Sablière
Adoption of the agenda
Security Council mission
Report of the Security Council mission to Addis Ababa, Khartoum, Accra, Abidjan and Kinshasa, 14 to 21 June 2007 (S/2007/421 and Corr.1)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which they request to be invited to participate in the consideration of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the consideration without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter dated 16 July 2007 from the representative of Ghana in which he requests that Ms. Lila Ratsifandrihamanana, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, be invited to participate in the consideration of this item under rule 39 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure. If I hear no objection, I shall take it that the Security Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Ms. Lila Ratsifandrihamanana, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations.
It is so decided.
I invite Ms. Ratsifandrihamanana to take the seat reserved for her at the side of the Council Chamber.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them documents S/2007/421 and Corr.1, containing the report of the Security Council mission to Africa.
At this meeting, the Council will hear briefings by the following four Ambassadors on the Security Council mission to Africa: Mr. Dumisani Kumalo, Permanent Representative of South Africa, who together with Mr. Emyr Jones Parry, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, led the mission to Addis Ababa, Khartoum and Accra; Ms. Karen Pierce, Chargé d’affaires of the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom, who will brief on behalf of Ambassador Jones Parry; Mr. Jorge Voto-Bernales, Permanent Representative of Peru, who led the mission to Abidjan; and Mr. Jean-Marc de La Sablière, Permanent Representative of France, who led the mission to Kinshasa.
I shall now give the floor to Mr. Kumalo.
I have the honour to report on the Council’s visit to Addis Ababa, Khartoum and Accra, which we undertook jointly with Ambassador Jones Parry of the United Kingdom.
One of the most important things that we did was to spend significant time in Addis Ababa with Chairman Konaré and other high officials, discussing issues that always end up before this very Council as it tries to find a way in which, in partnership with the African Union (AU), we could make our work much smoother and understand the positions of two different bodies that happen to deal with similar issues.
One of the things we also did while in Addis Ababa was to hold a formal Security Council meeting together with the African Union Peace and Security Council. Out of that meeting came a statement which we have asked the President to circulate as an official document of the Security Council. One of the things that came out of our meeting with the African Union Peace and Security Council was an agreement that we would like to have these consultation meetings between the United Nations Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council take place at least once a year, if possible, and in each of the capitals. They could come this way, or we could go that way, but at least we would meet once a year. We also discussed common issues that come before this Council because most of the resolutions that we end up adopting originate with the African Union Peace and Security Council.
With Chairman Konaré we discussed an issue that was very important to our mission and that was upcoming: our trip to the Sudan. The discussion related to what this Council can do in terms of preparing a resolution on the Sudan. Chairman Konaré, as shown in paragraph 20 of the document before us, urged the Security Council to “adopt a resolution authorizing the operation and recommending United Nations funding” (S/2007/421, para. 20). Mr. Konaré said that, in his view, “assured funding would generate sufficient numbers of African troops to maintain the African character of the operation” (ibid.), as per agreement between the United Nations and the AU.
As the Council knows, there is a draft before us that has been provided by the United Kingdom, as the lead country. We are looking at the draft, but we just want to be sure that it stays in the spirit that we had on the trip. It was a spirit of cooperation between the United Nations, the African Union and the Government of the Sudan in addressing the issues of Darfur. That spirit is very important in terms of what will be contained in the resolution, which should essentially be an implementation resolution.
When we arrived in Khartoum, we met first with Foreign Minister Ajawin, together with his high-level officials, including the governors of the three Darfur States. We engaged with them about the concerns that this Council has about the situation in Darfur. Later on, we also met with President Al-Bashir, and both President Al-Bashir and Foreign Minister Ajawin, as reflected in paragraph 24 of the report, confirmed their full acceptance of the hybrid United Nations-African Union operation. They said that they accepted it without any conditionalities and expected the Security Council to move ahead and adopt a resolution.
Our understanding of what the operation would be is contained in paragraph 25 of the report, which states that the operation would be as outlined in the African Union-United Nations plans for the hybrid operation in Darfur contained in the 5 June report of the Secretary-General (S/2007/307/Rev.1), and would be mandated by the AU Peace and Security Council — which they have already done — and the United Nations Security Council. We are looking at a draft before us and trying to make it more relevant to the understanding that we had all the time.
Another issue that is linked to the visit to Addis Ababa and to Khartoum is that the Council would come back and consider requesting the preparation of joint African Union-United Nations timelines for deployment of the hybrid operation in Darfur. This timeline is important, because we think it important for everybody to know what is expected of the Government of Sudan, what is expected of the AU and what is expected of the Security Council.
The mission then proceeded to Accra to see President Kufuor of Ghana, the Chairperson of the African Union. Even though it was the eve of the AU Summit, President Kufuor was able to set aside significant time to meet with the United Nations Security Council team. We had a working meeting that included the Foreign Minister of Ghana, at which we discussed a number of issues, including Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Côte d’Ivoire; the latter two States were part of our itinerary. President Kufuor encouraged the Security Council to follow up on those issues and adopt a resolution that would quickly facilitate the deployment of a hybrid operation in Sudan, as the situation was very serious and needed urgent attention.
So, I must say, in conclusion, that, for my delegation, it was an honour to be co-leader of this trip, and I am sure that members of this Council — and indeed, members of the wider United Nations community — will see in this report that we tried to the best of our ability to address all the urgent issues that are important to the African continent. We also tried to seek solutions and ways in which we could deal with those issues. In the report, members will see, of course, that the issue was not only Sudan, but we did receive reports on other urgent issues on the African continent, including the issue of the Lord’s Resistance Army and other relevant issues.
I present this report and say that, together with my co-leader, we think that we met the mandate that the Council had set out for us with this mission, and it was indeed an honour for us to carry out the mission.
I thank Ambassador Kumalo for his briefing.
I now give the floor to Her Excellency Ms. Karen Pierce, who will speak on behalf of Ambassador Jones Parry.
Thank you to Ambassador Kumalo for his interesting briefing. It is my honour to follow Ambassador Kumalo in presenting the report today and to speak on behalf of Ambassador Jones Parry, who co-led the mission. May I say, at the start, that it was very good as a curtain-raiser to see President Konaré talk to the Security Council, along with Mr. Djinnit and Mr. Adada, last Friday.
As Ambassador Kumalo said, Africa is a continent of critical importance to the Security Council and to the United Nations more broadly. Around 55,000 United Nations peacekeepers are deployed in Africa. It is a continent that this Security Council discusses more than any other. And it is a region where the United Nations has made some of its most impressive advances, but has also suffered some of its most serious setbacks.
Against this backdrop, the United Nations and the African Union (AU) are venturing, we believe, into a period of unprecedented coordination and cooperation, as we try together to tackle conflicts like those in Darfur and Somalia. It was against that context that the Security Council decided to visit Africa from 16 to 20 June and to build further the relations of the United Nations with the AU on issues of peace and security, as well as to visit Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to discuss the engagement of the United Nations there.
Ambassador Kumalo, I think, has said most of what needed to be said. He was there, and I was not. So, I will be very brief in my remarks, but to say that we, of course, support what Ambassador Kumalo said about the value of holding such a mission.
Discussions in Addis with the AU Commission and Peace and Security Council ranged across a variety of issues. Ambassador Kumalo mentioned some of them; others that we discussed included Chad, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Eritrea and the Comoros. The sheer number of issues, I think, shows how much the United Nations and Africa can learn from each other, but also how important it is, if we are to be successful, that we establish mechanisms for deeper cooperation. And, in order to make some progress in achieving that, the Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council adopted in Addis a joint communiqué, which has been issued as a Security Council document. The communiqué sets out concrete steps to this end. These include the annual meetings that Ambassador Kumalo mentioned, the sharing of United Nations-AU experiences on working methods and support for further development of the African peace and security architecture. The communiqué also set out the agreement of the two Councils to examine the possibility of financing a peacekeeping mission undertaken by the AU or under its authority. We will obviously want to consider further with partners how to take forward these various action points in the communiqué.
Perhaps I can say a brief word about Darfur, which Ambassador Kumalo has already mentioned, and the meeting that we were fortunate enough to have with President Kufuor of Ghana and the meetings that the Council mission had when in Khartoum itself. As Ambassador Kumalo said, the Sudanese Foreign Minister did tell the Security Council mission that the Government of Sudan accepted the hybrid operation in full and without conditionality, and we think that is a very important commitment. This was, of course, later confirmed by President Al-Bashir, who urged rapid implementation and swift agreement on United Nations funding. Naturally, we are in agreement with that. We hope that this marks a turning point in terms of cooperation between the United Nations, the AU and the Government of the Sudan. Our draft United Nations Security Council resolution, which has been referred to, will build on this by endorsing the United Nations-AU agreement on the hybrid operation, commending Sudan for its agreement. Following the approach in the AU-United Nations joint report in the Addis communiqué, the draft highlights the political and humanitarian stance taken to resolve the Darfur crisis.
We all know, and we have all said many times in this Council, that there is no military solution to the crisis in Darfur. We, therefore, think it right that the draft resolution that we are bringing forward now in mandating the hybrid and its implementation focuses also on the political process and humanitarian tracks. At the same time, we must have confidence that commitments entered into on all sides, including the rebels, will be kept. That will guide our approach to the resolution. We look forward to discussing with partners, inside and outside the Security Council, how to take this forward to the next stage. I should also tell members of the Council that we are in touch with the Government of Sudan, both in New York and in Khartoum.
If I may briefly say something about other issues, the AU Commission, the AU Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Security Council also agreed in Addis on the urgent need for further efforts to achieve political reconciliation and ensure humanitarian relief in Somalia. AU Peace and Security Council members urged the United Nations to deploy a peacekeeping mission to Somalia. In its turn, the Security Council briefed the Peace and Security Council on its approach to the Ethiopia-Eritrea border dispute and the Lord’s Resistance Army, and the Peace and Security Council briefed the Security Council on the AU’s efforts to resolve the political crisis in the Comoros, particularly the island of Anjouan.
Our hope is that these outcomes and this mission represent the beginning of a new phase of broader, deeper cooperation between the United Nations and the AU in areas where we share mutual interests and responsibilities in terms of peace and security in Africa.
I thank Ambassador Pierce for her briefing.
I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Jorge Voto-Bernales.
In Côte d’Ivoire, the mission emphasized the Security Council’s support for the Ouagadougou agreement, which is the result of the parties’ ownership of the peace process. The mission urged its interlocutors to ensure full implementation of the agreement, particularly by achieving the goals leading to the holding of free, fair and transparent elections.
In that respect, the mission stressed the need for effective follow-up to the Ouagadougou agreement. Likewise, it called on the parties to abide by the established timetable as closely as possible and, at the same time, to protect the integrity of the process. The mission reaffirmed its firm commitment to ensuring the credibility of the electoral process in Côte d’Ivoire.
In addition, the mission expressed its serious concern at the persistence of the humanitarian and socio-economic crisis in Côte d’Ivoire and stressed the need to undertake efforts in the humanitarian, socio-economic and human rights areas, particularly with regard to children, women, displaced persons and other groups affected by the crisis.
At the conclusion of its report (S/2007/421), the mission made the following recommendations: that the Security Council continue to support the full implementation of the Ouagadougou political agreement and the role of the Facilitator; that the Security Council, taking full account of the advice of the Facilitator, follow up on the recent recommendations of the Secretary-General on updating and improving the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire in order to support the implementation of the Ouagadougou agreement; that the Secretary-General appoint a new Special Representative and head of UNOCI; and that the Security Council carefully examine the request for a partial lifting of the arms embargo regime — and that the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004), should it be necessary, carefully examine this matter in order to contribute to the peace process and to the peaceful implementation of the Ouagadougou agreement.
By adopting this morning’s draft resolution, the Security Council has dealt with the first two recommendations. Still outstanding are the appointment of a new Special Representative and the possible consideration of a partial lifting of the embargo.
I thank Ambassador Voto-Bernales for his briefing.
I now give the floor to His Excellency Mr. Jean-Marc De La Sablière.
I already had the honour, on 26 June, to brief Security Council members on the outcomes of our visit to Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (see S/PV.5706). The visit was very useful. It was the eighth time that Security Council members had travelled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the first time that they had done so in the new context resulting from the first national democratic election held in the country in 40 years and from President Kabila’s assumption of office on 6 December 2006. A Prime Minister was appointed on 30 December. A coalition Government was formed on 5 February 2007, and that Government presented a programme to the National Assembly on 22 February. The new context obviously calls for the development of a partnership between the United Nations and the Congolese authorities, and it is in that spirit that the mission visited Kinshasa.
The report (S/2007/421) recounts the visit in detail and then sets out the conclusions drawn by Council members. I should like very briefly to touch upon the five recommendations contained in the report.
The mission recommended that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo seek a solution to the crisis in the Kivus through political and diplomatic means. The mission also stressed that the mixage experiment in North Kivu should be terminated and replaced with a real brassage, consistent with the principles of the integration of the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC). In addition, the mission recommended that the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda continue to strive to improve their diplomatic relations. Those two recommendations are at the top of the list, showing the importance that the mission’s members accord to resolving the issue of the Kivus.
The third recommendation is that the Congolese authorities carry out security sector reform as a matter of priority, with a view to consolidating the achievements of the reform of the police, completing the integration of all army units, while completing also the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process. The fourth recommendation concerns the international partners of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mission recommends that they organize and coordinate their support for security sector reform so as to maximize its efficiency. Finally, the mission recommends that the Congolese authorities and their main international partners organize themselves so as to make possible a continuing political dialogue. Those are the recommendations that we are making.
Before concluding, let me say once again how grateful we were for the welcome that we received in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from President Kabila, all the other authorities and the Congolese people. They know that the United Nations will always stand by them in facing the challenges that they must still meet.
I thank Ambassador De La Sablière for his briefing.
I now give the floor to those Council members who wish to make comments in connection with the briefings that we have just heard.
Allow me to thank Ambassadors Jones Parry, Kumalo, Voto-Bernales and De La Sablière for leading the mission to the various countries that it visited. My delegation commends them for their effective roles, which contributed to a large extent to the mission’s success. We also express our appreciation for the courtesies and hospitality extended to our delegation by the authorities in the various capitals we visited. We are pleased by the positive comments made by various delegations about the warmth of the reception that was accorded by President Kufuor and the Government and the people of Ghana during our mission to Accra.
The exchange of views in Addis Ababa, among other things, enabled the Security Council and the African Union Commission to clarify ways to strengthen the relationship between them in the maintenance of peace and security in Africa. It also afforded the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council the opportunity to discuss how to achieve close cooperation between them to attain the shared objectives of peace and security in Africa.
My delegation believes that any proposals for African Union/United Nations cooperation concerning countries emerging from conflicts should take into account the African Union framework for post-conflict reconstruction and development as well as the peace and security components of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), both of which emphasize, among other things, the need to address the root causes of conflict in order to prevent countries emerging from conflict from suffering a relapse into chaos.
We wish to stress the importance of using the momentum generated by the Council’s visit to Khartoum to accelerate progress on the peace process, peacekeeping and the humanitarian front. The agreements by the Government of Sudan to implement the Addis Ababa framework without conditions provide the Security Council and the African Union the opportunity to resolve the conflict in Darfur and bring an end to the suffering of the people of that region. We hope that the Security Council will demonstrate its unity on this issue and soon adopt a resolution authorizing the hybrid peacekeeping operation, which will lead to a comprehensive settlement of the crisis.
We acknowledge that the full implementation of the United Nations heavy support package for the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and the deployment of two additional AMIS battalions are a necessary foundation for the establishment of the hybrid operation.
While the African Union Peace and Security Council has authorized the deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to support efforts by the Transitional Federal Government to stabilize Somalia, facilitate dialogue and reconciliation and support development, it is apparent that more resources are required to ensure a more effective AMISOM process capable of carrying out effectively the peacekeeping operation. The United Nations role in generating such resources cannot be overemphasized.
During the Council’s mission to Abidjan, we were impressed by the assurances given by the Ivorian leaders with regard to their continued commitment to the peace process. However, the recent assassination attempt on the life of Prime Minister Soro, which led to the deaths of some innocent civilians and which Ghana strongly condemns, demonstrates that the security situation is still fragile. We hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice as it is important to block such efforts to derail the peace process.
My delegation is encouraged by the progress made so far by the parties in implementing the Ouagadougou agreement. Nonetheless, considering the list of missed deadlines and the remaining tasks yet to be accomplished, we should not underestimate the obstacles and challenges to be overcome in consolidating the peace process, so as to ensure that free and fair elections can be organized early next year.
That is why we believe that the resolution adopted by the Council this morning renewing the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and urging all parties concerned to redouble their efforts is a step in the right direction and must be backed by sustained action and commitment by the international community, in order to ensure that progress, which has up to now been mixed, becomes truly irreversible.
To this end, Ghana will continue to lend her unwavering support to the efforts of the facilitator, President Blaise Compaoré.
First of all, I would like to thank our colleagues from the United Kingdom, South Africa, Peru and France for their briefings, and to congratulate them on the great expertise that they demonstrated in leading this important visit by the Council to Africa.
My country, which, as the Council knows, attaches particular importance to the African continent, welcomes the fact that this mission took place during a month under our presidency.
The communiqué that was jointly adopted on 16 June last by this Council and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa reflects the Belgian desire to see the relationship between the United Nations and the African Union better defined and based on coordination, cooperation and coherence.
Belgium greatly welcomes the exchange of views that took place between these two organizations on issues such as Sudan, Somalia, Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Belgium also welcomes the fact that, during its visit to Sudan, the Sudanese Government reaffirmed its unequivocal commitment to the hybrid operation. Belgium is of the view that efforts must now be made to ensure that this agreement is implemented without delay. By authorizing the deployment of the operation, we must ensure that the unity of command and control is scrupulously respected.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Security Council’s visit took place in a new context, where the new democratically elected authorities are vigorously attacking the challenges of the country. Among these challenges, we should include the very disturbing situation in the east of the country, an issue that was referred to by all of our interlocutors, but also, and in more general terms, the difficult socio-economic conditions that persist, where the population is impatiently awaiting the dividends of peace.
This fragility requires the constant attention of the international community and of our Council with regard to the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has been clearly shown that the elections have not resolved all problems. We should consider by what means our Council and the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) can contribute to consolidating the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through partnership and through dialogue with the new authorities.
The benchmarking exercise that was established in resolution 1756 (2007) provides us with a unique opportunity to better define the objectives for our action during this post-electoral phase, and will allow us to better match the available means with the desired objectives. Bringing peace and stability to the east will require the adoption of an innovative approach where the regional dimension must be fully taken into account.
To conclude and touch briefly upon the Côte d’Ivoire, the visit to Côte d’Ivoire allowed the Council to listen to the parties and to the facilitator in the new context that has been set by the Ouagadougou agreements. We have noted with pleasure that there is a new mood prevailing in Côte d’Ivoire and that the majority of the interlocutors considered a return to hostilities unlikely — even though the process remains fragile, as was shown by the recent attempted assassination of the Prime Minister.
The mission also noted that Ivorian political forces as a whole want the United Nations to continue to play an essential role in supporting the peace process. In spite of all of these positive developments, my delegation also notes that there has been a significant delay with regard to the implementation of the Ouagadougou agreement. Most of the work remains to be done with regard to organizing free, open and transparent elections, and my delegation would urge all parties involved in the Ivorian crisis to implement the provisions of the agreement without delay.
Are there any other members of the Council who wish to make statements? If there is none, I shall now make a statement in my national capacity.
China highly appreciates the important role that the African Union has played over recent years. In mediating the conflicts in Africa by deploying peacekeeping operations in the hot spots in Africa, the African Union has made important contributions to easing regional tensions and resolving regional conflicts.
At present, the African Union faces a lot of difficulties in its peacekeeping operations in Darfur and Somalia and needs the assistance of the international community. The United Nations should continue to consolidate its partnership with the African Union in the field of peacekeeping operations and carry out long-term cooperation with the African Union by assisting it in the fields of technology, financing, logistics and training. China supports efforts to further strengthen communication and cooperation between the AU and the Security Council and looks forward to receiving feasible proposals from the Secretary-General in that regard.
On the question of the Sudan, China appreciates the initiative of the Sudanese Government to invite the Security Council mission, and its full and unconditional acceptance of the hybrid plan. There are still many difficulties and challenges as regards the next phase of the deployment of peacekeeping operations in Darfur. Full implementation of the plan requires cooperation and coordination between the international community and the Sudan. The United Nations and the African Union should start by addressing the many priority issues that exist — such as those relating to the mandate, the financing of troops, equipment and logistics.
At the moment, the Security Council is holding consultations on a draft resolution regarding the mandate of the hybrid operation. The draft resolution should focus on the mandate and on financing as the priorities of the hybrid operation, so as to reflect the international community’s consensus on this issue and the cooperation that exists among the United Nations, the African Union and the Government of the Sudan, as well as the current positive momentum. The draft resolution should contribute to maintaining that momentum while avoiding irrelevant issues that would produce new controversies and delay the process of deployment.
A comprehensive and lasting solution to the question of Darfur not only calls for steadily advancing the deployment of peacekeeping operations; it also calls for accelerating the political process and attaching due importance to development and reconstruction in Darfur in order to eradicate the root causes of the conflict. At the moment, the political process is lagging behind the deployment of peacekeeping operations. The Security Council should take practical steps to move the process along. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has repeatedly called upon the international community to focus on long-term development in Darfur in order to eradicate the root causes of the crisis. That shows that the international community is developing a deeper understanding of the question of Darfur, and it deserves the attention of all parties.
China is concerned about developments in Côte d’Ivoire. During the Security Council’s mission to Côte d’Ivoire last month, all parties reiterated their commitment to the peace process. China would like to express its appreciation in that regard. Of course, the peace process in Côte d’Ivoire is still fraught with challenges. The top priority at the moment is to consolidate consensus among all parties, improve mutual confidence and implement commitments and the Ouagadougou agreement, with a view to establishing conditions for the general election.
In the current circumstances, the United Nations should continue to strengthen its coordination and cooperation with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States in support of their good offices at the regional level.
The continued presence of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is important for the maintenance of stability on the ground. China supports extending UNOCI’s mandate as appropriate and is ready to join all other parties in their efforts to fully restore peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire at an early date.
China congratulates the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the important progress made in its peace process. The top priority for the Democratic Republic of the Congo now is to safeguard its stability and security and to achieve economic development as soon as possible. With regard to the difficulties and challenges in the political and security fields, China is confident that all parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will put the overall interest of the country above everything else and settle their differences through dialogue and consultation.
The security situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains fragile. We hope that, while speeding security sector reform, the Government will also pay attention to economic development, creating more jobs and improving the welfare of the people, in order that former combatants can truly be disarmed and reintegrated.
Since some of the armed groups in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo operate across the border, we hope that concerned countries of the region will act within the framework of the Pact on Peace, Security and Development in the Great Lakes Region, strengthening communication, building mutual trust and jointly participating in seeking a solution to the issue through dialogue.
The peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will depend upon ongoing attention from the international community. China will join the rest of the international community in continuing to provide all possible support for the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
I give the floor to the representative of Côte d’Ivoire.
The Permanent Representative of Côte d’Ivoire, who could not be here today, has instructed me to read out the following statement to the Security Council.
“My delegation commends and thanks you, Mr. President, for organizing this meeting on the report (S/2007/421) of the Security Council’s mission to Africa. Allow me also to express my deep gratitude to the other members of the Security Council.
“For my delegation, the Council’s mission to Africa to assess the situation on the ground was both a source of great satisfaction and a guarantee of success in the implementation of Security Council resolutions. Such missions will contribute to a realistic assessment by the Security Council of the problems in Africa, and as such should help the Council to develop consistent and progressive solutions tailored to resolving crises on the continent.
“In that regard, the Security Council’s mission to Côte d’Ivoire, which took place on 19 and 20 June 2007, was very much appreciated by Ivorian authorities, headed by President Laurent Gbagbo and Prime Minister Guillaume Soro. This is therefore an opportunity for my delegation to encourage the Secretary-General to continue his efforts in this positive vein and to assure him that my country highly appreciates the fact that he is heading the United Nations. This is also an opportunity to pay tribute to the United Nations for its efforts in Côte d’Ivoire, as well as to South Africa, for its previous mediation, and to Burkina Faso, for its current role in the peace process.
“The situation in Côte d’Ivoire has evolved markedly since the signing of the Ouagadougou agreement, on 4 March 2004, which was the result of direct negotiations with the Forces nouvelles, initiated by President Gbagbo. My delegation is pleased to note that, as regards Côte d’Ivoire, the excellent report before the Council today provides a review of concrete developments in the peace process and contains recommendations for the proper implementation of the Ouagadougou agreement. That serves as further motivation for former warring parties, who have freely committed themselves to address the underlying causes of the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire. These include, inter alia, the issue of identifying the population, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, the dismantling of armed militias, dismantling the zone of confidence and the restoration of State authority and the deployment throughout the country of State administration with a view to organizing and holding national elections.
“I should also like to state before the Security Council that the Government of Côte d’Ivoire is seeking to carry out the peace process successfully. In that connection, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire has noted with interest the various views and suggestions made by the Security Council mission to Côte d’Ivoire.
“With respect to the mission’s concerns in the humanitarian, socio-economic and human rights areas and with regard to the political and security situation — especially the problem of the ranks of the ex-combatants and their quotas — the group of negotiators, of which I have the honour to be part, is working with very good intelligence, with the assistance of the Burkinabé facilitator, in order to make specific proposals to the principal signatories of the Agreement. That means that despite the delays in certain areas of the Agreement and the incident of 29 June at Bouaké, the various parties have clearly demonstrated, in their declaration and in the council of ministers of 15 July 2007, their commitment to continue the peace process.
“The facts on the ground express that commitment with respect to the disarmament of the self-defence forces, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, restoring State authority throughout the country, holding mobile court hearings and voter identification. For example, we note, inter alia, that in Bouaké judges were set up within hours of the attack on the Prime Minister’s airplane, and police chiefs were installed. In general, the peace process is moving forward normally, in accordance with all the points of the Ouagadougou Agreement.
“In terms of the social and political issues, President Gbagbo, believing that the Ivorian crisis stemmed essentially from an economic crisis marked by high rates of unemployment among youth, has established a civic service. Under that programme, the ex-combatants and militia members benefit from training. In other words, as the President of the Republic has said himself, the war is truly over. No one wants to make war any more. Throughout Côte d’Ivoire demonstrations in favour of peace are increasing among Ivorian on all sides. The considerable international community in Côte d’Ivoire is participating in all reconciliation efforts.
“In short, peace is made not only by the major players, but also by the great majority of the people living in the country. That explains the calm climate that we see at present. To maintain the peaceful sociopolitical climate now prevailing in Côte d’Ivoire and to more effectively combat insecurity, the Government has sought an exemption from the arms embargo in order to equip the national police.
“The Security Council mission met with the highest Ivorian authorities and with the Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso, Mr. Djibril Bassolé, in his capacity as representative of the President of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States and facilitator for the political dialogue between Ivorian parties. The mission also met with the major leaders of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the French commander of the force that supports the United Nations operation. Thus the Council mission was able to get an overview of the situation in Côte d’Ivoire.
“Therefore my delegation expresses its full support for the mission’s recommendations. They include the Council’s support for full implementation of the Ouagadougou Agreement and for the efforts of the facilitator. The Council should take into account the recent recommendations of the Secretary-General with respect to the mandate of UNOCI, United Nations support for the process undertaken under the Ouagadougou Agreement, the appointment of a new special representative and head of UNOCI, and careful examination of the request for a partial lifting of the arms embargo regime in order to contribute to the peace process, taking into account the peaceful implementation of the Ouagadougou Agreement.”
First and foremost, allow me to warmly congratulate you, Mr. President, on behalf of my delegation for the effective manner in which you are guiding the work of the Security Council during this month of July. I wish to thank you in particular for taking the initiative to organize this debate on the report of the Security Council’s mission to Africa, which took place between 14 and 21 June 2007. That mission took the Council to Addis Ababa, Khartoum, Accra, Abidjan and Kinshasha in order to carry out an exchange of views with African leaders on how best to enhance relations between the Security Council and the African Union, as well as with other regional organizations regarding the maintenance of peace and security in Africa.
My delegation is of the view that these regular contacts will enable the Council to participate effectively in the discussion on mechanisms for establishing closer links between the United Nations and the African Union in the areas of conflict prevention, mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, as well as with regard to the means for supporting and improving the resource base and the peacebuilding capacity of the African Union. My delegation also hopes that the Council will maintain its commitment to work together with the African Union towards establishing a more coherent partnership through which the efforts to maintain peace and security will be carried out in the context of more formal relations between these two organizations and which will allow for sharing best practices and strategic analyses.
My delegation would like to thank Council members for their work during their mission to Africa, particularly the Permanent Representative of France for his valuable contribution to the mission, which visited my country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, by providing supplementary support to the efforts of the international community to help my country restore a lasting peace and ensure national reconciliation.
Coming after the Secretary-General’s visit to my country, the Security Council’s mission was the eighth to take place following the launching of the transitional process, which, in spite of some incidents along the way, has now taken significant steps, particularly the organization of elections and the establishment of democratic institutions. Security Council members were able to use that opportunity to take stock of the efforts by the new Congolese authorities for the country’s recovery. They also had the opportunity to get an overview of the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially with regard to security sector reform aiming at consolidating the results of police reform and at achieving integration of the army units, while also concluding the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process.
My delegation shares the concerns expressed by the Council with regard to the ongoing violence in the Kivus, especially the violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law committed particularly by militia and other foreign armed groups. It is important to stress that the situation in that part of the country will not be resolved constructively except through cooperation with neighbouring countries. That is why my delegation wishes to recall that significant quantities of arms and munitions, coming for the most part from neighbouring countries, entered the Democratic Republic of the Congo without restriction, in violation of Security Council resolution 1698 (2006) of 31 July 2006, on the arms embargo. It is those weapons that the militia and other armed groups use to commit the serious violations of human rights in the country.
Given the magnitude of those acts of violence, in particular sexual violence, our national institutions are aware of the need to prevent and to severely sanction such violations, especially acts of sexual violence, and to ensure that care is provided for victims, whose physical and moral integrity has been attacked. Thus the bill on sexual violence was adopted by Parliament and was promulgated by the President of the Republic in August 2006.
I wish to conclude by stressing once again that it is important for the Security Council to work to strengthen the African Union, especially for a more effective and efficient response in resolving conflicts on the African continent. For its part, the Democratic Republic of the Congo endorses the recommendations of the Security Council and will spare no effort to restore a lasting peace and to ensure reconciliation throughout the population and to tackle the necessary reconstruction work.
At the outset, we thank you, Sir, for having invited us to this meeting to review the report of the Security Council’s mission to Africa, which we warmly welcome. We also commend all the Security Council members that led and participated in the mission.
The Chairman of the Commission of the African Union, Mr. Alpha Oumar Konaré, has instructed me to convey his heartfelt appreciation for the fruitful cooperation he enjoyed with the Security Council recently and during its visit to Addis Ababa. We also welcome the important recommendations set forth in the report and in the joint communiqué issued following the Security Council’s meeting with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.
The mission to Africa attests above all to the Security Council’s readiness to meet its obligations. Recalling that 29 out of 49 missions of this kind have been conducted in Africa since 1960, we are convinced that they will help to reassure our peoples and Governments of the essential role of the Security Council and its commitment as guarantor of international peace and security.
The initiative also attests to the Security Council’s concern to listen to Africa, be attentive to realities on the ground, and act as a united team, giving priority to dialogue. That will help to increase the esteem and trust of the entire international community for the Security Council.
The mission was also an undoubted milestone in the efforts to secure lasting peace and security in the countries involved. The concerted actions of the United Nations and the African Union in those countries have been characterized by innovative approaches, unprecedented creativity, flexibility in action and, above all, the mobilization of the international community. They will help to lay a new foundation for cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union.
As for cooperation, it was enhanced yet again by the presence of the United Nations, in the person of Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, at the ninth African Union summit in Accra. The major decisions taken there reflect the convergence of visions and approaches of the two organizations with respect to maintaining international peace and security, particularly in Africa.
The decisions of the conference of heads of State and Government clearly reflect the recommendations of the mission and highlight the cooperation and coordination between the United Nations and the African Union, which were strengthened yet again by the Council’s informal meeting of 13 July with the Chairman of the Commission, followed by his meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
I would recall, inter alia, that the Chairman of the Commission urged the Security Council promptly to adopt a resolution authorizing the deployment of the hybrid operation in Darfur and funding it through United Nations assessed contributions. He also recognized the leadership of the United Nations in the field of international peace and security. The African Union, however, must shoulder its own responsibilities in maintaining peace in Africa. The Chairman highlighted the need to preserve the growing trust of the Government of the Sudan, which does not mean pandering or issuing blank checks.
The Commission Chairman recognized the importance of unified command and control in the hybrid operation. The operation must, however, retain its African nature and, to that end, additional efforts are necessary to raise awareness among African troop-contributing countries. He called on both organizations to work together to consolidate political dialogue and to support the efforts of the special envoys of the United Nations and the African Union in Darfur. In that respect, it is critical to coordinate and harmonize all initiatives under United Nations and African Union auspices. The Chairman of the Commission commended the convening in September of a joint session between the United Nations and the African Union.
With respect to Somalia, the Chairman of the Commission focused on the need to complete the deployment of the African Union Military Observer Mission in Somalia pending the rapid deployment of a United Nations operation to assume its functions.
All of this offers lessons for improving the effectiveness of conflict management in Africa. We fully endorse the recommendations contained in the Security Council’s report and underscore the need to implement commitments already made in various international instruments, and specifically the 10-year programme for United Nations capacity-building of the African Union. We also stress the urgent need to support the African Union in establishing its peace and security architecture, including a continent-wide early warning system, a group of eminent persons and the yet-to-be-established African force, which must enhance the rapid regional response to conflict.
We also highlight the need to coordinate initiatives so as to avoid duplication. The partnership between the two organizations must be coherent, which requires the harmonization of decision-making procedures, joint strategic analysis and systematic information-sharing.
Lastly, we especially welcome the decision to hold a joint annual meeting of the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council. We also endorse the search for lasting solutions to the issue of funding peacekeeping operations in Africa assigned to the African Union acting on behalf of the international community.
In conclusion, we reiterate our congratulations to the Security Council’s members on their successful mission of Africa. The momentum and the Council’s appreciable commitment reassure and encourage us to consolidate the United Nations/African Union partnership in the quest for lasting peace in Africa. Finally, we believe that joint missions of the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council might be considered. The African Union mission in New York would be pleased to be associated with such missions.
There are no further speakers inscribed on my list.
The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.