9 December 2008

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonís message to participants in the inclusive political dialogue yesterday in Bangui, Central African Republic:

I welcome the convening of the inclusive political dialogue, which demonstrates the political will of the Central African stakeholders to give new momentum to the development of their country. †I pay tribute to all the participants and to the people of the Central African Republic for their continued engagement towards national reconciliation. †The dialogueís inclusive nature has the potential to produce the results which all Central Africans have awaited for a long time.

The next two weeks will require enormous effort, a sense of compromise and sacrifice by all participants. †In attending this dialogue, you have put the interest of the nation and the people of the Central African Republic above all other interests. †This is encouraging, and proves your determination to reconcile your differences through dialogue, not violence.

The dialogue is an opportunity to establish a strong foundation for genuine national reconciliation, which is essential for the stabilization of the country. †Stability can unleash the rich potential of the countryís people, and put its abundant natural resources to use for its citizensí well-being and prosperity. †All efforts should be made to successfully combat poverty, build strong national institutions and promote respect for human rights and the rule of law.

While conflicts in the subregion will continue to threaten stability in the Central African Republic, I note with satisfaction the solidarity and support that regional States have continued to extend to the Central African Republic.† The United Nations system, for its part, will do everything in its power to help implement the recommendations of the inclusive political dialogue.

I would like to express gratitude to His Excellency El Haj Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of the Gabonese Republic, for his tireless efforts in facilitating the return of peace and promoting national reconciliation in the Central African Republic. †I also thank President Pierre Buyoya for accepting the challenging task of chairing such a historic event.

I thank the bilateral and multilateral partners of the Central African Republic for supporting the dialogue. †I would also like to thank the peace consolidation force of the Economic Community of Central African States for providing vital support for the security arrangements for this event.

Please accept my best wishes for a successful inclusive political dialogue.

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For information media • not an official record