30 June 2010
Secretary-General
SG/SM/12981
AFR/2004

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

Dedicating Plaque to New Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo,

 

Secretary-General Hails Peacekeepers’ Commitment to Troubled Region

 


Following are Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the inauguration of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) plaque, in Kinshasa today, 30 June:


I am pleased to unveil this plaque and to introduce MONUSCO — the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — to the Congolese people and to the world.


In May this year, the Security Council decided that the name of our Mission should mark a new stage in the life of the country and its partnership with the United Nations.


Resolution 1925 (2010) recognizes that progress has been made over the last 10 years and that this must be reflected in a strategic change in United Nations support.


The emphasis is on stabilization and consolidating peace.  This is the obligation of the United Nations to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the countries of the region and to the international community as a whole.  We will work with the Government to guide the progressive withdrawal of military peacekeepers in a way that does not jeopardize the gains the country has made.


We must ensure that we continue to give priority to protecting civilians, especially women, who bear a disproportionate burden.  In particular, all actors — including Government forces — must work to put an end to sexual violence.  While I am Secretary-General I will spare no effort in speaking up against this most serious denial of fundamental human rights.


In unveiling this plaque today, I would also like to recognize the dedication of the military and civilian peacekeepers from around the world who have contributed to bringing peace to this troubled region.  A total of 157 men and women have paid the ultimate price.


We mourn them and pay tribute to their sacrifice.  Let us honour their memory by ensuring that together we can build the stability that the country needs to realize its great potential.


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For information media • not an official record