19 November 2010
Secretary-General
SG/SM/13261
AFR/2065

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

Secretary-General, in Message for Lesotho Peace March, Recalls Grievances Arising

 

from 2007 Election, Urges Timely Agreement as Country Approaches 2012 Polls

 


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, to the peace march in Lesotho, in Maseru today, 19 November:


The search for peace lies at the heart of the work of the United Nations.  In an era of serious and growing threats to international stability — including poverty, hunger, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, climate change, terrorism, armed conflicts and the continuing impact of the global economic and financial crisis — we must strengthen cooperation aimed at ensuring that peace prevails.  The African Union’s designation of 2010 as the “Year of Peace and Security” was a timely initiative in this regard.


Lesotho, like every nation, faces its own internal challenges.  The United Nations is committed to helping you to address them.  This peace march is an opportunity for the people of Lesotho to reflect on the importance of peace and its benefits.  I welcome the decision by the main political stakeholders in Lesotho three years ago to use dialogue as a means of resolving the grievances of the 2007 election.  However, it is important that a timely and durable agreement be reached as the country approaches the next election, scheduled to take place in 2012.


Lesotho has shown in the past that its leaders are capable of rising above the narrow visions of party politics in order to achieve solutions that serve the whole nation.  The international community looks to you to do it again without delay, and is committed to being your partner in that effort.


With this peace march, the people and leaders of Lesotho have put on record, before the world, their commitment to peace.  On behalf of the United Nations, I wish you, in the words of your national motto, “khotso, pula, nala” – peace, rain and prosperity.


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For information media • not an official record