2 April 2014

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

Secretary-General, at Meeting on Central African Republic,

Stresses ‘We Have the Opportunity to Reverse Course’

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the High-level Meeting on the Central African Republic, in Brussels today:

Thank you Mr. President for organizing this meeting on the Central African Republic.

A year has passed since the Central African Republic tumbled into a grave political, economic and humanitarian crisis.  The people of the Central African Republic need our support in a number of critical areas.  It is our collective responsibility to respond.

First, security.  The situation remains highly volatile.  Killings, targeted attacks and other atrocious human rights violations continue in a context of total impunity.  Genocide was avoided in large measure because of the mass exodus of minorities to areas where they felt they were safe — with their own people.  I commend MISCA (International Support Mission in the Central African Republic) and the Sangaris forces for their efforts to restore peace and security. But they are underresourced and overwhelmed.  Reinforcements are needed right away. 

Second, the Transitional Government needs help in getting police, judges, prison guards and others back on the job.  The Head of State of the Transition President Catherine Samba-Panza is committed to restoring State authority.  But with no budget, her abilities are sharply constrained.  Funding for humanitarian aid is also falling short of the amounts needed and of pledges made, with only 20 per cent of the resources received.

Third, an inclusive political process is needed.  Community and religious leaders have an important role to play.  The people of the CAR ( Central African Republic) must see that accountability applies to all — that the rule of law matters no matter who they are or what they believe, from leaders to individual combatants.

In the CAR, we have not made the difference that we promised we would make — to prevent the preventable.  Now our challenge is to help them move forward and build.  Today, with even modest support, we have the opportunity to reverse course and help ensure that the people of the CAR can enjoy the fruits of their country’s natural riches and re-establish the coexistence that has been their proud history.

Let us do our utmost to make that vision a reality.  Thank you.

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For information media • not an official record