Briefing on Angola and the DRC

 

 

                    We had quite an extensive briefing on Angola from Under-Secretary-General

                    Gambari, who is following a political initiative for the Secretary-General on

                    Angola, and Under-Secretary-General Oshima, who reported to us on the

                    humanitarian situation.

 

                    There is very strong support within the Security Council for the work which

                    Prof Gambari is doing for the Secretary-General on Angola in taking forward

                    the process of international support for reconciliation and internal dialogue in

                    Angola, under the terms of the Lusaka Protocols and with the support of the

                    government of Angola obviously. The UN office in Angola has been extended

                    through agreement by the Council last week for a further six months, and is

                    moving into this process and also into support for the humanitarian efforts of

                    the international community in Angola. Members of the Council were

                    distressed still at the dire humanitarian situation in Angola. There are people

                    who are putting politics before the needs of the Angolan people in this

                    process. And this is causing huge disruption, upset and humanitarian misery.

                    We need access for the international organisations and humanitarian workers

                    in Angola, and we need delivery of aid beyond the points that those people

                    have already reached. Children are suffering in particular and there is

                    substantial under-funding as Mr Oshima pointed out for humanitarian aid in

                    Angola. The international community must respond more urgently to the

                    appeal for funds from the UN and others. Meanwhile members of the Council

                    feel that the government of Angola is working in the right direction in

                    establishing a reconciliation and amnesty process, in moving towards

                    elections in late 2002, and in otherwise pursuing the Lusaka process.

                    Members of the Council feel that UNITA is not responding, in particular Mr

                    Savimbi is not responding to this process. It is becoming a more open

                    process. There is room for all members at the top of UNITA to respond to this

                    and the Council wants to see that happen. Mr Gambari will return to the

                    Council after his visit in May and we shall discuss this issue further.

 

                    We also had a briefing from Under-Secretary-General, Oshima on the

                    Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which he visited in the second week

                    of April. Again, a horrific humanitarian situation, and again a significant

                    under-funding. So far only 13% funding of the 72 million dollar UN appeal for

                    the DRC. Please would member states capitals look at that under-funding.

                    Donors must come forward for both the DRC and Angola. There is a lot of

                    work still to be done.