|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General Urges Global Community to Translate Concern into Action,
in Message for Contact Group on Central African Republic
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, as delivered by Babacar Gaye, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), to the meeting of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic, in Brazzaville, 21 March:
I thank the African Union and the Mediator of the Economic Community of Central African States for the crisis in the Central African Republic, His Excellency President Denis Sassou N’Guesso, for inviting the United Nations to participate in the fourth meeting of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic. I thank the Government and people of the Republic of the Congo for hosting this important meeting.
A year after the unconstitutional change of power in the Central African Republic, the country remains in deep crisis. There are tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons. Entire communities lie in ruins. The country is almost bankrupt and at risk of a de facto partition.
The international community has a collective responsibility to help the Transitional Government and the people of the Central African Republic stop the killing, protect civilians, prevent further separation of communities, enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance and get the Government functioning again.
I am greatly encouraged by the resolve demonstrated by the new Transitional Government to address immediate challenges, while laying the groundwork for longer-term peace and stability. The unwavering commitment of Central Africans themselves will be indispensable alongside the continued engagement of its neighbours, the Economic Community of Central African States, the region and the wider international community. I recently had the honour of meeting with three religious leaders of the Central African Republic — Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Imam Omar Kobine Layama and Reverend Nicolas Guérékoyamé Gbangou. I was deeply impressed by their commitment to dialogue and peaceful co-existence among all communities in the Central African Republic. These leaders are an example for the entire country.
A week ago today, the National Transitional Council started working on the elaboration of a new constitution, giving itself three months to do so before submitting it to a popular referendum. The United Nations is making its expertise available, as we have done in the past for the elaboration of the electoral code and the Transitional Charter. It will be essential for this process to foster national ownership around critical issues that need nation-wide buy-in.
However, to be successful in this and other areas of the country’s reconstruction, security needs to be re-established. I welcome the establishment of a National Security Council to set and coordinate security and defence objectives. I also commend the African-led International Support Mission for the Central African Republic (MISCA) and Sangaris for their critical contribution to restoring peace and security in parts of Bangui and elsewhere. Earlier this month, I presented to the Security Council a proposal to transform MISCA into a United Nations peacekeeping operation as early as mid-September. In the meantime, I reiterate my call for the immediate deployment of additional troops and police to protect civilians and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, in line with the six-point initiative I presented to the Security Council last month.
The deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation should be part of a broader, long-term engagement of the international community. It should also come with a political commitment from national stakeholders to engage in an inclusive political process aimed at creating an environment conducive to the creation of a republican army, the rebuilding of the police and gendarmerie, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, reconciliation and the conduct of inclusive, fair and transparent elections. To that effect, national stakeholders need to commit formally to a process that produces a consensual and inclusive vision on the way ahead for the country. The United Nations stands ready to facilitate such a process.
We should also consider ways to support the authorities in strengthening public financial management and accountability in a manner that specifically targets revenue collection, expenditure controls, public procurement and concession practices.
Funding will be crucial if we are to address the crisis in all its dimensions— security, political, human rights and humanitarian. However, donors have fulfilled only a small fraction of the pledges they made in recent months to meet humanitarian needs, organize elections and support MISCA. Moreover, the European Union has not yet deployed its 1,000 strong force (EUFOR CAR). I urge European member States to provide the remaining troops and logistical assets needed to enable the deployment of the force.
I appeal to the international community to provide the support needed to translate our concern into effective action. The people of the Central African Republic are living in fear for their lives and for their future. Their needs will only increase further with the rainy season. Let us do our utmost to keep an already desperate situation from deteriorating further; let us work together to help the people of the Central African Republic find the path of reconstruction, reconciliation and peace.
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