Secretary-General's answer at a joint closing press conference of the African Union Regional Summit on the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo [with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Tanzanian President and Chair of the African Union Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete]
Nairobi, Kenya, 7 November 2008Q: [Unofficial translation from French] I will ask my question to the Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon. We have read your communiqué, which was distributed to the press at the beginning of this summit and, between the lines, you indicated that at this meeting - which comes after several others that have taken place about the crisis in the DRC - that you wanted this meeting to be decisive. Now that the meeting is about to end, what is, in fact, the big decision that has been taken? Can we finally expect a definitive end to this crisis that has spanned several years in the eastern DRC?
SG: That is exactly why that at the beginning of this conference I told the leaders that I came here with a very heavy heart. As you said, there have been many meetings. There have been many landmark agreements, starting from Lusaka Agreement, and even this year we had the Goma process, and also last year we had the Nairobi Communiqué.
It is not now a matter of agreements, how many agreements you are going to have. It is a matter of implementation. It is a matter of political will. I am encouraged by such a strong commitment and leadership and resolve of the leaders in this region that they will carry out this implementation.
This is not another joint communiqué for another process, but this is a reaffirmation of what had been agreed by the leaders. As you read this statement, this statement demonstrates such a strong commitment by the leaders in the region, supported by the United Nations and supported by many international partners.
Our priorities are first to stop this fighting, keep this ceasefire and provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to many hundreds of thousands of people, displaced persons. In that regard, I would really urge all international partners, particularly developed countries, donor countries who have been generous, to be more generous now. As Secretary-General, I am going to mobilize all United Nations organs, humanitarian organs, in close coordination with regional communities here.
An example of this demonstrated political will is the appointment of facilitators with a high political profile, with former Heads of States of Africa, with the creation of a mechanism to be based here in Nairobi and to have very regular contact, regular reporting. These are very improved systems and mechanisms.
I am heartened by all this determined will of the African leaders. The United Nations will continue to closely coordinate with African leaders.
Thank you very much.
Off-the-Cuff on 7 November 2008