Secretary-General's remarks at press encounter following meeting with President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo [unofficial transcript]
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 22 May 2013
SG: Bonjour Mesdames et Messieurs de la presse.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, bon-apres-Midi, Mesdames et Messieurs.
It is a great pleasure to visit for both of us the Democratic Republic of the Congo at this time, a very crucial time, and I would like to thank his Excellency President Joseph Kabila for his warm welcome and hospitality and for his leadership in addressing peace, security and development of this great country.
I am honoured to be joined by Honourable Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank. This is unprecedented that two heads of two international organizations travel together for a same goal and mission. We decided that it would be much more important and significant if we start from DRC because the peace and security in DRC has greater and broader regional implications and as Secretary-General of the United Nations I wholeheartedly welcome the announcement which has just been made to provide such a very generous developmental commitment to DRC and the countries in the region. I am sure that this will directly help the implementation of a framework agreement of peace, security and cooperation in the DRC and the Great Lakes region.
We have been discussing this matter how the United Nations and the World Bank can work together to promote peace, security and development. We have to look at the fundamental underlying causes of the problems - there lies a question of development. Among peace and security, development and human rights which are three pillars of the United Nations, we believe that development is the key. The peace agreement, peace framework should be the peace dividend. This should be brought to the people for their job – decent jobs, education, sanitation - for their better future, and this is the main purpose we are travelling together and I deeply appreciate a strong commitment and initiative of President Kim and the World Bank have made to this contribution.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are in a very crucial and important timing at this time. We believe the framework offers the best hope of peace in a generation. But this agreement must translate into concrete action. The people should feel tangible results: their peace and security, their development, and their better future. The framework for peace must be a framework for action. The Security Council recently strengthened the mandate and role of the United Nations Peace-Keeping Mission - MONUSCO - with the introduction of an Intervention Brigade. This is again an unprecedented one and I am sure that this will bring peace and security at this time.
We are deeply concerned about the recent recurrence of violence by the M23. I have urged President Kabila to give appropriate instruction to the FARDC army to strictly abide by the international humanitarian law and protect the lives of the civilian population. This is very important. While addressing all these security situations, we have to provide safety, and security to the civilian population, particularly women and girls, must be freed of the threat of sexual violence. We must invest in the people who have suffered so much.
That is why Dr. Kim and I are very much committed. We want to show our solidarity and our support to the people of DRC who have suffered for too long. We are committed to working together to do much more for crisis-affected countries around the world, starting here and now. The World Bank’s due investment in social safety networks, cross-border trade, energy and essential infrastructure will be a major boost to our combined efforts to support sustainable economic growth. Everywhere we go, we will urge leaders to do their part.
President Kabila is advancing on national commitment. I am encouraged that President Kabila has decided to establish his own national oversight mechanisms in accordance with the provisions of agreed framework for peace, security and cooperation. I welcome this establishment.
To President Kabila and to the people of DRC, I say: “The International community will stand with you”. Now is the time for peace and development for the people of DRC and the region. That is why we are here. That is what we will continue to do one hundred percent and we look forward to visiting Goma tomorrow. I thank you for your support.
Off-the-Cuff on 22 May 2013