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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks at Joint Press Conference with World Bank President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim [full transcript]

Kigali, Rwanda, 24 May 2013

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,

We have had a very productive and busy visit to Rwanda.

I thank the Government and people for their hospitality.  And I really appreciate President Kagame’s leadershsip and his long-term vision to develop his own country and contribute to regional peace and development

In the span of a few hours, we met ex-combatants benefiting from physical and social rehabilitation.

We paid our deepest respects at the Gisozi Genocide Memorial.

We visited a One-Stop centre for victims of gender-based violence and laid the foundation for a new Centre of Excellence to help end violence against women and girls in conflict situations.

And we had very constructive meetings with President Paul Kagame and cabinet ministers of the Rwandan Government.

In a few short hours, we saw the harrowing past - and the future you are building together.

Rwanda has made remarkable progress over two decades.

You have lifted many out of poverty and are meeting the Millennium Development Goals.  I am very encouraged that the Rwandan Government is now going to the meet the target of the Millennium Development Goals under the leadership of President Paul Kagame.

In fact, I would really like to thank President Paul Kagame for his leadership, chairing the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group.

Rwanda is a pioneer of the green economy and is helping to define the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

Last night, I was pleased to present to President Kagame the result of the Rwanda post-2015 consultations for sustainable development.

Rwanda has so many success stories to offer the region, the continent and the world.

I particularly commend the country’s commitment to empowering women and girls.

This commitment comes from the top, and can be seen in the record number of women represented in parliament - 56 per cent, which is more than any other country in the world.

Yesterday, I told President Kagame that I commend his leadership on this issue.

And I told him that I also count on his leadership to help bring peace and stability to the region.

As well as being a vital member of the Security Council, Rwanda is a signatory to the important Framework for peace, security and cooperation for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.

It emphasizes the need to address the structural causes fuelling instability, and it commits regional actors to act.

Success will require all parties to live up to their responsibilities.

The people of the Great Lakes have endured too much suffering for too long

World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim and I have come to bring a message of hope.

We are determined to support lasting peace and rapid development.

That means security and stability - and much more.

It means education, health care, human rights and good governance.

Roads, electricity, opportunity.

There can be no peace without development, and no development without peace.

Rwanda has come a long way in two decades.

Its Government and people should be proud.

But lasting peace needs the benefits of development to ripple throughout the region among all Rwanda’s neighbours.

The Framework for peace, security and cooperation for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region is the best chance for peace in many years.

I am appealing to all leaders to play their part in implementing it and meeting their commitments.

Rwanda is critical to the Framework’s success.

I look forward to meeting again with President Kagame at the first meeting of the regional oversight mechanism in Addis Ababa on Sunday.

We will be in Ethiopia to celebrate 50 years of the Organisation of African Unity and African Union.

Our eyes will be firmly on the next fifty years - for north, south, east and west - and here at the heart of the continent -- Africa is poised to fulfil its vast potential.

Thank you.

Q: [Translated from French - The conflict in DRC is still ongoing and as a result, we have many refugees and children without education.  While MONUSCO is leading the peace process, what kind of time frame are you looking at?]

Q: For the Secretary-General, in ’94, the international community and the UN took care of the Rwandan refugees who stayed stranded at the Congolese border, including also genocidaires, people armed, and they were taken care of by the community. Today, in 2013, 600 fighters from the other side, from the rebel side in Congo came into Rwanda. They have been disarmed, they have been replaced more than 100 km from the border. They have engaged in the process of giving up the fighting. What is next for these people, because apparently all the support is being provided by Rwanda, so far, and not yet by the international community. What is the next step for these 600 fighters? Thank you.

SG: Thank you. I will try to answer those two questions; they are related. First of all, when we agreed on February 24, the Framework Agreement on Peace, Security and Cooperation in DRC and in the region, we have not yet any specified timeline – the sooner the better – we have to bring peace.

The people in DRC and in the region have suffered for too long, too much.  Millions of people have been killed during the last at least two decades and [there have been] hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced people. Many women and girls have been raped. They are still trying hard to recover from their trauma and their wounds.

It is very tragic, the history of the DRC and the people of the DRC. That is why the international community is much more strongly committed to bring an end to this violence as soon as possible. That is why the Security Council has given a strengthened mandate to the UN peacekeeping operations by deploying an intervention brigade. This is a unique one, having enforcement capacity whenever it is necessary.  And we have peer review and oversight mechanisms.  Eleven Heads of State who have signed this Framework Agreement will have to meet at least twice a year and review and assess the situation. And Mary Robinson, our Special Envoy, will continue to work with the leaders in the region to make sure that this Framework Agreement will be implemented as soon as possible.

There were many such agreements in the past, but these agreements have not been kept. This time, we will make sure that this agreement will be implemented so that people in the DRC and in the region will live harmoniously, peacefully, without any fear, and particularly women and girls and other vulnerable groups, marginalized groups of people, can live in peace.

I am going to Addis Ababa today, and on Sunday we will convene a first oversight mechanism meeting. We will have all eleven leaders as well as four guarantor organizations and countries will participate. The four guarantors are the United Nations Secretary-General, the AU Commissioner, and President [Armando Emilio]
Guebuza of Mozambique in his capacity as Chair of SADC [Southern African Development Community], and President [Yoweri] Museveni of Uganda in his capacity as Chairman of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

But the impact of this crisis, violence, is very serious, enormous. I really appreciate the Government of Rwanda to accommodate all those refugees who have crossed the border. Yesterday, with President [Paul] Kagame, we discussed at length about this. And I appreciated those who have been providing very kind care to these people. They need support, and they need humanitarian assistance. I know that it gives a lot of difficulties, not only in economic terms, but also in social terms.

Yesterday, we met ex-combatants together with President Kim of the World Bank. These ex-combatants are now trying to resettle, reintegrate into society, with the help of the World Bank’s initiative to build [houses in] very good conditions. They were helping themselves, trying to integrate themselves. This is quite encouraging. Yesterday, when we visited Gisozi Genocide Memorial, we were all humbled. That was my third visit to the Gisozi memorial. Each time I went there, I have been moved to tears, and I couldn’t come out without crying. The international community failed in Rwanda, and we failed again in Srebrenica. We have never allowed the international community for this [to] happen again. That is what the United Nations is very much committed to, through the introduction of the Responsibility to Protect, and [through] many other mechanisms, we are doing our best.

Thank you.


Off-the-Cuff on 24 May 2013