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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 22 September 2004 - Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the launch of the Joint Verification Mechanism to address DRC-Rwanda border security issues

Following the working luncheon with President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Prime Minister Bernard Makuza of Rwanda and members of the Regional Support Group, the Secretary-General is pleased to announce that the Governments of the DRC and Rwanda have agreed to launch the Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM) in October.

The JVM, which was first discussed at the Abuja summit convened by President Obasanjo in June, is a technical body, comprising experts from both Governments and those of the United Nations and African Union, to address DRC-Rwanda border security issues.

The Secretary-General believes that the JVM will be an effective instrument of confidence-building. The Secretary-General is grateful to the members of the Regional Support Group, which was convened for the first time, and looks forward to their active engagement in the future efforts to assist the DRC and Rwanda to normalize their bilateral relations.

Regarding the ministerial-level meeting of the members of the International Committee in Support of the Transition (known by its French acronym as CIAT), which was convened today under the chairmanship of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, the Secretary-General welcomes the adoption of a statement, which, inter alia, endorsed the critical path of the DRC transition, called for a mechanism for sustained dialogue between the CIAT and the Transitional Institutions, and urged the international community to provide the assistance in military integration and police training.

He also welcomes CIAT's call on the international community to harmonize its political and economic strategies by carefully calibrating its political goals and financial and material assistance as a means of encouraging the DRC's authorities to move the transitional process forward. He stresses that at this critical juncture of the peace process in the DRC, the international community must increase its involvement to ensure that the progress achieved to date is consolidated, and that many outstanding tasks of the transition are completed.

STATEMENT

Ministerial Level Meeting of the Members of the International Committee in Support of the Transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

New York, 22 September 2004

1. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Member States of the International Committee in Support of the Transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (CIAT) comprising Angola, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Gabon, Mozambique, Nigeria, Russian Federation, South Africa, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States, Zambia, the African Union/ African Commission and the European Union/ European Commission and convened by the United Nations, held a High Level Meeting, on 22 September 2004, in the margins of the 59th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, under the Chairmanship of the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations.

2. Recognizing that the establishment of the Government of Transition and National Unity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in accordance with the Global and All Inclusive Agreement of 17 December 2002, provides the only acceptable framework for resolving the crisis in the DRC,

3. Noting with concern the lack of progress in the implementation of the main transitional tasks including the adoption of necessary legislation for elections, advancing security sector reform, and extending state authority,

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the International Committee in Support of the Transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

4. Welcome the efforts made by international partners of the DRC to encourage progress and support reforms,

5. Endorse the “critical path” elaborated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in paragraph 54 of his Third Special Report (S/2004/650) on the United Nations Organization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Secretary-General's recommendation to establish three joint Commissions to ensure the implementation of the essential aspects of the Transition,

6. Urge the Government of Transition and National Unity to faithfully apply the provisions of the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement and to implement the critical path, focusing on the essential elements necessary for the restoration of peace and security and the holding of elections within the constitutionally defined timeline of June 2005 in the DRC:

restoration of security throughout the territory of the DRC through military integration and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, strengthening of law and order, and progress on disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration of foreign combatants on DRC territory;

the effective territorial reintegration of the country through the restoration of a unified administration and border control mechanisms;

the adoption of the legislative framework necessary for the electoral process and the organization of a referendum approving the post-transition constitution;

the holding of credible national elections.

7. Call for the establishment of a mechanism for sustained dialogue and follow up between the CIAT, on the one hand, and the Transitional Institutions, on the other, in particular the Espace Presidentiel established under article 80 of the DRC's Transitional Constitution,

8. Urge the international community to provide the assistance required by the Transitional Government to undertake the tasks outlined in the critical path, in particular in the areas of military integration and police training,

9. Call on the International Community to harmonize its political and economic strategies by carefully calibrating its political goals and financial and material assistance as a means of encouraging the DRC's authorities to move the transitional process forward,

10. Call on neighboring states to look actively for ways in which they can make a positive contribution to the transition in the DRC.


Statements on 22 September 2004