4 May 2009

Secretary-General Welcomes Cartagena Meeting’s Focus on How Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Can Fit into Peacebuilding, in Message to Congress

4 May 2009
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General welcomes Cartagena meeting’s focus on how disarmament, demobilization

and reintegration can fit into peacebuilding, in message to congress

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the International Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Congress, delivered by Dmitry Titov, Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, in Cartagena, 4 May:

I am pleased to send greetings to all those gathered to share knowledge and expertise on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.  I thank the Office of the High Counsellor for Social and Economic Reintegration, the National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation, Acción Social, and the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for organizing this event.

In the past two decades, DDR has become recognized as a critical ingredient in consolidating stability and building peace in countries emerging from conflict.  Over this period, the United Nations has increasingly been called upon to support the implementation of DDR programmes.  Today, there are nearly 1 million beneficiaries of DDR efforts worldwide.

DDR is designed to advance security and stability in post-conflict environments so that recovery and development can firmly take root.  The DDR of ex-combatants is a complex process, with political, military, security, humanitarian and socio-economic dimensions.  Quite often, these individuals are left without livelihoods or support networks, other than their former comrades.  Our experiences in Mozambique, Sierra Leone and many other places have shown how effective DDR initiatives can be in helping ex-combatants build a new life for themselves and a better future for their countries.

Recognizing the expanded role of the United Nations in DDR, an Inter-Agency Working Group was established four years ago to help the seventeen United Nations entities involved in this work “deliver as one”.  In November 2006, the first edition of the Integrated DDR Standards was launched as a common platform for designing and implementing DDR programmes.

I am glad there is now a wider forum where we can join with other partners to push this work forward.  I welcome this Congress’s focus on how DDR can fit into peacebuilding, and how DDR can be better coordinated with these broader projects.

Through such efforts, we can make DDR an even stronger building block for peace and development.  Thank you once again for coming together to advance these goals.  Please accept my best wishes for a successful Congress.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.