Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s opening remarks at the signing ceremony on the border dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, in Marrakesh, Morocco, today:
It is an honour to join you to witness the signing of the special agreement on the border dispute between your two countries to be submitted to the International Court of Justice.
I would like to thank you for the trust you have placed in the United Nations to accompany your efforts in finding a mutually acceptable solution. I would also like to express my deep appreciation for the excellent cooperation your delegations have extended to my focal point for the dispute, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. You have all worked tirelessly, side by side since 2008, to peacefully resolve the dispute. The United Nations and the international community stand proud of your accomplishment.
I commend President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and President Bongo Ondimba for demonstrating true political leadership, courage and wisdom in reaching this mutually acceptable agreement, in accordance with the spirit and letter of the United Nations Charter.
Today’s event is a testimony to the determination of your countries to move with a common vision to strengthen and respect the international rule of law, and contribute to lasting peace and good neighbourly relations.
It is my sincere hope that your commendable efforts will be a source of inspiration for countries around the world facing similar challenges.
I now give the floor to the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, followed by the President of the Gabonese Republic, before proceeding to the signing of the text of the agreement.