New York

29 September 2015

Secretary-General's remarks at the Sixth Meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region [bilingual, as delivered]

Je suis heureux de vous accueillir à cette réunion très importante.

Vous avez fait preuve de hauteur de vues en mettant fin à des décennies d’instabilité dans la région par la signature de cet accord historique en février 2013. Le moment est venu de réaffirmer que c’est à vous qu’il revient de mettre en œuvre l’Accord-cadre et d’accroître votre implication en ce sens.

This Framework remains the best path to promote peace, stability and development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region. It is the surest route to improve the lives of ordinary people in an area endowed with great human and natural resources.

Through this Framework, we have made tangible progress towards reducing the threat of armed groups in the eastern DRC.

The DRC Government has also initiated reforms that bode well for the consolidation of democracy and the rule of law.

I am pleased that the signatories have strengthened their cooperation on a wide range of political, judicial, security and economic issues.

At the same time, there are many obstacles to overcome in order to consolidate these gains and prevent the region from relapsing into large-scale conflict.

I hope this is the last Regional Oversight Mechanism meeting that will have to discuss neutralization of the FDLR and other negative forces – or the repatriation of ex-M23 elements. These long-standing issues must be dealt with decisively so that we can shift our attention to other important provisions in the Framework.

Depuis notre dernière réunion, nous faisons face à un nouveau défi : la détérioration marquée de la situation politique, sécuritaire et humanitaire au Burundi.

L’an dernier encore, le Burundi était salué pour ses réussites grâce à des années d’action collective en faveur de la consolidation de la paix. Aujourd’hui, le pays est en proie à une crise multidimensionnelle. De profondes divisions se sont ravivées, qui menacent de le faire retomber dans la violence et le conflit. J’appuie l’action menée au niveau régional pour mettre fin à la crise et j’exhorte les parties burundaises à engager un dialogue ouvert afin de régler tous les points de discorde.

Several countries in the Great Lakes region will soon hold critical elections. I urge Governments and leaders to fulfil their duty to their people by respecting their national Constitutions as well as the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Elections are major milestones in young democracies. We have a duty to ensure that the countries of the region emerge stronger and more united from the processes.

I commend my Special Envoy, Mr. Said Djinnit, for developing concrete proposals to strengthen this Regional Oversight Mechanism and the Technical Support Community. I trust you will endorse these proposals today so that implementation can begin immediately.

I also commend my Special Representative, Mr. Martin Kobler, for his leadership over the past more than two years, since June of 2013.

I am pleased that today’s agenda includes the Great Lakes Private Sector Investment Conference, to be held next February in Kinshasa. We should all work toward the shared prosperity that all countries of the region deserve. I count on your active engagement and international support to make this Conference a success.

Such engagement will help advance our larger goal: to open a new future for the people of the Great Lakes region to realize their enormous potential in an atmosphere of peace, stability and full respect for human rights.

Thank you.