New York

31 December 2016

Secretary-General on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Secretary-General welcomes the signing today in Kinshasa, by the opposition and the Majorité présidentielle, of a political agreement on the holding of elections in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and transitional arrangements leading up to the polls.

This long-awaited development builds on an initial agreement signed on 18 October between part of the opposition and the Majorité présidentielle. It represents a significant step towards a peacefully managed transition consistent with the democratic principles enshrined in the country''s Constitution.

The Secretary-General commends all actors involved in this effort, including the leaders of the opposition and of the Majorité présidentielle, and the Conférence épiscopale nationale du Congo (CENCO) for leading the mediation. He calls on them to abide by the agreement just signed. He underscores the commitment of the United Nations to support its implementation, in line with resolution 2277 (2016).

Concrete steps must now be taken to prepare the ground for the holding of elections without further delay. The update of the voter register must proceed in a timely fashion. All political actors must work to ensure an environment conducive to free, fair, and credible elections, including by refraining from violence. The Secretary-General encourages the Government to redouble its efforts to uphold fundamental rights and freedoms, which are essential to a credible electoral process.

On his final day at the helm of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wishes continued success to the people and the Government of the DRC in their efforts to achieve peace and stability.

New York, 31 December 2016