Luanda, 15 January 2014

Today in Luanda, Heads of States and Government from the twelve ICGLR member states. The meeting began with an open session and a handover ceremony of the chairmanship from President Museveni to President Dos Santos.

In his speech handing over the Chairmanship to President Dos Santos, President Museveni emphasized the need for the region to look beyond differences and move beyond divisive politics.

Speaking on the root causes of regional conflicts, President Museveni pointed to FDLR as a persistent problem that must be addressed:

“Up to now the presence of the Rwanda genocidaires in Eastern Congo has not been solved and it has led to endless problems. To deal with the consequences without dealing with the cause is not a durable solution.”

Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson, U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Russell Feingold, Special Representative of the African Union Boubacar Diarra, European Union Senior Coordinator for the Great Lakes region Koen Vervaeke also joined the Heads of State for this summit.

Addressing the conflict in the DRC, UN Special Envoy Mary Robinson thanked the regional countries for their consistent efforts to bring peace to Eastern DRC.

“I want to thank President Kagame for his efforts especially during the difficult times at the Kampala talks.”

Accepting the chairmanship of the ICGLR, President Dos Santos expressed his commitment to sustainable peace in the region.

Concluding the meeting, the Heads of State and Governments signed the Declaration of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region on the promotion of Peace, Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region.

The Heads of States expressed their support for the Joint Communiqué that concluded the Kampala Dialogue between the DRC and M23 and called on the Government of DRC to ensure its implementation. The declaration also noted the need to intensify MONUSCO operation and eradicate FDLR, ADF and all negative forces operating in the Eastern DRC.

The Declaration also commended the African Union work in addressing the humanitarian situation in South Sudan and Central African Republic.

On the issue of natural resources, the Summit also commended Rwanda and DRC for the implementation of the Regional Certification in the DRC and Rwanda and recommended its extension to other member states.