New York, 23 September 2013
Your Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General;
Your Excellency Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission;
Your Excellency Joyce Banda, President of Malawi and Chair of the SADC;
Your Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of The Republic of Uganda and Chairman of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region;
Excellencies Heads of State/Government;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by extending my deepest condolences and unreserved support to the innocent victims of the latest terrorist attack in Nairobi. The Government and people of Rwanda firmly stand with Kenya in resisting and combatting the scourge of terrorism wherever may occur.
I thank Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for convening this most important meeting in support to the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region.
I also would like to thank Special Envoy Mary Robinson and Special Representative Martin Kobler for their sustained efforts in this process. Their recent trip to the Great Lakes region, along with the Special Envoys of the AU, the EU and the US, have added value to our efforts towards a peaceful solution to the conflict in the DRC.
Particular appreciation is due to President Museveni of the Republic og Uganda, for his tireless efforts toward sustainable peace in our region. Under his leadership, the ICGLR has been able to spare lives by deescalating tensions on the ground; it has also underscored the fact that a political solution that addresses the root causes of the conflict is the only path towards lasting stability.
The adoption of the benchmarks and indicators is a significant step towards organizing and measuring our collective efforts.
As a neighbour whose own stability and prosperity depends on a peaceful DRC, we inevitably are clear of the promise of a peaceful region for everyone.
The report of the Technical Support Committee made an important reference to the guiding principles we adopted last year in Addis Ababa. Namely; the leadership and ownership of the process by the signatories; the shared responsibilities for the success of the Framework; the support to existing regional efforts; and the lessons learned from past experiences and best practices in the implementation of peace processes.
We particularly welcome the benchmarks and indicators related to the neutralization and disarmament of all armed groups that have caused death, chaos and desolation, for decades in the entire region. We look forward to the materialization of these commitments alongside the economic aspects of the Framework committed and empowered by the UN Secretary-General and World Bank President when they visited the region few months ago.
Let our commitments become deeds for the sake of the peace our populations aspire to. Let our words become action for the benefit of our nations.
I thank you.