Addis Ababa, 24 February 2013

• Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and Chairman of the African Union;

• Excellencies Heads of State and Government;

• Excellencies UN Secretary General and Chairperson of the AU Commission;

• Distinguished delegates:

I would like to begin by thanking the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for convening this event and all the efforts they have made into making this event happen. We particularly appreciate the personal efforts of the UN Secretary General in driving this process.

We are all here to pursue one objective: to see security, stability and peace emerge in DRC and our region. This Framework Agreement is an important step and opportunity in reaffirming our commitment to regional peace. I unreservedly welcome it.

Nothing would be of greater benefit to Rwanda than real progress toward regional peace and stability. Previous efforts undertaken with the DRC in the past decade had produced some encouraging improvements. Unfortunately what seemed like a strong basis for further progress was not sustained, with grave repercussions.

Three aspects of today’s agreement provide renewed optimism for finding a real solution.

First, the pursuit of durable peace requires the collaborative engagement of the entire region and the international community.

Second, the framework recognizes that a holistic approach that addresses the multi-faceted root causes is the only way to end instability. Any meaningful contribution towards lasting peace in the DRC and the Great Lakes region has to abandon the self-defeating practice of selectivity in both memory and responsibility regarding the known, longstanding causes of recurring conflict.

Finally, this agreement presents a valuable opportunity for all parties to build on the work started by the region and the wider continent, and focus seriously on addressing the real problems as clearly identified. It is crucial that the signing of this agreement not be seen as the end result of a peace process, but as a big step in the right direction.

We have to be genuine about addressing the real problems of rights, justice and development and finding real solutions for the people who look to us for leadership. At the heart of our efforts, we have to keep in mind the rights, interests and aspirations of the afflicted populations, caught up in the recurring waves of violence. These should not be sidelined in favour of remote and self-serving international political agendas masqueraded as justice or human rights.

Let me conclude by stressing, once again, the importance of focusing on a clear objective for our engagement: to enable the people and leadership of DRC to resolve their own problems. Nothing else would be sustainable.

I thank you.