23 September 2004
Secretary-General Announces Agreement by Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda on October Launch of Joint Verification Mechanism
NEW YORK, 22 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is a statement attributable to the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
Following the working luncheon with President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Prime Minister Bernard Makuza of Rwanda and members of the Regional Support Group, the Secretary-General is pleased to announce that the Governments of the DRC and Rwanda have agreed to launch the Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM) in October.
The JVM, which was first discussed at the Abuja summit convened by President Obasanjo in June, is a technical body, comprising experts from both Governments and those of the United Nations and African Union, to address DRC-Rwanda border security issues.
The Secretary-General believes that the JVM will be an effective instrument of confidence-building. The Secretary-General is grateful to the members of the Regional Support Group, which was convened for the first time, and looks forward to their active engagement in the future efforts to assist the DRC and Rwanda to normalize their bilateral relations.
Regarding the ministerial-level meeting of the members of the International Committee in Support of the Transition (known by its French acronym as CIAT), which was convened today under the chairmanship of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, the Secretary-General welcomes the adoption of a statement, which, inter alia, endorsed the critical path of the DRC transition, called for a mechanism for sustained dialogue between the CIAT and the transitional institutions, and urged the international community to provide the assistance in military integration and police training.
He also welcomes CIATs call on the international community to harmonize its political and economic strategies by carefully calibrating its political goals and financial and material assistance as a means of encouraging the DRCs authorities to move the transitional process forward. He stresses that at this critical juncture of the peace process in the DRC, the international community must increase its involvement to ensure that the progress achieved to date is consolidated, and that many outstanding tasks of the transition are completed.
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