12 December 2003


NEW YORK, 11 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today’s statement to the press by Security Council President Stefan Tafrov (Bulgaria):

The members of the Security Council heard a statement by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They welcomed the improvement of bilateral relations between the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and encouraged them to work on concrete confidence building measures.

They expressed appreciation for the active involvement of the African Union, and in particular of South Africa and other actors in the region, in moving forward the peace process.

The members of the Council urged all foreign armed groups to enter disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation and resettlement, and encouraged those with influence to urge them to do so.

The members of the Council took note of the progress made by the Government of National Unity and Transition, and urged it to accelerate the implementation of the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement, in particular by the adoption of a national disarmament, demobilization, reintegration programme, and reform of the armed and police forces.

They also stressed the need to adopt legislation establishing the Institutions in Support of Democracy, in particular for enabling the Independent Electoral Commission and the “Haute Autorité des Médias” to function.

They urged all the parties to the conflict, including the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to undertake all necessary measures to stop violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and bring to justice those who have committed, ordered, solicited, facilitated or in other way contributed to the commission of such crimes.

They urged the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the National Parliament to conduct national consultations on the formation and composition of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and adopt a revised TRC law, which upholds human rights principles.

They called on Member States and international organizations to assist the Government in its work to re-establish the rule of law throughout the country.

The members of the Council paid tribute to the work that has been done by the staff and contingents of United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), in particular in Ituri, and fully supported them.

The members of the Council urged Member States to give their full support for the effective implementation of the arms embargo imposed by resolution 1493 and for efforts to end the illegal exploitation of the natural resources and their financing.  They reaffirmed their determination to address this and related problems posed by the illicit flow of weapons into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including by considering the possible establishment of a monitoring mechanism.

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