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Communiqué of the Informal Ministerial Meeting Following the Security Council High-Level Debate on the Great Lakes Region

By UNITED NATIONS
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NEW YORK, July 30, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- On 25 July the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region convened informal consultations on the margins of the high-level Security Council debate on the Great Lakes region with Mr. Laurent Kavakure, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burundi, Mr. Raymond Tshibanda, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ms. Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, Mr. Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence of South Africa, Mr. Crispus Kiyonga, Minister of Defence of Uganda and Facilitator of the Kampala Dialogue, Mr. Russ Feingold, United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Mr. Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) as well as representatives of the African Union Commission, the European Union, and Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Participants reviewed developments in eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region.

Account was taken of the overwhelming support expressed by the Security Council for the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region (thereafter PSC Framework) during the high-level debate. However, there was also an acknowledgment that so long as the violence continues in eastern DRC the objectives of the Framework will not be achieved.

Participants expressed concern about the situation in eastern DRC and stressed the need for the hostilities to stop. It was emphasized that the M23 must end attacks against the Congolese armed forces, while the Government of the DRC should exercise restraint. There was recognition that the swift conclusion of the Kampala Dialogue between the Government of the DRC and the M23 would contribute to addressing the current situation in eastern DRC and bringing an end to the suffering of people affected by the violence. SESG Robinson, SRSG Kobler and Special Envoy of the United States Feingold were invited to assist the Kampala process.

Participants recognized the need to work constructively towards meeting the commitments under the PSC Framework, and welcomed the progress made towards developing benchmarks and indicators to be endorsed by the Heads of State of the signatory countries at the next meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism which will take place in September, on the margins of the UN General Assembly, in New York. They underscored the importance of the upcoming Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) as an opportunity to further review the situation in the eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region and discuss the implementation of the Peace Security and Cooperation Framework.