UN Secretary-General encourages Cameroon, Nigeria to maintain forward-looking approach that helped overcome 'delicate' land, maritime boundary dispute
NEW YORK, November 23, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's opening remarks at the joint meeting with the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission and Follow-up Committee of the Greentree Agreement, in New York, 22 November:
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to United Nations Headquarters. Let me begin by congratulating you for peacefully implementing the 2002 ruling of the International Court of Justice.
I welcome the achievements of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission and the Follow-up Committee on the Greentree Agreement. I am also pleased with your efforts to carry out confidence-building measures.
The United Nations will continue to work with your respective Governments to promote cross-border economic activity to benefit your peoples. The United Nations country teams in Nigeria and Cameroon will jointly support you.
The international community has noted with relief the progress achieved by the Mixed Commission. That progress includes the withdrawal and transfer of authority in the Lake Chad area and in the Bakassi peninsula, the final agreement on the maritime boundary, the already-agreed land boundary covering 1,700 kilometres, and the absence of border incidents since the process began.
I take this opportunity to also thank the Witness States to the Greentree Agreement present here today for their continued support for the process of withdrawal and transfer of authority in the Bakassi peninsula.
I note that Cameroon and Nigeria have agreed to discuss the exit strategy of the Mixed Commission. I am confident that your two countries will continue to work together to allow both peoples to live in peace along the international dividing line.
In order to ensure the successful completion of the exercise, I encourage you to maintain the same forward-looking approach that has helped you to overcome delicate legal and administrative obstacles.
Your perseverance over past difficulties during this process is testimony to your admirable commitment, and to the effectiveness of United Nations organs in promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes.
I congratulate you again on the progress we mark today, which is an inspiration for countries around the world that face similar challenges.