Great Lakes leaders meet to review progress on the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region

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NEW YORK, September 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The signatories of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region met on Monday (22 September 2014) under the chairmanship of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr.Erastus Mwencha, for the Fourth Meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM) to review progress on the implementation of the Framework.

“As we tackle the challenges that lie ahead of us, it is critical that the region and the international community continue to speak with one voice and to coordinate our strategies and actions,” noted the Secretary-General. For his part, the AU Deputy Chairperson welcomed the significant progress made especially in the area of security following the military defeat of the M23 and the military actions against ADF-Nalu, and encouraged the efforts of ICGLR, under the leadership of H.E. President Eduardo dos Santos, and those of SADC, in addressing the FDLR.

Signatories noted the sustained engagement by stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels. They welcomed the progress achieved in bringing durable peace, security and development to eastern DRC and the region.

The regional leaders reaffirmed their political will to fully implement their commitments under the PSC Framework and their resolve to overcome persisting challenges. They endorsed a number of critical recommendations aimed at achieving better results in the implementation of the Framework.

These include: increasing efforts to neutralize all negative forces, especially FDLR and ADF-NALU; accelerating the implementation of the Nairobi Declarations of the Kampala Dialogue; fighting impunity; strengthening the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM) and enhancing regional cooperation.

The regional leaders expressed their appreciation to former Special Envoy Mary Robinson for her valuable efforts to achieve peace and stability in eastern DRC and the region, and welcomed Mr. Said Djinnit as the new Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region.

Speaking to the assembly of leaders for the first time, Special Envoy Djinnit noted: “The Great Lakes region is at a crossroads. It can only realize its vast potential once sensitive security concerns are fully resolved and relations between neighboring countries improve.” He pledged to work closely with all key stakeholders to ensure that the Framework of Hope delivers on its promises.