“I affirm that the course towards credible, transparent and peaceful elections is definitely fixed. Our march in this direction is irreversible. All this without external interference or any diktat, “Joseph Kabila told the UN General Assembly on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Speaking to the United Nations, the President of the Republic reassured the audience on the holding of elections. “On the political front, consolidating democracy and strengthening national cohesion remain our priority objectives. In this regard, I reaffirm the forthcoming holding of the elections in accordance with the timetable set by the competent national institution. All the measures are taken to make our country more peaceful, more united and stronger, “he said. Below, please read the President Kabila’s speech at the 72nd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Mr President of the 72nd Ordinary Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
Mr. Secretary General of the United Nations,
Heads of State and Government
Ladies and gentlemen,
My very warm and warm congratulations for your election which is an acknowledgement of your brilliant career as a diplomat and a tribute to your country, Slovakia. I also pay tribute to the Secretary General
Antonio GUTERRES, for his leadership and efforts to strengthen the role of our Organisation during this first year of his mandate. The theme of this session: “Priority to the human being: peace and decent life for all on a preserved planet”, answers the concerns of the moment in most of the member states of our organisation. I am delighted because it is part of the logic of the Development Goals
Sustainable and for my country, peace, stability and improvement of the living conditions of our populations are the priorities of the Government.
Seventy-two years ago, our Organisation was born of the ambition to re-establish relations between States on the basis of the principle of sovereign equality and the desire to guarantee peace and prosperity for all. This ambition remains relevant and is daily driven by the commitment of women and men determined to make it triumph, sometimes at the risk of their lives.
In the face of the rise of terrorism in various forms, it is indisputable that the world to which we aspire in this way depends on how we deal with peace and security issues.
For the past year, my country has been the victim of terrorist attacks by certain armed groups, notably in the provinces of Kasai and even in the capital, whose objective is to destroy the peace so dearly acquired, to thwart the dynamics of solutions at the national level and undermine our development efforts. In Kasai, a mystic-tribal militia using the civilian population, including children, as a human shield and attacking the people and public buildings that symbolise the authority of the state, thus spread terror, proceeding including the decapitation of law enforcement officers, agents of the Independent National Electoral Commission, and administrative and customary authorities. And it is in these circumstances that I deplore the barbarity of the two Experts of our organisation in March 2017. Our determination is to ensure that the light on the exact circumstances of this crime is clarified so that this despicable act , as well as those of which our compatriots have been victims, do not go unpunished. This is the meaning of the public trials opened for several weeks after the arrest of most suspected suspects. This is also the purpose of the Conference on Peace, Reconciliation and Development which has just taken place, with the aim of establishing the truth of what really happened in these provinces in the centre of the country. to promote reconciliation between the daughters and sons of the said provinces and to affirm our belief that all reconciliation necessarily involves Justice and that there is no real and lasting peace without justice. My country remains open to all forms of collaboration on this subject.
Thanks to this approach, which combines restoration of state authority, dialogue and restorative justice, we have reversed the dangerous trend of the security situation in the centre of the country, resulting in a very significant improvement in the situation. In the eastern part, the meritorious efforts of the national defence and security forces have helped to contain the terrorist attacks of the ADF group, which has been plaguing our people every day. We are convinced that the sub regional cooperation initiative between my country, South Sudan and the Central African Republic will also help stem the terrorist threat LRA. We must consider our participation in this dynamic as proof of our determination in the fight led by the coalition against this threat. As regards the fight against sexual violence, I welcome the remarkable progress made by the judiciary, which has handed down hundreds of convictions for rape, sparing no perpetrator of these crimes by virtue of its social position or military hierarchy, a proof of the end of impunity in this area.
Two years after the adoption of the United Nations 2030 agenda, it is not too early to begin to evaluate its implementation. In fulfilling its commitments, my country has been keen to prioritise the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development in the development and implementation of its National Development Plan.
More specifically, in support of the World Program of Action for Education, my country focuses on expanding access, equity, improving the quality of learning and improving governance in the sector. We are already pleased with the promotion of access to school for girls, whose gross enrolment rate has increased in the space of ten years, from seventy percent to nearly 105 % and the implementation of the construction plan of thousands of schools without omitting deep reforms engaged in this sector.
As for climate change, it is of great concern to us as a threat to human rights and fundamental human rights. Contributing to limiting its impact is the very translation of the sense of responsibility that rests on each of our states. My country, together with the other countries of the Congo Basin, which together constitute the second world forest reserve, are equipped through the Central African Forest Commission to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life on our planet. For my part, my country intends to fulfil all its commitments, beginning with the ratification in progress of the Paris Agreement.
Like peace, political stability is for us a constant objective of domestic policy. In this regard, for nearly a year now, we have resorted to dialogue, which for us is a permanent mode of settling political disputes. May the African Union and our regional organizations to which I pay tribute here express our appreciation for their support in this process. I also commend the efforts of the entire political class in my country who, in their search for a global consensus on the electoral process, have resulted in the December 31, 2016 Agreement, the ultimate goal of which is the organisation of the elections. The requirement of a new electoral register for all stakeholders has resulted in the recruitment of voters, whose last phase has begun in the last two provinces in the center of the country, for more than a year. It is to be welcomed. Mr President, since more than 42 million voters out of the projected 45 million have already been enrolled. The series of evaluations of the electoral process initiated for ten days by the National Monitoring Council, together with the Government and the Independent National Electoral Commission, should allow for the forthcoming publication by the latter, which is the only institution the electoral calendar. Despite these advances, the challenges of organising elections in my country remain enormous, both logistically, financially, safely and normative. So we face it with humility, but also with undeniable tenacity. Given all these advances, I affirm that the course towards credible, transparent and calm elections is definitively fixed and that our march in this direction is irreversible. The whole, without any external interference or dictat. To the true friends of my country, I ask to sincerely support the ongoing electoral process.
The Charter of the United Nations imposes obligations on us that respect conditions the emergence of a better world. For this reason, the DRC maintains the strategic dialogue with the United Nations on the future of MONUSCO, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolution. This strategic review will have to determine the rate of reduction of the force of MONUSCO until its total withdrawal.
It is clear that nearly twenty years after its deployment, the UN force can not sustain the ambition to remain indefinitely in my country, nor to exercise its mandate in the same format and without drawing lessons from the weaknesses noted. What is important to us and which should be important to all those who believe in the credibility of our Organisation is the effective effectiveness of the contribution of UN troops on the ground. That is why, for several years now, we have been demanding the rescaling of MONUSCO’s strength with regard to missions that have become dynamic and the reorientation of the resources thus made to meet our development needs. In this field, as in others, we do not intend to compromise with respect for the sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as guaranteed by the Charter of our Organisation. Mr President, to conclude, I would like to believe that all those who place their hopes in the United Nations, and my country is part of it, will be committed to full involvement in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and in the long awaited reform of our organisation.
I wish you every success and thank you for your attention.
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