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Statement by Ambassador Wang Yingfan, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at the Security Council on the Situation concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(24 July 2001)

2001/07/24

At the beginning of the meeting, I have already expressed, on behalf of the members of the Security Council our highest respects to Ambassador Kamel Morjane. Now I would like to associate myself fully with those kind words addressed to him by you all.

The peace process in the DRC is now at a critical juncture. It is therefore a challenge for both the DRC, the States in the Great Lakes region and the United Nations to find a way to keep this hard-won momentum for peace and to push forward the peace process in order to achieve lasting peace and development in the DRC and the Great Lakes region. However, the conflict in the DRC remains so complicated that no quick solutions can be easily found. The Security Council should, therefore, seize the opportunity, remain focused and push ahead the peace process in a step-by-step and well-planned manner. I share the views expressed by many of our colleagues in this regard. Now, there are three questions deserve the Council's special attention.

First, plans for the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation and resettlement (DDRRR) of the armed groups should be implemented in an effective manner. The implementation of this process mainly hinges on three crucial conditions. Number one, there must be real progress in the inter-Congolese dialogue. Real progress in this regard can increase mutual trust among the Congolese parties to the conflict and also can help encourage the parties to totally abandon their plans to seek political and economic gains through military means. Number two, there must be a total cessation of assistance of all kinds, weaponry and military assistance in particular, to the armed groups. Countries concerned must honestly honor their commitments made in the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. In this regard, MONUC should exercise, within its capacities, effective monitoring over the DDRRR process of the armed groups by strengthening its coordination with the Joint Military Committee (JMC). Number three, there must be timely and adequate financial and economic assistance from the international community, so as to make DDRRR process an integral part of the peace process.

Second, demilitarization of Kisangani should be realized as soon as possible. We endorse the proposed increase of MONUC's deployment in Kisangani and would like to recommend that MONUC step up its contacts with RCD-GOMA, with a view to put pressure on the latter to implement Security Council resolution 1304 (2000). We support that the inter-Congolese dialogue would be held on the Congolese territory at an appropriate time and free of foreign interference. The realization of the UN's goal at Kisangani will mark an important step in the progress of the peace process.

Third, the third phase of deployment of MONUC represents a crucial step taken by the United Nations to promote and consolidate a durable peace in the DRC and the entire Great Lakes region. Member States and the Secretariat should therefore remain ready to ensure that both human and material resources will be in place promptly once the decision of deployment is made.

Apart from all these, economic reconstruction and development is vital to a lasting peace and stability in the DRC, the international community therefore should give equal weight to this issue. The focus in this regard at the moment is to guarantee the continuous freedom of navigation of the Congo River and the early realization of the small projects proposed by the Council's mission to the Great Lakes region.

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