Bukavu: UN Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General in the DRC (DSRSG) Ross Mountain attended a Great Lakes peace, security and development conference in Bukavu on June 5 2007, organized by the churches and religious organizations of DRC, in which he declared that "no threat on Bukavu has a chance to succeed."
At the conference, Mr. Mountain explained his two objectives, the first being to participate in the conference in order to encourage this initiative and the role of the churches in the country. The second was to meet local authorities in order to discuss the security situation on the ground, and to ensure them of MONUC's engagement in this regard.
Mr. Mountain also gave a clear message to the population of the region:
"No threat on Bukavu has the chance to succeed. This is a MONUC commitment."
In relation to the armed groups in the region, the DSRSG explained that not only was military pressure needed to resolve the problem, but equally a political and judicial approach.
He underlined that a lot of progress had been made.
"It was only four years ago that there was a terrible situation in this country. It is now necessary to move forward."
Mr. Mountain also reaffirmed the strong relationship between peace and development.
"People who are unemployed and who cannot feed their families, whoa re in poor health and cannot send their children to school, they must not feel obligated to reconstruct the Congo. It is necessary to begin at the top."
The United Nations with 18 donors, including the World Bank and civil society, have put in place a fight against poverty programme in the DRC after three years of consultations.
Its five main points are: good governance; aid to the most poor; social services; the fight against HIV/AIDs and finally community work.
Within this framework, the programme envisages the targeting of actions that will make a difference with the biggest impact in the short term.
In the subsequent press conference with local media, the DSRSG hailed the courage and devotion in which the humanitarian organizations are carrying out their daily work in Bukavu to aid the people of the DRC, at the risk of their own lives.
In his meetings with MONUC Bukavu staff, Mr. Mountain explained the challenges that await MONUC in relation to the new mandate, especially security sector reform and the putting in place of an effective DRC national army, the forthcoming local elections and the decentralisation process.