A Service For Professionals Monday, December 18, 2017
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Meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the margins of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

1.        On 19 September 2017, the United Nations convened a meeting on the preparations for the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, in the margins of the General Debate of the seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting agreed on a coordinated approach involving the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the Organisation internationale de La Francophonie, and the Southern African Development Community, including through the establishment of a coordinated team of experts, to facilitate the mobilization of the required political, technical, financial and logistical support, in accordance with resolution 2348 (2017), to assist the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI), and sustain progress for the preparations of the elections.

2.        The meeting welcomed the expressed commitment of the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to respect the Constitution and stressed the need for further confidence building measures to create conducive conditions for the pursuit and successful conclusion of the electoral process. Participants reaffirmed the centrality of the 31 December 2016 agreement and the necessity for its full implementation to pave the way for the timely holding of free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

3.        The meeting underscored that the swift and complete implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement is critical in supporting the legitimacy of the transitional institutions. In this regard, participants urged Congolese stakeholders to redouble their efforts to prepare for the timely holding of free, fair, peaceful and credible presidential and legislative elections, in accordance with the provisions of the 31 December 2016 agreement, and in parallel take additional confidence building measures, in line with the agreement, in order to create a conducive environment for the successful conclusion of the electoral process.

4.        The meeting acknowledged the progress made by the CENI in the voter registration, with the assistance of MONUSCO and the monitoring of the Organisation internationale de La Francophonie, and stressed the need for the early publication of an electoral calendar and a budget, as per the 31 December 2016 agreement. The meeting takes note of the repeated commitment by the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo authorities to fund the upcoming electoral cycle, despite the budgetary difficulties faced by the Government. Participants also encouraged donors to fund the multi-partner fund for the Projet d’Appui au Cycle Electoral au Congo (PACEC) to support the electoral process as soon as these essential elements are agreed and formalized.

5.        Regarding the security situation, the meeting stressed the need for the scrupulous respect of human rights, and for renewed efforts in the fight against impunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially in view of the killing of civilians by state and non-state actors, while the UN underlined its commitment to work constructively with the Congolese authorities to address continuing challenges in this regard.

6.        Participants also expressed concern about the security and humanitarian crisis in the DRC exacerbated by the destabilizing activities of foreign and domestic armed groups, and encouraged renewed regional cooperation to address recurring cycles of violence, including through the next Regional Oversight Mechanism scheduled to take place on 19 October in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. They encouraged sustained international support for humanitarian assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and further stressed the need for comprehensive support to alleviate the suffering of people and to provide relief to host countries receiving Congolese refugees. The meeting further called for a more diverse group of donors, including Member States from emerging economic regions, to provide assistance commensurate with the challenges at hand.

Participants: African Union, Democratic Republic of the Congo, European Union, Economic Community of central African States (ECCAS), Southern African Development Community (SADC), International Conference for the Great Lakes Region, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, France, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, U.S.A., Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China, International Contact Group Representative (Netherlands), United Nations. 

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations - Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
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