Members of the United Nations Security Council today called for a series of measures aimed at promoting stability in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Speaking to the press following a closed-door briefing on the issue, Council President Wang Guangya of China hailed recent positive developments in the peace process but voiced concern over the need to prepare for national elections next year.
Council members, he said, underscored the need to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate Congolese combatants.
"They also stressed the need for the extension of State authority, security sector reform, strengthening the rule of law and economic reconstruction, an end to illegal exploitation of natural resources and to impunity," he added, calling on the international community to help the DRC in this endeavour.
In another development, a just-released communiqué on a recent meeting in New York between UN and DRC officials called for ensuring that the country's budget includes funding for the establishment and maintenance of security entities.
With assistance from the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), the Government should hold a national seminar on the role of the police, appoint senior police officials within a designated integrated structure and refurbish its police training centres, participants agreed.
The meeting, held on 9 February and chaired by UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette, also called for cost-effective and realistic civilian disarmament and military integration plans.
In addition to a DRC delegation, the event was attended by representatives of the EU, the World Bank, a number of individual European governments, South Africa, Sweden and the United States.