Angola remains committed to preventive diplomacy in conflict resolution in the aFRICAN Great Lakes region and believes in the urgent need for sustainable development through the promotion of investment and international co-operation with a view to ensuring the benefits of peace for this region of Africa, says Foreign Minister

Georges Chikoti.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council open debate on “Peace-building in Africa”, chaired by Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida and opened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon here last Friday, he said Angola, as the current Chair of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), had undertaken a number of initiatives aimed at finding peaceful solutions to political crises and conflicts in this region.

He highlighted the launch of the Mechanism for the Guarante of Peace, Co-operation and Security”, led by the UN, andwith the participation of the ICGLR and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

He added that the Private Investment Conference on the Great Lakes Region, held in February in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the decision to appeal to South Sudan’s leaders and people to put their differences aside and work on the implementation of the peace agreement, were among the actions promoted by Angola under the ICGLR.

As for DRC, Chikoti stressed that the ICGLR reiterated the need to put an end to negative forces and complete the preparations for the presidential and legislative elections in that country in a peaceful, credible, inclusive and transparent manner in accordance with that country’s Constitution.

“On Burundi, the ICGLR reiterated the call for an inclusive and transparent dialogue to discuss all issues threatening the integrity, security and peace in the country,” said the minister, who was accompanied by the Permanent Representative of Angola to the UN, Ismael Gaspar Martins.

In his view, the Kinshasa Conference on private sector investment in the Great Lakes region, held in February 2016, brought awareness of the investment opportunities offered by the region.

According to him, the event showed that what was necessary was to improve the business environment, including the implementation of far-reaching social reforms, and transparent processes which encourage businesses and anti-corruption programmes.

Chikoti described the Regional Strategic Mechanism for the Great Lakes, created to support the implementation of the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Co-operation for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, as crucial to achieving the pursued goals.

He said the performance of Angola is the result of experience it acquired with its peace and national reconciliation process, after a long period of armed conflict that hit the country for almost 30 years.

The minister also stressed the adoption by Angola of a development model in a broad process of national reconciliation, launched in 2002, which led to the approval of the country’s Constitution in 2010.