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DR Congo, at General Assembly, calls on UN mission there to focus more on development

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which hosts more than ten thousand United Nations peacekeepers and where enormous resources over the past two decades have been devoted to bringing stability to the vast country, today called for the UN mission to be re-directed more to development.

“It is clear that nearly 20 years after its deployment the UN force cannot nurture the ambition of remaining indefinitely in my country or exercising its mandate under the same format without learning from the weaknesses that have been noted,” President Joseph Kabila Kabange told the General Assembly’s 72nd annual general debate.

“What is important and should be important in the eyes of all those who value the credibility of our Organization is the actual effectiveness of UN troops on the ground. That is why for several years now we demanded a re-dimensioning of the MONUSCO force with regard to its dynamic mission and the redirecting of the means thus freed up towards our developmental needs.”

MONUSCO, the French acronym for the UN Organization Stabilization Mission, was renewed in June for another year at a level of 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050-strong formed police units, several thousand lower than its previous authorized level.

On other issues, Mr. Kabila decried the rise of terrorism, called for full support for the UN’s 2030 Agenda that seeks to eliminate poverty, hunger and a whole host of other social ills by 2030, and highlighted the threat climate change posed for humanity.