The UN 'Month of Africa' A Push for Actual Peace Efforts or a Fig Leaf on the DRC?
"The ‘Month of Africa’ in the Security Council has had tremendous impact on the world’s consciousness - and conscience. More than that, I believe it has served as a genuine catalyst to explore possible solutions to some of the major problems that the region faces, from the conflicts in Burundi, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the impact of AIDS and the plight of refugees and displaced persons. In practical terms, the Secretary-General stated that the Council meeting on Angola had reinforced its view on the root causes of the conflict and the need to advocate for a political settlement. It also provided information on the ability of UNITA rebels to circumvent arms and diamond sanctions and it awaited further recommendations from Ambassador Robert Fowler of Canada, the chairperson of the Security Council Sanctions Committee, on how to strengthen the sanctions regime. In summary, the Secretary-General concluded that: ‘Month of Africa’ was a success not merely in drawing attention to the persistence of many of the region’s long-running conflicts, but in giving a push to actual peace efforts. The real test now is for the momentum to be sustained."