The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC): Experiences and Lessons

"A plethora of tasks remain ahead for the Congo – and for the UN and the international community. A number of these tasks are left over from the transition: establishing a capable, responsible army and civilian police force; justice reform, including courts and prisons and generally helping establish the rule of law; local elections; an end to impunity and corruption; and numerous other issues still to be addressed. All of this requires time and raises the question: are UN member states prepared to sustain their commitment in the Congo over a significantly long period to ensure that successful elections produce longer term stability? A major global challenge to us all in the global community is to remain engaged following successful elections in countries emerging from conflict. Our record as the international community in assisting “post-conflict” societies is better than our performance in responding to the immediate requirements of “post-electoral” societies. Ironically, the exponential increase in popular post-electoral expectations too often confronts a countervailing donor tendency to reduce support after successful elections. Since elections constitute the all-important bridge between peace-keeping and peace-building, continuity of support is vital."