Peace and security cannot be sustainable unless it goes hand in hand with development.
This was the shared understanding by delegates at a 3-day joint meet on the implementation of the UN Secretary-General’s Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for DR Congo and the Great Lakes Region.
Officiating at the launch of the joint meeting on May 28, 2014, in Kigali, Rwanda’s Finance Minister, Claver Gatete noted that fostering peace and stability within the region required facilitating cross border investments in infrastructure such as roads, electricity, border markets, abattoirs and many more to facilitate cross border trade.
“We cannot simply wait for peace and security deliberations. We need to set in motion development initiatives that help our citizens. There is a lot of informal trade going on at borders which if strategic investments are made could be valuable to our citizens,” Gatete said.
“The role of the private sector is vital in the development of cross border trade facilitation.”
However governments need to provide conducive business environment through setting up political risk guarantees, identifying projects and providing incentives.
UN Resident coordinator Lamin Manneh, noted that the UN Secretary General’s Peace and Security Cooperation Framework offered the best opportunity for durable peace and security in the DRC and the wider Great Lakes Region.
Rwanda has reiterated its commitment to nurturing sustainable peace in the Great Lakes Region, without which the inclusive growth, poverty reduction and transformational aspirations of all the countries in the region cannot be achieved.