Press Releases

    SG/SM/9516
          SC/8204
          AFR/1042
    4 October 2004

    Democratic Republic of Congo: Secretary-General Calls Strengthening of Mission an Important Step, but Well below Recommended Ceiling

    NEW YORK, 1 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s remarks to the Security Council on the Democratic Republic of the Congo today, 1 October:

    By the adoption of this resolution, the Security Council has taken an important step and demonstrated its continued support for the transitional process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  The Council’s decision to expand the strength of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) by an additional 5,900 military and civilian police personnel will contribute to improving the Mission’s operational capabilities which are severely under-resourced at the moment.

    I must remind the Council, however, that the newly approved ceiling of 16,700 in total falls well below the figure of 23,900 troops and 507 civilian police personnel that I had recommended in my Report to the Council, S/2004/650, dated 16 August. In view of this reduction, MONUC will have to review the scope of support it could provide to the peace process, as my original recommendations were made on different assumptions. I have, therefore, instructed DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations] to review the tasks that can be performed by MONUC within the new ceiling, with a view to revising the scope of its military and civilian police concepts of operations.

    I continue to believe that the total military and police strength recommended in my Third Special Report is the minimum required to effectively meet the current challenges in the DRC. It is for this reason that I welcome the Council’s intention to keep MONUC’s strength and structure under regular review, and I sincerely hope that the Council will favourably revisit the issue of MONUC’s requirements in the future.

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