7 March 2005
Secretary-General Meets with His Special Representative to Democratic Republic of Congo
NEW YORK, 4 March (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General met this morning with William Swing, his Special Representative (SRSG) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They discussed developments across all fronts. On the military and security side, they reviewed the steps that had been taken since the ambush of Bangladeshi peacekeepers last week and, more generally, the strengthened deployment in Ituri and the East. On the political front, they reviewed progress on the election and constitutional preparations.
They also discussed actions that had been taken by the Mission to combat the serious instances of sexual exploitation that had occurred. Mr. Swing detailed the strong counter-measures that he had initiated. He also briefed the Secretary-General on the extensive changes that were under way in both the military and civilian leadership of the Mission. They also discussed Mr. Swings own future.
The Secretary-General noted that Mr. Swing evidently had his hands full across all these fronts and would need to show strong leadership in all these areas and, in particular, should try and help the DRC move the political process forward as rapidly as possible. They concluded that with his plate so full, this was not the moment for a sudden change of SRSG with the disruption that it would cause. Rather, the Secretary-General told Mr. Swing that he had confidence that Mr. Swing would work through this urgent agenda, but that when things had stabilized, the Secretary-General would initiate an orderly transition to a new SRSG.
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