Namibian leader, at UN debate, stresses role of regional bodies in resolving conflicts


President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Marco Castro

25 September 2012 ? The United Nations should consider the views of regional organizations when it comes to resolving conflicts, Namibia?s President, Hifikepunye Pohamba, told the General Assembly?s high-level debate, commending the role played by African organizations in settling disputes on the continent.

?Regional and sub-regional organizations are important partners in solving conflicts in the affected areas throughout the world,? President Pohamba said in his address to the General Debate of the Assembly?s 67th session, taking place at UN Headquarters in New York.

He said the unresolved conflicts around the world demand commitment and resolve from everyone to find durable solutions.

?There is thus, a compelling need for the United Nations to take into account the views of regional organizations in the areas of mediation and peacekeeping. These institutions should be fully supported in finding lasting solutions to violent conflicts around the world,? he stated.

President Pohamba pointed out that the African Union Peace and Security Council has, since its inception, cooperated with the UN Security Council toward the shared goal of conflict resolution.

Similarly, the Southern African Development Community sub-region has put initiatives in place to resolve political conflicts in the region through mediation.

?However, we are concerned about the deteriorating security situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo,? stated the President. ?We, therefore, urge the international community to support the regional initiative aimed at resolving this conflict and to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced persons.?

He also highlighted the need for Sudan and South Sudan to peacefully resolve all outstanding issues stemming from the latter?s independence, and urged political actors in Madagascar, which experienced political upheaval last year, to carry out a roadmap leading to the holding of free, fair, inclusive and credible elections.

Denouncing the unconstitutional changes of government in Mali and Guinea-Bissau earlier this year, the Namibian leader commended the role played by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to help resolve the conflicts in these two countries. He also urged the international community to provide support and assistance to ECOWAS.

?Namibia firmly believes that, if we all dedicate ourselves to finding lasting solutions to conflicts by peaceful means, our collective efforts will be successful,? President Pohamba said.

Scores of the world?s heads of State and government and other high-level officials are expected to present their views and comment on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly?s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.

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