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Security Council members welcome meeting on inter-Congolese dialogue

Security Council members welcome meeting on inter-Congolese dialogue

Members of the United Nations Security Council have welcomed the preparatory meeting for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue that began today in Gaborone, Botswana, and encouraged the parties to make all efforts to ensure the success of the session.

In a letter to the Dialogue's Facilitator, Ketumile Masire, Council members also stressed the need to ensure adequate representation of Congolese women in the preparatory process and voiced their backing for Mr. Masire's efforts to achieve that goal.

"[The members of the Council] support your appeal and urge the Congolese parties, signatories of the Lusaka Agreement, to increase representation of women at the meeting, as well as in the Dialogue," said the 17 August letter, which was signed by the Council President for the month of August, Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso of Colombia.

The Council members stressed the importance of the role and contribution of women in the Inter-Congolese Dialogue and of ensuring that gender issues are addressed during the Dialogue, consistent with a Council resolution 1325 (2000) that urges Member States to increase the representation of women at all levels of decision-making when negotiating and implementing peace agreements.

In another development, the new head of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), Amos Namanga Ngongi of Cameroon, began today a series of meetings at UN Headquarters in New York to familiarize himself with his duties, a UN spokesman told the press on Monday. Mr. Ngongi was scheduled to meet today with the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, and with the Group of Friends of the DRC tomorrow. He is expected to arrive in Kinshasa in early September.