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UN celebrates 10 years of peace in Mozambique

UN celebrates 10 years of peace in Mozambique

Louise Fréchette
The history of Mozambique in the past year defies the commonly held negative stereotype of Africa and illustrates what effective partnerships can achieve, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Louise Fréchette, said today as the UN marked 10 years of peace in the southern African country.

"But reconstruction efforts is not finished, and the country still faces many serious challenges," Ms. Fréchette said in remarks to a meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the peace agreement which brought an end to 16 years of violent armed conflict.

Ms. Fréchette urged ECOSOC to remain engaged with the people of Mozambique in their inspiring struggle. "Today should be not only a day of commemoration, but one on which we pledge our renewed commitment to their future security and well being," she said.

The example of Mozambique provided lessons to other countries in the value of political will, leadership, international support and a clear Security Council mandate, Ms. Fréchette said. Other lessons included the regional context provided by the establishment of democracy in South Africa, the impact of peace on socio-economic development and the transformation of the former opposition in the country into a political party.

Since the peace agreement was signed, the Deputy Secretary-General said, Mozambicans have worked hard to safeguard the democratic process and create a dynamic civil society as they stressed the importance of human rights. Mozambicans had brought that same courage to bear on other national challenges such as the devastating floods of February 2000, the spread of AIDS and the threat of drought.

Leonardo Santos Simaõ, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mozambique, said the successful implementation of the UN Operation for Mozambique (UNOMOZ) and the on-going process of post-conflict peace-building had put the country in the spotlight as a success story.

"Ten years after the end of violent armed conflict, peace, stability and development are definitely entrenched in Mozambique," he said.