The head of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has just chaired the first-ever consultative meeting with major donors and UN agencies on efforts to coordinate international assistance for the country's electoral process.
William Lacy Swing, head of the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), presided over an international assistance meeting yesterday in the capital Kinshasa that was mainly aimed at establishing areas of interest for donors and taking stock of the work already done in this area by MONUC and the wider international community.
It also served as a forum to explore ways the international community could coordinate and adequately manage its efforts in support of the DRC's Transitional Government and the Independent Electoral Commission.
This first gathering was a fact-finding meeting, according to Mr. Swing. "We must review the programmes and available potential resources, since we are about to initiate discussions with government officials who have responsibilities in this area and with the independent electoral Commission, to be derived from a law of the National Assembly," he added.
Mr. Swing said most of the representatives of donor countries had expressed the wish to see MONUC, as a neutral structure in the transitional process, play the rallying role of the international community - with a view to ensuring a smooth coordination of activities and effectively optimizing "our joint efforts."
The next meeting is scheduled for 26 August.