The United Nations Security Council wound up its five-nation visit today in Tanzania, where it thanked the Government for hosting refugees and for its peace mediation in the African Great Lakes region, where the UN is helping to organize the biggest elections in its 60-year history in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The delegation met Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, as well as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the peacebuilding International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Ibrahima Fall.
The second summit of the Conference, scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya, next week, is co-sponsored by the UN and the African Union (AU) and deals with non-aggression and mutual defence, disarmament and repatriation of militias, as well as the elimination of terrorism and trans-national crime. The participating Heads of States are to sign a Pact of Security, Stability and Development.
In Tanzania, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jakaya Kikwete, met the Security Council representatives for a working luncheon. The delegation also met with heads of UN agencies working in Tanzania, a group of experts on the DRC, and various academics.
At a press conference wrapping up the visit, team leader Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière of France expressed appreciation to the Government of Tanzania for hosting thousands of refugees fleeing conflicts in the region and for its contribution to regional peace efforts.
Council members, who started their trip in DRC, travelled yesterday from Burundi to Uganda, where the delegation met with President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe. They then went to Kigali, Rwanda, for a meeting with President Paul Kagame.