NEW YORK, 20 September – On the first day of the 2010 Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the World Bank’s Vice-President for the Africa Region Obiageli Ezekwesili added their voices to that of the President of the Central African Republic (CAR), H.E. François Bozizé, to increase international attention for critical peacebuilding and development challenges in his post-conflict country. During a side event entitled “Addressing Peacebuilding and Development Challenges in the Central African Republic’ attended by high-level officials from governments, international and regional organizations, institutional donors, and international NGOs, participants expressed their support for the CAR’s efforts to meet its immediate and long term peacebuilding and development goals.
This high-level side event was jointly organized by the World Bank and the Peacebuilding Commission’s country-specific configuration for CAR, and included remarks from a distinguished set of officials from the U.N., the World Bank, the CAR, the African Union, the European Union and other regional organizations. One of the central objectives of the event was to generate momentum for a prospective donor’s conference to be held in 2011 to mobilize resources for post-election peacebuilding and development needs, also related to the achievement of the MDGs by 2015.
“The people of the CAR have made genuine efforts to move away from conflict and towards long-term stability, development and poverty reduction. The situation they face, which not so long ago might have been called a forgotten emergency at the crossroads of other conflicts, deserves the full attention and support from the international community,” said U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon.
“The country’s challenges are magnified by the impact of the global economic crisis on the country’s growth and on tax and export revenues. Continued reform and support from the international community is necessary to ensure stability and to prevent an unraveling of progress. The time to complete the peace process, move toward sustainable peace and avoid a relapse is now,” said the World Bank’s Vice-President for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili.
“This unique collaboration between the U.N. Peacebuilding Commission and the World Bank is an indication of the two institutions’ genuine willingness to work together in support of the CAR’s efforts in achieving peace and development,” said Ambassador Jan Grauls, Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Configuration for the Central African Republic.
Signaling its recognition of the progress in the country’s peace process in recent years, the international community has stepped-up its support to the CAR’s peacebuilding and development agenda. However, additional support by international partners in line with the Government’s efforts is now critical in order to lay the foundations of lasting peace and development.