HC Deb 06 March 2002 vol 381 cc331-2W
23. Ann McKechin

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the prospects for peace and long-term development in the Great Lakes region. [37337]

Clare Short

The vital element in achieving peace in the Great Lakes region is the full implementation of the Arusha and Lusaka Peace Accords. The Government continue to press all parties to these agreements to honour their commitments. I was encouraged from my recent visit to the Great Lakes that there is now a window of opportunity for achieving peace, provided the commitments expressed to us by Heads of Government are translated into real action on the ground and the international community and Security Council also focus on the full implementation of Lusaka. Key will be the successful implementation of MONUC deployment into eastern DRC, and a positive outcome to the Sun City talks currently underway. Progress in the peace process will enable the international community, finally, to concentrate on a partnership with governments in the region for the long-term development of their countries—an outcome keenly awaited and much needed by the long suffering population of the region.

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