MALAYSIAN POSITION ON THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO THE BANYAMULENGE Malaysia is committed to finding a concrete resolution to the conflict

and humanitarian suffering that plagues the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A failure to instil long-term stability has grave implications for peace and security, not just for the African region but for the entire international community. Malaysia’s dedication to this issue has been demonstrated through her continued contribution of peacekeeping military personnel to United Nations missions in the region, in particular ONUC and MONUC. While Malaysia holds firm to the foundations of the United Nations Charter and its pillars of state sovereignty and non-interference, in circumstances of extreme humanitarian atrocity and massive bloodshed it is the responsibility of the international community to take multilateral action, so long as it is an example of a concrete intervention that helps protect the lives of ordinary people and communities. Malaysia believes that the situation in the DRC warrants United Nations’ involvement. However, it is essential that states within the African region take on responsibility for their own long-term security. The United Nations should not wash its hands of regional conflicts, but it should not ignore the substantive contribution that can be made by regional and sub-regional organisations (such as the African Union) in the management and resolution of these conflicts. Because the underlying issues surrounding the DRC involve a combination of internal state conflict and wider regional instabilities, Malaysia believes the African Union has the greatest potential to mediate these. A strong regional body is the best guarantee for each African nation to secure its own interests, while ensuring a comprehensive and culturally attuned understanding of the cross-boundary problems each faces. Any long lasting solution in the DRC needs to build upon pre-existing legal instruments, including the Lusaka Agreement, Nairobi Agreement and Goma Agreement. Malaysia also acknowledges the recommendations put forward by the International Crisis Group and believes they warrant proper consideration. Malaysia sees the achievement of sustained peace in the DRC on two integrated levels; broader development concerns and more targeted, individuated efforts. Developing nations need to be supported in addressing root causes: colonialism, inter-ethnic conflict, weak state structures and institutions, and economic exploitation. Malaysia believes a commitment of economic and political support is necessary in order to create conditions whereby all citizens can legitimately participate in the democratic process. Ethnic groups, if they are to be effectively incorporated into society, need to feel as if their culture, aspirations and concerns are given voice. The DRC also faces a number of particular atrocities that require a targeted response, including internally displaced people, the trafficking of arms in the region, the persistence of child involvement in armed conflict, and other humanitarian abuses. Malaysia supports a greater commitment to the implementation of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DD&R) when it comes to excombatants and child soldiers. Although there has only been limited success so far, Malaysia remains committed to improving its operation and believes that in conjunction with a more focused MONUC mandate that looks to post-conflict resolution and peace building, the program will function more effectively. Malaysia believes an increased coordinated effort between the United Nations and the African Union, in accordance with the Charter, is the most viable means of creating open and successful dialogue between all states concerned. This role should be supported and integrated with the aims of the Security Council, with a goal to address relations between the DRC, Rwanda and other neighbouring states, as well as find solutions to other cross-border tensions.