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GAMBARI STRESSES NEED TO CONSOLIDATE ANGOLA PEACE

12/17/2002

Despite enormous progress in the peace process, much remains to be done by Ibrahim Gambari, the top United Nations envoy in the country told the Security Council today in New York.

In the four months since the UN Mission in Angola began, it has "successfully initiated activity in nearly all the areas mandated to it," including the conclusion of the work of the Joint Commission, participating as an observer in the military commission, assisting in the coordination of the provision of humanitarian assistance, promoting human rights and working directly with the Angolan government on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration issues. However, the overall humanitarian siutation in Angola remains extremely difficult, Gambari cautioned, although there has been progress in food delivery, health care and water and sanitation. He reiterated that the international community needs to "redouble its efforts" to address resettlement, demobilization and electoral assistance issues. The Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for 2003 requesting some $384 million in assistance was most likely the last such appeal.

A tentative date for a donor conference had been set for the first quarter of 2003 and would take place in Brussels, Gambari noted. The meeting should be properly prepared and the pre-requisites for a successful outcome should be met. That would include an effort on the part of the Government in order to allay any concerns the donor community might have on the allocation and spending of national revenues. A recent investigation by the International Monetary Fund had pointed to the disappearance of hundreds of millions of unaccounted funds.