Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation A.E.Granovsky on Behalf, of the Troika of Observer States to the Lusaka Protocol, delivered at the Security Council Meeting on the issue of situation in Angola November 15, 2001
Thank you, Madame President.
Today I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Troika of Observer States to the Lusaka Protocol: Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.
We are delighted to welcome Foreign Minister Miranda back to the Security Council and - through the Presidential Statement that we will soon adopt - reassure him of our collective commitment to peace in Angola based on the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions.
We are pleased also to be joined today by Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari and look forward to his upcoming visit to Angola later this month. As always, Professor Gambari travels with our full support, and we hope that the Government of Angola will continue its engagement with him.
Since it has been only six weeks since we met in private session with Interior Minister Dos Santos, we do not wish to repeat all the elements of our last Troika Statement. Our views on sanctions were clearly expressed in that session, and remain unchanged. In this meeting, we want to focus on some other areas:
We have always believed that there is no military solution to the Angolan conflict and that - absent such a military solution - the only way to peace lies through a dialogue. The search for peace has been continuing for much of the last decade. This process resulted in signing the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol, which, in our view, continue to represent the only viable bases for a long term peace in Angola.
Though the military wing of UNITA continues to make war, we believe that the political life of the country must continue. Ordinary Angolans will always be able to talk to each other across the political divisions within their country, and such discussions reflect the belief that their country's suffering can only be resolved through dialogue.
One of the new voices in Angola calling for dialogue in pursuit of peace is that of the growing civil society movement within government-controlled areas of the country. The appearance of a vigorous civil society movement including the Churches is a positive trend in Angola's development, something that we believe should continue to be encouraged by the Government as part of its commitment to Angola's political evolution.
Unfortunately, the development of a civil society movement remains limited to the government-controlled areas of Angola. In areas of the country under UNITA's control, there has never been a civil society, other than UNITA. There is no freedom of expression, there is no freedom of association, and there is no freedom of movement. The military faction of UNITA represents one of the last holdouts of totalitarianism in Africa.
We hear the calls from our Angolan friends for dialogue, and we support them in this.
However, just as we believe that many things may be subject to debate and compromise, we believe that some things arc not.
For there to be a dialogue conducive to durable peace, it must be rooted in the common and non-negotiable principles of the Lusaka protocol and focused on their implementation. In the case of Angola, the Troika believes that these principles can be distilled to seven words:
One country, one elected government, one army.
In other words, the fundamental pillars of the Lusaka Protocol must remain intact.
· The state administration must be extended to all areas of the country.
· UNITA military personnel must disarm and be permanently demobilized, and,
· The option must remain open for UNITA to enter into the political life of the country as a political party pursuing the aspirations of its membership through free and fair political activity.
The reason we continue to support the Lusaka Protocol is our belief that these are the principles on which a just and lasting peace will rest.
We are often asked when will the dialogue start. Our response should remain, "when UNITA renews its commitment to the fundamental principles that its leadership accepted in the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol." When that is done, the road ahead will be illuminated.
In the meantime, the political life of the country must progress. No faction and no individual can ever be given veto rights over the future of Angola.
Above all else, Madame President, remains the principle that defines our policy and dictates our actions:
The only path to political power in Angola lies in the democratic process.