Speaking at an IPI event, Roger Meece, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, rejected the notion that the long and ongoing conflict in the DRC that has killed over five million people has created problems too complex to solve.
“There seems to have been a fondness, in my opinion, by many analysts and observers of the Congo and central Africa for predicting that doom is imminent if not already upon us,” Mr. Meece said at the June 10th event.
“It should come as a surprise to nobody here that I reject and have always rejected that kind of analysis,” he said. “I think it is wrong, and I think it has been demonstrated to be wrong, and beyond all of that, I think we have, collectively, a major responsibility to do all that we can to ensure that it is wrong, and that we achieve the kind of progress that is essential not only for roughly 70 million Congolese, but indeed a significant part of the continent that goes well beyond Congo’s borders.”
Mr. Meece recalled once reading a report that described the country—referred to in the report as Zaire, its former name—as having “vast potential and no possibilities,” which, he said, may have been true at that time, though the difference is, “There are now possibilities, and it is important to capitalize on those and continue what has been done.”
The event was moderated by Warren Hoge, IPI Vice President for External Relations.