Special Representative of the Secretary General to the African Union Address to the Opening Ceremony of the Assises Nationales in Comoros

SRSG Haile Menkerios and UN Resident Coordinator, Matthias Naab, in the Opening Ceremony of the National Dialogue in Comoros (Beit-salam)

5 February 2018, Moroni


Your Excellency Mr. Azali Assoumani, President of the Union of Comoros,

Distinguished members of the Institutions of the State and Government of Comoros

Distinguished Members of the Union and Island Governments,

Esteemed Members of the National Dialogue Steering Committee,

Distinguished representatives of civil society and religious leaders,

Distinguished Representatives of International Organizations, the African Union, the League of Arab States

Distinguished members of the diplomatic community,

Ladies and gentlemen,


On behalf of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, I would like to thank you for the invitation to attend the opening ceremony of the Assises Nationales. These national consultations are a welcome move as they can provide a unique opportunity for the people of thé Comoros to take stock of 42 years of independence and chart the future of the country on the basis of that reality.

The United Nations supports inclusive dialogue processes which can create an environment conducive to peace consolidation, national cohesion, better protection of social and democratic rights, and continued development. We have been following with great interest the dynamics related to the national consultations in the Comoros. In September 2017, the United Nations Secretary-General met with President Azali Assoumani and underscored the importance of an inclusive political dialogue in the upcoming national consultations. At the request of the Secretary-General, I also engaged with Comorian stakeholders to encourage a comprehensive, credible and transparent dialogue process, which will pave the way for long-term stability and governance reform.

Mr. President, dear participants,

The national consultations offer a platform for the people of the Union of Comoros to reflect on the opportunities and challenges of existing political, socio-economic, legal and institutional arrangements, thus taking decisive steps towards strengthening national cohesion and economic development. All actors have a role to play and a contribution to make in the process. The great potential of the Assises Nationales will be unlocked with the process being inclusive, participatory, transparent and consensual. This requires a broad consensus on all aspects, including the agenda and representation throughout the Assises Nationales.

Particularly, implementing the recommendations of the Assises in an inclusive and consensual manner will be a critical part of the success of the process.

The complexity of the challenge ahead requires not only political will, but also technical expertise to clarify the agenda of the Assises and raise awareness on the scope of the process.

Ladies and gentlemen, participants in the national dialogue,

You have an important task before you, one that is of particular importance in determining the future of your country. It is your collective responsibility to ensure that the outcome of the national consultations reinforce national cohesion, while also sustaining peace, stability and development in the Union of the Comoros. Stakeholders across the political and civil society spectrum need to work together towards achieving this common goal.

The United Nations encourages all stakeholders to fully engage in and assume ownership of the national dialogue process.

The interests and wellbeing of the Comorian citizen should be at the core of the national dialogue. This entails addressing a broad range of concerns, such as access to basic social services; safety, peace and security; socio-economic empowerment of women; harnessing the potential of the youth and capitalizing on the role of the diaspora towards progress and economic growth.

Excellencies, dear participants,

I would like to reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations, in coordination with the African Union and other international partners, to support the Comorian people and government in their efforts to consolidate peace, development and the rule of law for the benefit of all.

I wish you all success throughout the national dialogue process.

Thank you.