Many of us have closely followed the situation of Congolese refugees in Gabon. I applaud the productive collaboration between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Government of Gabon and the Republic of Congo (ROC), under the Tripartite Agreement that made it possible for refugees who fled the 1997-2003 conflict in Congo to resolve their status. Given the improved situation in Congo, UNHCR provided support to many former refugees to voluntarily return home, arranging convoys and increasing stipends for returnees. The Gabonese Government made it possible for refugees who had established new lives in Gabon to remain in the country. To this end, both the Gabonese Government and UNHCR made compromises and contributions. UNHCR facilitated fees for the refugees' residence permits and the Gabonese Government agreed to relax its documentation requirements. The process moved smoothly and quickly to reach a common objective of meeting international standards. As a result, 5,400 former refugees have received permits to reside in Gabon. As Ambassador, I applaud the generosity of the Gabonese government and the people of Gabon for opening doors to fellow Africans during their time of need. The end result is that the former Congolese refugees can move forward with their lives.