A new stage in the relationship between the DRC and the United Nations is taking shape. [fr]
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO / MONUSCO
STATEMENT BY MR NICOLAS DE RIVIERE,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
New York, 6 October 2020
Thank you, Madam President.
I thank Special Representative Ms. Leila Zerrougui and the Ambassador of Niger for their interventions. I would like to emphasize three points:
First of all, the adaptation of our response to the persistent security challenges.
Certain regions, such as the Kasais or Tanganyika, are entering a promising phase of stabilisation. The Congolese authorities must continue to consolidate the progress that has been achieved in the reinforcement of institutions and socio-economic development in order to take over from MONUSCO, which has begun to disengage from these regions.
Other regions remain heavily affected by violence against civilians, particularly women and children, as well as against the security forces. Sexual violence persists. It is in these regions, in Ituri and the Kivus, that the Mission’s efforts must be re-centred to reach the conditions for its withdrawal when the time comes. Moreover, a regional approach remains indispensable, as the violence in the East is perpetrated by national as well as foreign armed groups.
The joint strategy being prepared with the Congolese authorities to allow for a progressive transfer of MONUSCO’s tasks has to address the root causes of the conflicts. It will have to include clear and realistic indicators in terms of disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, reintegration and reinstallation of foreign armed groups, in terms of security sector reform, of rule of law and of control of the exploitation of natural resources.
This brings me to my second point.
Violations of Human Rights and International humanitarian law are on the rise, particularly in the East. The 1533 Sanctions Committee, whose work I commend, can do more to address this, for example by making additional designations. The development of a national strategy for the fight against impunity and the implementation of transitional justice mechanisms are essential. The Congolese authorities must also continue to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court.
The end of the tenth Ebola epidemic in eastern DRC, as well as the measles outbreak, are major successes. Efforts must continue to combat COVID-19, cholera and the Ebola epidemic has broken out in the West. The risk of famine is a matter of particular concern. The Government knows that it can count on the full support of France as evidenced by the European humanitarian airlift set up before this summer.
We must be fully vigilant with regard to the protection of hospitals and humanitarian personnel. I welcome the mobilisation of MONUSCO to contribute to the safety of Dr. Mukwege and the Panzi clinic. Local protection capacities must be further strengthened.
Finally – and this is my third point – improving MONUSCO’s action must remain at the centre of our attention in view of the renewal of its mandate.
All possible measures must be taken to enable MONUSCO to attain its full operational capacity. An ambitious reform of the Force Intervention Brigade also remains indispensable. Last December, this Council unanimously underlined the importance of improving the efficiency of the Brigade by assigning new staff officers and additional units. As President Tshisekedi recalled before the General Assembly, the DRC supports the principle of an enhancement of the Brigade’s operational capacity. We therefore encourage the Secretariat and the contributing countries to continue their discussions in order to swiftly achieve the implementation of the Council’s decisions.
The Force’s Intervention Brigade played a major role in the defeat of the M23 in 2013 thanks to its offensive posture. It is this dynamism and this agility that must be swiftly restored to protect civilians and neutralize armed groups. The full engagement of contributing countries is indispensable in that regard. We owe this to the Congolese State and to the population.
Finally, it is time for Resolution 1325, whose 20th anniversary we are celebrating this month, to become a reality for the Congolese women and men. France, in its national capacity and within this Council, will continue to support the rights of women in the DRC. Resolution 2538 must also be operationally implemented within MONUSCO.
A new stage in the relationship between the DRC and the United Nations is taking shape. The long-term peace and stability of the country depend on it.