31 March 2017 - DRC - MONUSCO: France welcomes the adoption of the resolution [fr]
Adoption of the resolution renewing the mandate of MONUSCO - Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 31 March 2017
France welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2348 (2017), which renews the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). The resolution we have just adopted is the outcome of negotiations that were not always easy, but it is a text of significanceto the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to the United Nations.
I would like to highlight three reasons why this positive text is important.
First, the Security Council today has sent a message of unanimity and unity in our support for MONUSCO and for stability and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which as we know is facing significant challenges.
Secondly, with the adoption of the resolution, MONUSCO — which has a defining role to play — now has an adapted mandate focused on two major strategic priorities: the protection of civilians and support for the implementation of the 31 December agreement and the electoral process.
This is a critical point, as the goal of the negotiations that have just concluded was to adapt MONUSCO to the political and security issues that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has to address, in particular this year.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo finds itself an unprecedented institutional situation. The mandate of all its electoral institutions has expired. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has entered a phase of transition on the basis of the political agreement signed on 31 December 2016 until the elections scheduled for the end of this year. The agreement, which was reached thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Conférence épiscopale nationale du Congo, constitutes the only credible road map for an end to the crisis, but delays in its implementation are very worrying. It is essential for the stability and future of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that the agreement be implemented as soon as possible and that the elections be held.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is also facing a worrying security situation with the persistence of armed groups in the east of the country and the appearance of new outbreaks of violence, particularly in Kasaï, where many Congolese have died over the past year and where two United Nations experts — as you recalled, Mr. President — recently died in tragic circumstances. On behalf of France, I wish here to reiterate our sorrowful condolences and deep sympathy to the families of the two victims and their countries. Civilian populations must be protected from such violence, whose perpetrators must be identified and brought to justice.
The third reason why this resolution is particularly important is because it adapts the composition of MONUSCO in a consistent and thoughtful way so that it can better respond to the challenges facing the country. The troop ceiling has been adjusted to better reflect the reality of deployment on the ground, but it is mainly the composition of the force that has been revised through the replacement of certain troops by specialized units able to intervene quickly and in a mobile way in the specific context of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
From the very outset, this mandate makes MONUSCO more reactive, more mobile and more focused on the essential, guiding priorities that I have just enumerated.For the future, let us be clear.
The task is heavy but MONUSCO has reinvigorated means at its disposal.
In that spirit, I should like on behalf of France to reiterate our confidence in the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Maman Sidikou.