MONUSCO and Great Lakes Region: to forge long-term regional stability [fr]
MONUSCO and Great Lakes Region
Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 11 October 2018
I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Ms. Leila Zerrougui, and the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Mr. Said Djinnit, for their very informative briefings and their commitment.
We have just presented our report on the Security Council mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I will not dwell on that except to once again pay tribute to the work of Ms. Zerrougui and her teams, stress the historic opportunity represented by the elections of 23 December, and call on all Congolese actors to seize that opportunity and overcome their differences through dialogue in order to reach the widest possible consensus on the technical and political conditions for the organization of those elections. The entire Congolese population expects its leaders to hold credible, free and transparent elections in a peaceful climate. We hope that their calls will be heeded.
The Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region was designed in 2013 to ensure peace and stability in the Great Lakes region, which had just experienced a series of conflicts. The framework agreement is specifically designed to address the common challenges facing the Great Lakes region and is an essential instrument for building confidence among the countries of the region. The inclusive agrement makes it possible to combine the efforts of a large number of actors, the countries of the region, relevant regional institutions and external partners towards the same purpose. It carries a long-term vision that encompasses all possible avenues to ensure the human and economic development of the region.
The agreement should work as a catalyst for action, but in our view it is not yet working optimally. There are several reasons for that. The region remains confronted by unresolved challenges, such as fragile electoral processes, massive population displacements caused by uncontrolled armed groups, incomplete reconciliation processes and the slow pace of justice. New threats have emerged, such as Ebola epidemics, the radicalization of youth and environmental damage related to the illegal exploitation of natural resources. The appropriate means to collectively address those challenges are not yet truly in place. I am thinking in particular of the lack of adequate regional legal and technical capacity in the field of police and judicial cooperation in the fight against trafficking and impunity. Finally, we are aware of the extent to which the lack of trust is both harmful and prejudicial. Rebuilding trust is therefore at the heart of our shared priorities.
France commends the outstanding work of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, who spares no effort in seeking all possible ways and means to overcome the challenges. Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are on the horizon. We have just spoken about their importance to regional stability. The elections are also a historic opportunity for the entire region. They must offer an opportunity to the region, once the elections are over, to come together on a renewed regional road map that can identify new modes of interaction among neighbouring countries and contribute to overcoming the many challenges that remain.
France will remain faithful to the commitment made in 2013, in solidarity with the region. We have a common goal to help forge long-term regional stability. We stand ready to work closely with all countries of the region to serve that purpose and overcome the current challenges.