Swedish Statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on MONUSCO
Statement by Ambassador Olof Skoog on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), 11 July 2017, New York.
I thank Under Secretary-General Lacroix for his briefing, and would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his report.
Like others, we are deeply concerned about the scale of violence, violations of international humanitarian law and the grave human rights violations and abuses, with widespread impunity, taking place in the Democratic Republic of Congo right now. The situation in the Kasai as well as the negative development in the eastern part of the country are particularly worrying. Children are disproportionally affected. We must act with determination to ensure that these violations come to an end, and prevent further conflicts from erupting, or spreading.
Political means must be given priority. Implementation of the 31 December agreement, paving the way for free, peaceful and credible elections, is key in this regard. We again call upon all signatories to fully implement the agreement, which, together with a sustainable settlement of outstanding issues in the political process, provides the only viable way out of the current humanitarian, economic and security crisis.
We (again) welcome the important work conducted by SRSG Mamam Sidikou in his good offices function. We support his call on the CENI to publish without delay, an official and consensual calendar for the organization of the elections.
A stable and peaceful DRC is critical for stability in the sub-region, and the region as a whole. We encourage a constructive, concerted and continuous engagement by regional actors. In this context we welcome the joint delegation of CIGLR, SADC, AU and the UN in Kinshasa in May and hope for a speedy follow up.
The mandate of MONUSCO which we have adopted this spring, with its focus on support for the political process, compels the UN to act strategically and efficiently. We stand ready for continuous and close consultations with the secretariat to ensure the mission's ability to fulfill the mandated tasks, not least related to the protection of civilians. The Strategic Review will provide important input to such discussions.
We welcome and fully support the Human Rights Council resolution, co-sponsored by Sweden, requesting the High Commissioner for Human rights to dispatch a team of international experts, including from the region, to investigate allegations of gross violations and abuses in the Kasaï region and urge the Government of the DRC to cooperate fully with the investigation team and the OHCHR in this regard.
Lastly, no stone should be left unturned in our efforts to deliver justice for those who lost their lives in the service of the UN, including the two UN experts Zaida Catalàn and Michael Sharp. Sweden in cooperation with the Secretary-General and partners concerned, will continue to look into concrete proposals on how the UN system, including this Council, can further support the ongoing national investigations, in order to establish the truth and bring the perpetrators to justice. One such option would be an additional investigative mechanism.