National Statement by Sweden on the Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

National Statement by Sweden on the Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Wednesday, 11 January 2017, New York.

I would like to join others in thanking Monseigneur Utembi of CENCO and Under Secretary-General Ladsous.

The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a longstanding item on this Council’s agenda. In recent months, we have become increasingly concerned that the potential for renewed conflict was building, which would have led to increased suffering for the Congolese people and yet another interruption on their progress as a nation.

It is therefore with some relief, that Sweden strongly welcomes the signing of the ‘comprehensive and inclusive agreement’ in Kinshasa on 31 December, under the excellent facilitation of CENCO. We commend CENCO, the Government of the DRC, the opposition and other stakeholders for the hard work that put this agreement in place.

The agreement is an important step towards credible, peaceful and free elections however; there is no room for complacency. Therefore, Sweden calls on all parties to help ensure that the agreement is implemented in a swift and inclusive manner.

Building confidence in the process is critical for a successful outcome.

We welcome the report of the Secretary-General on MONUSCO, in particular how women have been empowered as enablers of peace. Women’s active participation in the political process in the DRC should be supported, including by ensuring a good gender balance in a transition government and the Follow-up Council.

Continued constructive and positive engagement by neighboring countries and regional organisations, in support of the first democratic transition in the DRC remains important.

Colleagues,

It is important that the Council, the UN and the wider international community stand ready to contribute to supporting the implementation of the agreement, including preparations for elections. Important to move ahead with political space, a realistic budget and a clear timetable for elections.

The agreement reached in the DRC underlines the power of dialogue and engagement by all parties to avert conflict and violence and to prioritise peace. Like the agreement, successful elections and the respect for the spirit of the constitution will single out the DRC as an example of success and move its people one step closer to the stable and prosperous country they deserve. We look forward to receiving regular updates in this Council on the progress of implementation.

Thank You