Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNOCA/LRA
National statement delivered by Ambassador Carl Skau on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the United Nations Office for Central Africa, 13 June 2018, New York.
Thank you, Mr President,
I also want to thank Special Representative Fall and the Secretary-General of the Economic Community of Central African States, Ambassador Ahmad Allam-Mi, for their very useful briefings to the Council today.
As we have heard this morning, the central African region continues to face a number of challenges. These include electoral processes and related challenges to political space. Underdevelopment and the humanitarian situation in the region is also a source of concern. Taken together, this situation deserves our and the region's continued attention, as it serves as early warning signs for even greater challenges down the road.
In such circumstances, the role of UNOCA in conflict prevention, including through good offices and support to regional cooperation and integration, is of course of vital importance.
Regional offices are one of the most effective operational tools that the UN has to prevent conflict. They should be supported, strengthened and multiplied. In this regard, the Council has an important role to play in particular by standing by our envoys. And, we would like to express our full support to the efforts of Special Representative Fall and his team in UNOCA today.
Regional organisations, such as ECCAS, not only play a critical role in promoting integration and development, they are also key to preventing conflict and promoting peace. We therefore encourage continued support to capacity building of regional organisations in the Central African region. We also welcome the increased collaboration between ECCAS and ECOWAS, including the upcoming summit.
We remain deeply concerned by the dire security, human rights and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic and welcome the joint visit undertaken by Unoca and the Secretary General of ECCAS. We also welcome the joint UN-AU visit to C.A.R. in April. It is important that the UN continues to promote and support the AU and ECCAS-led African Initiative and Libreville Roadmap.
We are also concerned that the situation in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon remains unresolved. The need to address long standing grievances is evident. In order to move forward peacefully, it is important that all parties act responsibly, refrain from acts of violence and contribute to the upholding of human rights, as well as to an open and inclusive dialogue; not least regarding the question of decentralization. The situation in Cameroon has direct implications for peace in the broader sub-region, we must therefore continue to follow the situation closely including in light of the upcoming elections. The continued engagement of the Special Representative is essential and he has our full support in these efforts.
Sweden supported the organisation of the 'Lake Chad Governors' Forum on Peacebuilding, Prevention, Stabilization and Regional Cooperation', that was held in Maiduguri in May. This successful meeting was preceded by consultations with over 1000 women, men, and young people from communities around the lake, including religious groups. This consultation and the Forum itself clearly highlighted the need for a holistic, regional approach to address the root causes of a lack of peace and stability in the region, including the adverse effects of climate change.
The main outcome of this process was to establish the Governors' Forum as a vehicle for recurrent dialogue between the governors of the affected states, aimed at improving coordination and cross-border collaboration. We hope that these, and other efforts, to follow up on resolution 2349 on the Lake Chad Basin region will benefit the development of the regional stabilisation strategy.
Thank you, Mr President.