Explanation of vote by Sweden at the UN Security Council Adoption of Resolution on the Ebola outbreak in the DRC
Explanation of vote delivered by Ambassador Carl Skau on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Adoption of Resolution 2439 on the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 30 October 2018, New York.
Sweden welcomes the unanimous adoption today of resolution 2439 on the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC and the ongoing effort to respond to this crisis. We appreciate the close collaboration with our Ethiopian partners and we thank all Council members for their constructive engagement and for the co-sponsorship of the resolution by all 15 members.
This resolution sends a clear, coherent and comprehensive message of support to all those involved in the front-line response efforts, on the ground in the DRC and in neighbouring countries. Let me here highlight four key elements:
First, it points to the extremely challenging security situation in eastern DRC and strongly condemns all attacks by armed groups against civilians, including humanitarian and health personnel. Let me be clear: the women and men working on the frontline to battle this disease – and who risk their own lives to save those of others – deserve our respect and our protection. They must never themselves become targets: not in the DRC, not anywhere. Humanitarian principles must be upheld everywhere, at all times, and with no exceptions.
Secondly, it commends the efforts undertaken by the Government of the DRC, MONUSCO, the WHO and other actors, in response to the outbreak. The continued leadership of the WHO remains essential. In order to prevent a deterioration of the present outbreak, the resolution also reminds us of the importance of strengthening national health systems.
Thirdly, it stresses the crucial importance of continued international engagement, and regional cooperation. To address the overall humanitarian crisis, we need full, safe, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access, as well as adequate humanitarian funding. At present, the humanitarian appeal for the DRC remains severely underfunded. As the third largest humanitarian donor to the DRC, Sweden stands ready to consider additional humanitarian funding, and we call on others to do the same.
Fourthly, and crucially, this resolution highlights how men and women are affected differently by the Ebola outbreak: women must be fully engaged in the development of gender-sensitive response efforts.
The DRC is at a pivotal moment in its history and the latest Ebola outbreak adds an additional challenge to an already challenging situation. The support expressed through this resolution therefore comes at a pertinent time, and our common task now is to fully support the efforts of the WHO, MONUSCO, the Congolese government and other actors on the ground to combat further spread of Ebola, in so contributing to promoting long-term peace and stability in the DRC and the region.
I thank you.