I would like to express our shock and deepest condolences on the news of the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, president of Haiti, and the attack on his family. Our thoughts are with his family and the people of Haiti in this tragic situation.
Thank you for convening this meeting. I thank also Special Representative Keita and Ms Kibambe for your informative briefings.
Let me start by highlighting some recent positive developments in the DRC:
The installation of a new Government, a government with more women than ever before, and the adoption of the Government’s programme of action for 2021-2023,
all provide a solid basis for advancement in the DRC. At the same time, we urge the DRC to ensure meaningful participation of all stakeholders in the current electoral reform efforts. Norway would expect that in such a comprehensive effort leading up to the Presidential election in 2023, everyone’s voices will be heard, including civil society, women, and youth.
While we are able to welcome progress in some areas, we cannot downplay the serious challenges related to the protection of civilians and humanitarian needs in the eastern part of the DRC. Challenges which have only been exacerbated by the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo in May. The increasing violence, particularly in the Ituri province, and growing number of violations against children is deeply concerning. We condemn all attacks, and we demand that all actors respect and comply with obligations under International humanitarian law, and International human rights law. This also applies to Ituri, and North Kivu provinces, which are both presently under a state of siege.
As MONUSCO is drawing down, root causes of conflict must be addressed. Security sector reform and a sustainable framework for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration are crucial. Yet, these efforts must also be complemented by initiatives to promote peace and reconciliation. Including through strengthening the fight against impunity, and providing greater support to transitional justice and dialogue.
Peace and reconciliation efforts need to encompass and empower the people affected by instability and violence- including victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. In this regard, we commend the extraordinary work of organizations and individuals such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr Mukwege, in the DRC.
One thing is clear: Innovative grassroots initiatives led by local people are needed if we are to reach a more stable situation in the DRC. And they must be supported by this Council, the broader UN membership, and countries and organisations in the region. My delegation hopes that the formation of a new government will create new momentum to address these challenges.
We are at a turning point in terms of MONUSCO’s presence. The complete drawdown from the Kasai region this month will be followed by the exit from Tanganyika province next year. Norway expects MONUSCO to continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the drawdown remains sustainable, and that stabilisation and peacebuilding priorities outlined in the mandate can continue. MONUSCO’s role in ensuring the protection of civilians must remain a priority even with a reduced number of troops. In this respect, we are looking forward to receiving the transition plan for MONUSCO, as requested in Security Council resolution 2556, in September this year.
I thank you.