SC: Great Lakes Region

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Odd-Inge Kvalheim in the UN Security Council meeting on the Great Lakes Region, 12 April 2021.

Thank you, Special Envoy Xia, for your briefing. I would also like to thank HE M. Mohamed Edrees, President of the Peacebuilding Commission, for your intervention. The challenges in the Great Lakes region is a prime example of the need for cooperation between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission.

Despite challenges stemming from the pandemic, we are heartened by signs of improved regional cooperation in the Great Lakes Region. We encourage all stakeholders, including the AU, SADC, and ICGLR, to build on recent progress, and continue efforts to strengthen regional diplomacy.  

Further implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework can bring stability and have a positive effect on the humanitarian situation in the region. However, strengthened protection of civilians is paramount to progress. 

We are greatly concerned by reports of continued human rights violations and abuses in DRC, including against children; and the reported attacks on health and humanitarian workers in parts of the region. Safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need must be ensured.  

President, we encourage the Special Envoy to continue to use the tools at his disposal to address root causes of conflict in the region, including the adverse effects of climate change, the illicit trade of natural resources, and the need for reforms to end impunity. 

We welcome the new strategy for peace consolidation, conflict prevention and conflict resolution in the Great Lakes region, and we look forward to receiving the related action plan. All relevant stakeholders, including women, human rights defenders, and civil society, must be actively engaged. 

Finally President, Norway looks forward to continuing to work with you, Special Envoy, to promote stabilisation and development in the Great Lakes Region.  

I thank you.