I thank the briefers for their important insights.
Last week, the Norwegian Refugee Council published its annual list of the world's most neglected displacement crises. Three out of five of these crises were in the UNOCA region: The DRC, Cameroon, and Chad. That in addition to the ongoing crisis in the CAR. This clearly shows both the challenges, and importance, of UNOCA's work.
While we know that preventive diplomacy rarely reaches the headlines, preventive diplomacy can certainly avert some of the most negative headlines.
Let me briefly touch upon the three mentioned, most neglected displacement crises, according to the list.
For the second year in a row, the DRC “tops” the mentioned list - as a protection crisis that we also addressed in our meeting last week.
In Chad, we have registered the transitional government's recent declaration of “food emergency”, and their call for support. In light of the situation, Norway has allocated about 25 million dollar to humanitarian efforts in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions this year.
In Cameroon, we remain concerned about the situations in the North-West and South-West regions. We commend the UN's exploration of ways to bridge gaps between the parties on a framework for dialogue. In all situations, humanitarian assistance and basic social services must be ensured without delay.
Last week, this Council adopted the first resolution in ten years on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. Piracy remains a grave risk to sailors and hampers trade, exports, and growth in Central and West Africa. It also affects seafarers and shipowners in countries such as Norway, and the ability to enhance cooperation with these regions. We see the new resolution as a strong call to action ahead of the 2023 ten-year anniversary of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct.
Moving forward, the region should remain in the driver’s seat – with already commendable efforts being scaled up. We fully support closer regional maritime co-ordination between ECCAS and ECOWAS.
Norway will also continue our support through UNODC, including to strengthen regional efforts to establish legal systems for the prosecution of pirates.
The security situation around the Lake Chad Basin remains alarming due to armed groups, terrorists, and violent extremists. We are shocked by the brutal attacks against civilians - including children, and attacks on schools. We are also deeply concerned about attacks on medical personnel and facilities. The use of improvised explosive devices against civilian targets causes further harm for populations and impacts humanitarian access.
Accountability must be ensured.
Let me in the security context also highlight an underlying issue that may not feel like the most urgent issue - but which is silently worsening the situation.
This is the issue of climate and security.
As one example, we note in the Secretary-General’s report that humanitarian needs in Burundi are strongly linked to effects of climate change.
As SRSG Fall is stepping down, we want to thank him- and, through him, also his team- for all their efforts. Some of their achievements are linked to the crucial phases around elections. Another key contribution includes working with a reformed ECCAS- as part of vital regional cooperation.