SC: Great Lakes Region

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Trine Heimerback in the Security Council meeting on the Great Lakes Region, 27 April 2022.


I want to thank Special Envoy Xia for his informative briefing and Mr Caholo and Mr Mahtani for their valuable inputs.

Let me start by expressing our deepest condolences to the families of the recently fallen peacekeepers in the DRC. This further underscores that the safety of our blue helmets must be ensured at all times. The deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in eastern DRC is deeply concerning, and is resulting in large-scale displacement.

Reports also show an increase in cross-border incidents, and in the overall activity of armed groups. This is happening despite the current state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu provinces in the DRC. Additionally, reported incidents of grave human rights violations and abuses, conducted by non-state and state actors, are also on the rise. A common denominator behind these negative developments is rivalry related to natural resources.

To reduce the threat to civilians - including children - we must address the root causes of conflict. Military measures must be accompanied by concerted political dialogue, peacebuilding efforts, and projects to promote economic and social development. Both in the DRC, and in the Great Lakes region as a whole. We urge all relevant stakeholders to combat illicit exploitation of natural resources, promote sustainable approaches to DDR, and further enhance regional cooperation.


Women’s involvement is essential to promote sustainable peace in the region. We therefore welcome the work of regional actors, including the ICGLR and the Advisory Board for Women, Peace and Security. Their work is crucial to ensure women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace and political processes. The adoption of the Regional Action Plan on 1325 - aligned to the regional Strategy - and the revised ICGLR Regional Gender Policy are also important steps forward. Implementation, follow-up, and continued consultations will be essential in the coming months. Norway will continue to support these efforts through our ongoing cooperation with the Office of the Special Envoy.


Norway welcomes also efforts to strengthen regional cooperation, and acknowledges the positive trend of building confidence and good neighbourly relations among the countries in the region. The 10th Summit of the Regional Oversight Mechanism in Kinshasa last month is an important step. It is also positive that the DRC has become a member of the East African Community. We welcome the ongoing talks in Nairobi between the government of DRC and armed groups in Eastern Congo

In February, the International Contact Group for the Great Lakes region discussed regional developments, as well as the UN regional Strategy. The next step is to use these platforms to enable action. We urge all stakeholders to do their utmost to ensure the implementation of the Action Plan endorsed by this Council last year.


Instability has, for too long, defined the lives of the people of the Great Lakes region. Sustainable peace must be ensured to give people the future they deserve. Norway stands ready to work with all actors to this end.

I thank you.