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I have the honor to make this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and my own country Sweden.
The violence in the Kasaï-regions in 2016-2017 particularly affected children, and many women were subjected to sexual violence – often repeatedly. Given the HRC’s call for accountability, it is alarming that none of these crimes have been taken to court and that the few ongoing investigations do not reflect the full range of committed crimes.
Regarding the brutal murders of UN Experts Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp in 2017, we are encouraged by reports of progress and better cooperation with the UN Follow-on Mechanisms by the Congolese investigation. We welcome the mechanism’s extension under Mr. Petit. These killings must be fully and thoroughly investigated and all those responsible brought to justice.
We call for the DRC authorities to ensure that all perpetrators of the Kasaï violence, including those belonging to state security forces and all militia factions, are held accountable.
To address the root causes of ongoing violence, and for reconciliation processes, it is paramount to ensure women’s full and effective participation. At the UPR we made strong recommendations in the areas of protecting children, combatting sexual and gender-based violence, women peace and security, SRHR and ending discriminatory practices against women.
We are encouraged by the new President’s messaging regarding the importance of gender equality for the future of the DRC. Important action plans are in place. They must now be financed and implemented.
Madame High Commissioner, what is your view of the status of action plans on women, peace and security, and combatting sexual violence?
I thank you.