Statement by the Nordic and Baltic countries,
ID on Democratic Republic of the Congo
46th session of the Human Rights Council. Statement delivered by Ambassador Anna Jardfelt.
22 MAR 2021
I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and my own country, Sweden.
The tragic and unacceptable attack on a WFP convoy in DRC which killed three people, including the Italian Ambassador, Luca Attanasio, was a clear reminder of the dire security situation in the eastern DRC and a clear illustration of the challenging context of actors working in the region. We are deeply concerned by the increased number of attacks – including massacres - against civilians leading to the death of innocent people. The number of human rights violations and abuses, including sexual and gender-based violence, also remains high. Efforts must be increased to end violence, protect civilians and fight impunity. In addition to improving the security situation, it is paramount to address the root causes of this conflict and humanitarian crises, including the illicit exploitation of natural resources, as well as endemic poverty.
Madam High Commissioner, what further measures would in your view be required to improve the situation?
Four years have now passed since the murder of UN experts Zaida Catalán and Michael Sharp in the DRC. We reiterate that their deaths must be fully and thoroughly investigated, with respect for due process, and those responsible held accountable. It is encouraging that the ongoing trial in the DRC has now resumed to hopefully a regular rhythm. It is also crucial that the Congolese authorities fully cooperate with the UN Follow-On Mechanism led by Mr. Petit.