Statement at the UNSC Briefing on MONUSCO
Statement09 December 2022
Thank you Madame President and thank you also to Special Representative Keita and Secretary General Mathuki and Rebecca Kabuo for your briefings. And we welcome the participation today of the DRC Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
After nearly two years as a member of this Council, Ireland is more worried than ever about the situation in the DRC and across the Great Lakes Region.
Ireland is appalled by the recent massacre of civilians in Kishishe and Bambo. We condemn this heinous act in the strongest terms.
The persistent and growing violence and insecurity in eastern DRC – perpetrated by the M23, the ADF, CODECO, and many other armed groups is alarming.
This insecurity is creating a complex crisis, and exacerbating the already dire humanitarian need, with widespread displacement contributing to food insecurity and malnutrition.
We reiterate the importance of protecting civilians and humanitarians and delivering assistance to millions of affected people.
Human rights violations and abuses continue to be perpetrated by armed groups and State forces. It is deeply disappointing that the 1533 Committee is unlikely to receive a briefing from SRSG Patten on the appalling situation in the DRC in relation to Sexual Violence in Conflict. The persistently high rates of gender-based violence and conflict-related sexual violence cannot continue to be ignored. We must end impunity and hold those responsible to account.
We fully support MONUSCO’s role in the protection of civilians. The rise in hate speech, misinformation and anti-UN rhetoric is worrying. It is imperative that all citizens are protected and that the Mission continues to deliver on its mandate. In this regard, we recognise the importance of community engagement and communication with partners.
Ireland has consistently highlighted that regional cooperation is paramount for peace, yet tensions continue to grow, with the deteriorating relationship between the DRC and Rwanda of particular concern. We reiterate the importance of the PSC Framework and commend regional member states, the ICGLR, the African Union, the East African Community, UNOCA and SADC for their efforts to ease tensions and build trust.
The Nairobi and Luanda processes are important platforms for peace, and we urge all parties to engage fully.
The deployment of the EAC Regional Force must have clear objectives. Close cooperation and coordination with MONUSCO and other actors is essential. The Force must comply with international law, including international humanitarian and international human rights law.
DDR is fundamental to a lasting peace in the DRC. We welcome the expansion of the P-DDRCS, including the elaboration of the provincial operational plan. There is a need to scale up its implementation if it is to make the needed impact on building sustainable peace.
Effective transitions are essential for sustaining peace also. The review of the joint transition plan must recognise the need for continued engagement, cooperation and inclusion, and set clear and realistic transition benchmarks and indicators, aligned with realistic timelines.
We urge the full inclusion of civil society in the transition process, and the provision of space for women’s full, equal and meaningful participation across all efforts toward peace.
As the 2023 elections draw closer, we welcome the continued efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), and reiterate the importance of respecting and protecting human rights. We condemn all dangerous rhetoric, hate speech or incitement to violence, whatever the medium.
The UN can and should play an important role in supporting the timely holding of transparent, credible, inclusive, and peaceful elections. It is vitally important to ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in this process, and that youth is fully engaged.
We hope that unlike the last two years, the next twenty-four months will bring progress on the path to peace for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Thank you.