Thank you, Mr. President. Following the signing of the regional framework agreement, we find ourselves at a key turning point in the DRC.
The framework process, which included personal engagement from Secretary-General Ban, has breathed new life into efforts to find a durable peace in eastern DRC, where over 5 million have lost their lives since 1998.
In light of the renewed commitments from the DRC, its neighbors, and the international community laid out in the framework, the Security Council has acted today to ensure that MONUSCO’s mandate supports the framework agreement in its efforts to address the root causes of conflict.
Given the introduction of the Intervention Brigade, the United States has been particularly mindful of the need to “set MONUSCO up for success” by streamlining the other tasks that MONUSCO – particularly its military component – are tasked to. We underscore today that efforts to protect civilians and neutralize armed groups must remain at the forefront of tasks for MONUSCO, and are duties that all MONUSCO peacekeepers must do their utmost to perform.
We recognize the need for continued coordination with the civilian side in these efforts, particularly to ensure the protection of children and women, and to prevent continuation of the horrible streak of sexual violence in the DRC. In this regard, we fully support MONUSCO’s continued role in human rights monitoring, which we see as a key part of protecting civilians.
The Security Council has demonstrated its commitment to achieving peace in the DRC by authorizing the Intervention Brigade today. We call on the DRC government to meet its commitment to the parameters in the framework, particularly in implementing credible Security Sector Reform. We also call on the DRC’s neighbors to meet their commitments in the Framework agreement.
As we look ahead, we welcome the Secretary-General’s appointment of Mary Robinson as his Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region and will support her efforts to craft and ensure implementation of a political process that complements the work of MONUSCO to bring lasting peace to the citizens of eastern DRC.
I thank you.
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