Mr President, thank you for convening today’s meeting. Estonia joins others in strongly condemning the assassination of Haiti´s President.
I thank Special Representative Ms Keita and Ms Kibambe for their briefings.
I would like to start by welcoming the establishment of a new Government and the progress made towards greater representation of women in public life. We appraise the commitments of the Government to implement security and justice reforms under its programme of action, and to facilitate the protection of women’s rights. It is important that the implementation of these reforms remain high on the agenda along with the preparations for the 2023 elections.
We remain concerned that despite the declared state of siege, the security situation in eastern provinces of DRC continued to deteriorate. It is worrying that multiple armed groups and State agents continue to perpetrate human rights violations and abuses, including conflict-related sexual violence. In this connection, we condemn the recent attack against MONUSCO that took the life of the peacekeeper, while she served for the protection of the civilians in the DRC. Accordingly, it is crucial to make further efforts to address the root causes of the conflict, investigate and prosecute perpetrators of serious violations and bring them to justice. In this regard, we commend the work of MONUSCO along with its Force Intervention Brigade for its continued support to the Congolese authorities and civilians in providing area security and combatting impunity.
It is equally concerning that numbers of grave violations committed against women and children remain very high. In this regard, we encourage the Government of the DRC to pursue its commitments and efforts to prevent these violations. We likewise express support to the work of MONUSCO, UNICEF and other partners for their engagement in preventing these violations.
Mr President, the recent volcanic eruption has triggered additional hardship for Congolese people and put more pressure to the dire humanitarian situation. We appraise the efforts carried out by the Congolese authorities, MONUSCO, international partners and humanitarian actors in response to these devastating effects. We encourage the Government to continue its efforts in addressing the impact of the Covid-19.
In conclusion, we commend the progress made on the implementation of the Joint Justice Reform Support Programme. We also believe it is crucial to further advance the implementation of the national strategy on the Security Sector Reform and Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration process. Lastly, we welcome the continued engagement by the Special Representative with the Congolese Government in the implementation of the Joint Strategy for the progressive and phased drawdown of MONUSCO. It is important that the transition plan includes benchmarks and indicators that are objective and measurable. They should also ensure equal opportunities for all stakeholders, including civil society and humanitarian actors engaged in the development and implementation of this plan.