Security Council Press Statement on the situation in the Great Lakes region – 8 October 2019

Following is the text of the statement to the press today by the President of the Security Council for the month of October, Mr. Jerry Matthews Matjila (South Africa):

The members of the Security Council met on 3 October 2019 to discuss the situation in the Great Lakes region and the implementation of the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region. They heard a presentation by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Huang Xia.

The members of the Council welcomed the recent improvement in the situation in the Great Lakes region, particularly the diplomatic action carried out under the auspices of the Presidents of Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MM. Lourenco and Tshisekedi, which led to the holding of a quadripartite summit on July 12 in Luanda between Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, as well as the holding of a follow-up summit on August 21 in Luanda. They welcomed the joint communique issued on 12 July and the commitment of Heads of State to work towards creating an enabling environment for political and economic cooperation, to settle their differences peacefully and to help the Democratic Republic of Congo to fight the Ebola epidemic.

Council members welcomed the commitment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbors, at the national and regional levels, to work towards stability and development in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, in accordance with the objectives of the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation.

Council members encouraged the region and the international community to use the current momentum to progressively overcome the obstacles to peace and sustainable development. They welcomed the continued efforts to promote sustainable economic development as a means of promoting regional peace and addressing the root causes of conflict, including through economic cooperation and integration, and to support national initiatives to further improve good governance, the fight against corruption, transparency and good economic competition. They underscored that these initiatives will boost social and economic development in the region and contribute to lasting peace.

The members of the Council condemned all armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and welcomed the commitment of the signatories of the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation to combat the threat posed by these groups. They welcomed the commitment of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to assist the countries of the International Conference on the Great Lakes region in this regard, as it said at its 39th Summit held in Dar es Salaam (United Republic of Tanzania) on 17 and 18 August. They recalled that the Framework Agreement remains an essential mechanism for achieving lasting peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the region. They welcomed the commitment of the signatories of the Framework Agreement to fully implement it and urged them to honor promptly, fully and in good faith their commitments under the Agreement. to address the root causes of conflict, end recurring cycles of violence and promote sustainable regional development. They recalled that a purely military solution would not solve these problems and that the elimination of the threat posed by armed groups would require an integrated and regional approach and an unwavering political commitment on the part of the Governments of the Republic. Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, with the support of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region. They called on the region and the international community to continue to support initiatives to promote inclusive dialogue among national stakeholders with a view to achieving peace and stability in the region. They welcomed the work done by MONUSCO, particularly in the eastern part of the country. They called on the region and the international community to continue to support initiatives to promote inclusive dialogue among national stakeholders with a view to achieving peace and stability in the region. They welcomed the work done by MONUSCO, particularly in the eastern part of the country. They called on the region and the international community to continue to support initiatives to promote inclusive dialogue among national stakeholders with a view to achieving peace and stability in the region. They welcomed the work done by MONUSCO, particularly in the eastern part of the country.

Council members reiterated their concern over the ongoing humanitarian situation and the continued threat of Ebola, measles and cholera epidemics in the region. They expressed concern that funds were insufficient to address this situation and reiterated their call to donors and partners to continue to provide the necessary support in order to meet, as soon as possible, the funding requirements for humanitarian activities. . They further emphasized that cooperation and coordination with and among the countries of the Great Lakes region should be pursued so that the region is better prepared and outbreaks can be sustainably halted.

Council members expressed their concern over the continuing obstacles to the exercise of fundamental political freedoms and human rights in parts of the Great Lakes region. They stressed the importance of open political space for peaceful political parties, civil society and the media to participate fully and freely in the political process, as well as for the full participation of both men and women in this process. They urged States in the region and the international community to support the strengthening and enhancement of electoral and governance capacities of the countries of the Great Lakes region, and called upon the member states of the Great Lakes region to take steps to ensure that electoral consultations promote peace and security by ensuring that elections are held in a timely manner and are conducted in a peaceful and inclusive manner and credible, in accordance with the respective constitutions of the countries and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as the case may be. They noted that the development of regional judicial cooperation would contribute to the fight against impunity and, by increasing the confidence of the inhabitants of the region in the strength of the judicial institutions, promote reconciliation between the communities and contribute to general stability. ensuring that elections are timely and peaceful, open to all and credible, in accordance with the respective constitutions of the countries and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as the case may be . They noted that the development of regional judicial cooperation would contribute to the fight against impunity and, by increasing the confidence of the inhabitants of the region in the strength of the judicial institutions, promote reconciliation between the communities and contribute to general stability. ensuring that elections are timely and peaceful, open to all and credible, in accordance with the respective constitutions of the countries and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, as the case may be . They noted that the development of regional judicial cooperation would contribute to the fight against impunity and, by increasing the confidence of the inhabitants of the region in the strength of the judicial institutions, promote reconciliation between the communities and contribute to general stability.

Council members reaffirmed their desire to continue to work together, with their continued support and commitment, in collaboration with the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the Southern African Development Community and the United Nations. other relevant regional and international organizations to assist the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the countries of the region to fully implement their commitments under the Framework Agreement for Peace, Security and Cooperation for the Republic Democratic Republic of Congo and the region. They reaffirmed their full support for the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General in carrying out his mandate,

Source: UN Security Council