Delivered by: Mrs. Ameirah AlHefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
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At the outset, I would like to thank Ms. Keita and Ambassador Biang for their valuable briefings. We also listened carefully to Mr. Emery Mudinga and we welcome the participation of the Representatives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda in today’s meeting.
The difficult security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo requires the urgent attention of the international community. Therefore, we must not deviate from our shared goal: to work with the DRC to help address the root causes of the violence and put the country on the path to peace and sustainable development.
We stress the need to end violence in the eastern DRC through de-escalation and a cessation of hostilities. This call has been made repeatedly by regional actors, notably the East African Community and the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States. Concurrently, there is also a need to address the challenges undermining security and preventing sustainable peace in the country. Of these challenges, addressing the activities of armed groups, including their illegal exploitation of natural resources, as well as intercommunal tensions are key. These obstacles continue to strain the capabilities of the national forces and of MONUSCO to provide adequate protection to civilians. It is regrettable that, in every meeting we hold on this matter, we must extend our condolences to the families of victims of new attacks in the eastern DRC.
The situation of women and girls in areas of increased violence also requires special attention, especially considering the alarming escalation of sexual violence. We hear the tragic stories and psychological trauma of women and girls, who continue to suffer because of these heinous acts. We therefore reiterate our firm position to address these situations by ensuring that such crimes continue to be reported, that perpetrators are held accountable, and that women and girls are provided with adequate protection and support.
Establishing security in the DRC requires endeavoring to open the space for political dialogue at both the national and regional levels. The continued and effective leadership at the regional level is indispensable to sustainably address the political and security situation in the DRC. Initiatives such as the Luanda Road Map and the Nairobi Process help create space that allows regional leaders to coordinate efforts and strengthen cooperation to achieve these goals. The Security Council certainly plays an important role, in this context, by maintaining support for confidence-building measures among regional actors and efforts that seek to invigorate overall cooperation.
Multilateralism is important for the maintenance of international peace and security. In this context, the UAE reaffirms its support for MONUSCO and its endeavors in the DRC. We also believe that preserving the gains made by the United Nations after its decades-long presence, which requires all stakeholders to remain constructively engaged in making the necessary arrangements for the next steps, in the context of the gradual drawdown of the mission and its eventual withdrawal from DRC.
The Secretary-General’s report confirms the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the eastern DRC. As a result, millions of people are suffering, especially so in the context of the recurring Ebola and cholera outbreaks. The number of displaced people has sharply increased, reaching 5.5 million according to the UNHCR and as Ms. Keita just mentioned, all of whom need urgent relief assistance. We cannot forgo noting the impact the situation is having on this new academic year. Many schools are now overcrowded with displaced people instead of students. There is a need to address this situation rapidly – both to alleviate the suffering of displaced people and to allow children to access education. Under these circumstances, there is also an imperative to ensure that humanitarian workers and civilian infrastructure are protected from attacks, to guarantee humanitarian access to those in need.
Finally, the UAE affirms its commitment to continue working with the Government of the DRC and with all Member States in support of efforts aimed at achieving peace and stability in the country.
Thank you, Mr. President.