Statement by H.E. Ms. SHINO Mitsuko, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Great Lakes

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October 17 2023

I would like to express my gratitude to Special Envoy Xia, the ICGLR Executive Secretary Caholo and Ms. Malimukono for their briefing. I also welcome the participation of representatives from the DRC and Rwanda.

We continue to see with deep concern the recurrent violence by armed groups, aggravating human security crises in the eastern part of the DRC, and the increasing tensions between the DRC and Rwanda. It is critical for the signatory countries including the DRC, together with the guarantors, to fully implement the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region at the national, regional, and international level.

Japan welcomes the communique of the 11th high-level meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM) of the Framework on 6 May. The agreement must lead to a renewed momentum in regional efforts and continue to be the guideline for the way forward. As the leaders of the region requested, an independent, frank and sincere assessment of the Framework’s implementation is essential to improve our collective endeavors and follow-up actions.

The Nairobi process and the Luanda process are playing a central role in the ongoing regional peace initiatives. All armed groups must observe an immediate cessation of hostilities and fully engage in those processes. Support of any kind to armed groups which exacerbates an already worsening regional situation must be stopped immediately.

Close coordination is the key for various peace initiatives to maximize their effects and subsequently achieve the common goal. The Quadripartite Summit on 27 June of the EAC,  ECCAS, the ICGLR and SADC under the aegis of the African Union has laid a solid groundwork for enhanced coordination. Multi-level joint planning, as agreed, should be fully utilized for further harmonization of regional initiatives. Special Envoy Xia and his office can play a significant role to foster such efforts.

The complexity of the challenges the region faces requires us to take a comprehensive, cross-border approach based on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace nexus. Such approach is required especially when tackling the challenge of illegal exploitation of natural resources, which remains one of the drivers of conflict. All  stakeholders must engage in more transparent management, enhanced border-control and judicial cooperation for the promotion of legitimate trade and development.

We are deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian situation and human rights violations and abuses in the region. The continuous grave violations against children and gender-based violence are alarming. Japan places a great importance on promoting the participation of women and the youth in political and peace processes. In this regard, we welcome efforts made by international and regional entities including MONUSCO, UN-Women, the ICGLR Regional Women’s Forum and the ICGLR Regional Youth Forum.

Japan will continue to play its part for a peaceful and prosperous Great Lakes Region.

I thank you.

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