Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC briefing on the DRC sanctions

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the UNSC briefing on the DRC sanctions

I want to thank Ambassador Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, Chair of the 1533 Committee concerning the DRC, for his briefing and leadership.

The Chair’s statement and the Final report of the Group of Experts on the DRC depict a grim reality on the ground. Illicit trade of natural resources, arms smuggling, fragmentation of illegal armed groups, human rights abuses, ethnic clashes and atrocities committed by foreign and local armed groups remain widespread in the eastern DRC. A drastic destabilization in the Kasai provinces demonstrates that no part of the country is immune from these outrages.

At the same time, one cannot deny that the existing sanctions regime has played an important role in diminishing some threats. For instance, it narrowed opportunities for armed groups to benefit from illegal involvement in the exploitation of natural resources, particularly, minerals known as 3 T (3 T acronym refers to tin, tantalaum, tungsten minerals). However, a gold sector lags behind and the lack of traceability system leaves an opportunity for smugglers to profit from this gap.

Despite some positive trends, the overall situation does not show signs of significant improvement. Thus, we are deeply concerned with further deterioration of the security environment in the country on the whole, which is evidently interconnected with the political stagnation.

The international community and this Council have to spare no effort in assisting the DRC to move towards stability, peace and security that its people deserve. Conduct of elections in 2017 remains an important element in this endeavor.

The same relates to accountability. Here, the killings of two members of the Group of experts must not remain unanswered. Those who committed these crimes have to be brought to justice. In this regard, following the SG’s recent letter on the executive summary of Board of Inquiry report, we would like to call upon the Secretary-General to act in a swift manner and to establish a respective follow-up mechanism under his own authority, as his predecessor did in response to the Terrain Hotel tragedy in the South Sudan.

Finally, in terms of the Committee’s modus operandi, we do not understand the situation when recommendations, addressed to the Council by the Group of experts this very Council has established, are prevented from reaching it. We call on all Committee members to work constructively in full cooperation with the Chairman and each other to ensure effective functioning of the body.