General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Briefing and Consultations on United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic [MINUSCA]

[Wednesday, 22 June 2022; 1000 hrs.; 1930 hrs. IST]

***

India Statement

 

Mr.President, 

 

Let me begin by welcoming SRSG Valentine Rugwabiza upon her commencing office this April and wishing her success in the important assignment entrusted to her. I also thank her for her briefing on United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the recent developments in the Central African Republic (CAR). I also thank Civil Society Organization briefer Ms. Lina Ekomo for her insights. I welcome the Permanent Representative of CAR to today’s meeting. 

 

2.    Significant political developments in the Central African Republic in the last four months have demonstrated the resolve and commitment of the CAR leadership towards the peace process. The holding of the Republican Dialogue with the participation of majority of the opposition expanded democratic space for dialogue and participation. We reiterate the significance of this process and making it as inclusive as possible. Such a process would enable taking on board collective aspirations of the people of CAR and, in turn, securing lasting peace and development in the country. 

 

3. The state authority and rule of law have also strengthened; the presence of state officials has increased, security forces have been deployed across the country and national parliament has adopted important legislations as well; positive steps have been taken to address impunity in CAR, including crimes against civilians and peacekeepers—one such development being the first trial of the Special Criminal Court. The International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Road Map has also seen forward movement with the active involvement of neighbors, particularly on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process. 

 

4.    The local elections have been postponed due to paucity of funds. The importance of putting democratic institutions in place cannot be over emphasized. We hope that the hurdles to the holding of local elections will be overcome soon. Towards this end, we appreciate the role of MINUSCA by providing support to National Election Authority to promote participation and training of officials. 

 

5.    The security situation has remained fragile, though the number of violations of the Political Agreement has decreased. The activities of armed groups are negatively affecting the lives of ordinary civilians, particularly women and children. We strongly condemn the attacks by armed groups and others on civilians. The discovery of anti-personnel landmines and the rise in IED use by armed groups are worrying signs. We reiterate our call on all opposition groups and armed group signatories to the Peace Agreement, to stop fighting and join the CAR authorities in finding a peaceful solution. 

 

6. We note the improved and constructive engagements between MINUSCA and the government of CAR. We welcome the establishment of a new coordination structure to oversee the implementation of status-of-forces agreement and security coordination. We hope that such mechanisms will resolve outstanding issues and ensure adequate coordination on the ground. We call on the government of CAR to ensure that the safety and security of UN peacekeepers is not compromised in any manner. We also expect MINUSCA to prioritize the mandate tasks in line with the requirements of CAR. We reiterate that peacekeeping missions must consistently evaluate the performance of all its components i.e., uniform, civilian and mission leadership.  

 

7.    The humanitarian situation needs our collective, sustained attention. We have been consistently drawing attention to the twin burden of rising prices and falling supplies of petroleum and food grains on developing countries. We can ill afford to again disregard principles of equity, affordability, and accessibility of essential commodities for the needy, as we had erred in the case of Covid-19 vaccines. We hope the international community will extend support to the humanitarian response plan which remains poorly funded. 

 

8.    The Panel of Experts on CAR has recently reported that the official exports of rough diamonds from western CAR’s nine Kimberly Process compliant zones doubled in 2021. This positive development underscores the potential of resource-rich CAR to expand its formal trade in commodities for its development.  

    

9.    In conclusion, CAR is on a positive trajectory. The need now is to press ahead and capitalize on the gains made so far. Towards this end, we support the initiatives of SRSG. India will continue to support CAR and its people in their pursuit of peace, stability and economic development. 

***