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Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Great Lakes

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
April 12, 2021



Thank you, Mr. President. And let me thank Special Envoy Xia and Ambassador Edrees for your briefings today.

Mr. President, I’m going to be brief, as we described in detail our concerns about the regional dimensions of the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo during the March 30th Security Council meeting.

We know from last week’s briefings that the consequences of inaction are dire. We are particularly troubled by protests in North Kivu last week that turned violent, and highlighting civilian anger about unceasing armed group attacks. The Congolese people, our colleagues in MONUSCO, and the tens of millions of people in the region need us to be ambitious, and they need us to be swift. We must reduce the illegal flows of minerals, arms, and fighters that continue to fuel the violence.

And as you know, the United States was heavily involved in regional diplomacy in 2012 and 2013, which led to the signing of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework and the creation of the Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes. We continue to support the new UN Regional Strategy for the Great Lakes, which was approved six months ago. And Mr. President, we urge the Special Envoy to act swiftly on the regional strategy by pursuing high-level shuttle diplomacy and supporting the full implementation of the PSC Framework.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic remains an obstacle, we hope the Special Envoy’s office works creatively in the coming months – in partnership with dynamic regional leaders – to identify opportunities for diplomatic engagement on commitments made under the PSC Framework. We need to push these commitments forward.

Together, we can help the Great Lakes countries overcome a traumatic history and fulfill their rich potential.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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