The Democratic Republic of Congo
Council members expect to get final agreement today on a presidential statement to be issued following tomorrow’s (18 July) open debate on the DRC. The presidential statement was circulated last Wednesday and Council members discussed it last Friday. It seems that most members were comfortable with the substance of the statement and did not require much clarification.
It appears that the key focus of the presidential statement is on economic development and the need to help the government restore basic services and revitalise the economy. The statement is also expected to express the support of the international community for the upcoming presidential elections and highlight cooperation between the Congo government and MONUSCO. One concrete suggestion is likely to be a request for the international community to supply equipment that could assist the police during the elections.
The Minister for Cooperation of the DRC is scheduled to attend the debate which will be chaired by the secretary-general of the French ministry for foreign affairs. The UN Secretary-General, the head of MONUSCO Roger Meece and representatives of UNDP and the World Bank are also expected to attend.
Looking ahead it appears that the Council will continue to focus its attention on the DRC in June. MONUSCO’s mandate expires on 30 June and the Council is likely to adopt a resolution in June extending its mandate.
The Group of Experts report, which was circulated to the DRC Sanctions Committee on Friday, is also expected to be taken up in June. It appears that there will two other briefings on DRC in June – Margot Wallstrom is expected to brief the DRC sanctions committee and OCHA is likely to brief the Protection of Civilians Group of Experts.