Thank you, president.
The UK welcomes the renewal of MINUSCA’s mandate and thanks France for its efforts as drafter to reconcile the divergent views of Council members.
Delegations made difficult compromises.
The UK is disappointed at the loss of agreed Responsibility to Protect language. But we maintain that the Government of the Central African Republic remains primarily responsible for the protection of all civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and that this issue will continue to be a key factor in future conversations.
This mandate renewal is taking place in a difficult political and security context, and MINUSCA itself faces significant challenges. But the Mission retains a key role in helping to build long-term peace in the Central African Republic. And while we acknowledge the views expressed by our A3 partners and welcome the recent overall reductions in State of Forces Agreement violations, we remain deeply concerned about the government-imposed night flight restrictions.
Such restrictions limit MINUSCA’s ability to implement its mandate and endanger the security of peacekeeping forces and civilians. We support new language in the mandate to address this critical issue. And we call on the authorities to guarantee the freedom of movement of MINUSCA, with immediate and unhindered access to the entire territory of the Central African Republic, including by air and night, as established in the Agreement on the Statute of the Mission Forces.
President, with this mandate, MINUSCA can continue to provide effective support for long-term stability in the country. It is now up to the government to fulfill its stated commitments: to protect civilians and human rights; take definitive steps on the peace agreement; and defend the freedom of movement of MINUSCA.