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Statement on the situation in Central Africa

Statement by the Republic of Slovenia at the UNSC briefing on the Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Central Africa and the activities of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA)

Thank you Mr. President,

I would like to thank SRSG Abarry and the president of ECCAS Commission Verissimo for their comprehensive briefings.

Mr. President,

The briefings we heard today paint a picture of a dynamic region that seeks growth, democratic progress and sustainable development, but is at the same time faced with substantive political, economic and social challenges. Unresolved, they will continue to cause conflict and violence that we deplore without reservations. In this regard, allow me to make the following points.

First, we take note of different transitional processes currently taking place in the region, including the presidential elections in Chad this past May and the national dialogue that took place in April in Gabon. We welcome overall commitment to electoral processes as a way to complete political transitions. Nevertheless, we underscore that holding elections must not be an end to itself. An inclusive political space, strong independent institutions, rule of law and protection of human rights are key to ensuring genuine democratic processes. We are concerned over continued restrictions of civic space and freedom of expression.

We are encouraged to see positive examples of strengthening of democratic governance in Central Africa. We welcome the reforms of judicial and security sector being implemented by São Tomé and Príncipe. We encourage UNOCA, ECCAS as well as other UN agencies and regional organizations to continue their support to São Tomé and Príncipe and other countries in the region in their implementation of democratic reforms.

Mr. President, we acknowledge the heavy burden of the large-scale displacement caused by the war in Sudan on the humanitarian situation in the neighboring countries and their already fragile communities. We commend the governments of Chad and the Central African Republic for their solidarity with the people fleeing from war. We call on continued international cooperation and support to displaced populations as well as to host communities.

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Second, we commend UNOCA for its steadfast commitment to the Climate, Peace and Security agenda. The report of SRSG Abarry clearly demonstrates impact of climate crisis on peace and security in the region. Each extreme weather event, from catastrophic floods in the DRC, the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, to historic drought in Angola, directly impacts food security and causes new wave of displacement, further fueling the cycle of instability. Slovenia observes with great concern the dynamics of severe outbreaks of farmer-herder conflicts that are directly caused by climate-induced natural resource scarcity resulting in the changing shifts in transhumance patterns.

For these reasons, we express our strong support to UNOCA’s efforts towards development and operationalization of a regional transhumance protocol that would contribute to the prevention and resolution of conflicts in the region.

Mr. President, inclusive political dialogue cannot exist without full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women and youth. Women play a key role in economic recovery and building social cohesion. Their participation is integral for building and sustaining lasting peace. We therefore welcome UNOCA’s support to the local, national and regional efforts to empowering women and youth of the region and bolstering their political participation.  

Finally, Mr. President, let me express our firm support to the extension of UNOCA’s mandate at the end of August. Furthermore, Slovenia looks forward to adoption of a new presidential statement, in order to give UNOCA a strong political tool as it carries out its important mandate.  

Thank you.

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