Sanctions Committee on Democratic Republic of Congo Meets with Presidential Adviser on Sexual Violence, Secretary-General’s Special Representatives
On 9 November 2016, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo held a formal meeting with Ms. Jeanine Mabunda, the DRC Presidential Adviser on Sexual Violence and Child Recruitment.
During the meeting, the Presidential Adviser of the DRC informed the Committee that since the fragile return to peace there had been a decrease in child recruitment, showing that measures to raise awareness around child recruitment were being implemented. Further, the representative said that there remained a need to remove the children from armed groups and reunite them with their families and punish those responsible for their recruitment. Concerning sexual violence, the representative highlighted that a lot of effort had been made, including the establishment of the office of the Presidential Adviser on Sexual Violence and Child Recruitment. Finally, the country was engaged in promoting the appointment of female judges and deploying them across the country to facilitate access to justice of victims of sexual abuse. The representative pointed out that a lot of challenges still remained and confirmed the commitment of her Government to working on the issues, including by continuing the fight against impunity.
Members of the Committee welcomed the meeting and the opportunity to engage with the DRC on these important questions. Members further stated their commitment to continue fighting against child recruitment and sexual abuse.
Following the formal meeting, the Committee held informal consultations with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Sexual Violence in Conflict.
During the meeting, the Special Representatives informed the members that a lot of work had been done in the country by the Government and key partners on the issues of sexual violence and child recruitment. The United Nations had played and continued to play a key part in assisting the country to both discuss these issues more freely and also to put in place measures to counter sexual abuse and child recruitment. However, they noted that challenges still remained, and in that context encouraged the Committee to stay seized of the matter and continue to show support to the national authorities but also to apply the measures against spoilers. The representatives pointed out that the sanctions Committee remained viewed as key means of dissuading actors from committing grave violations related to sexual violence and child recruitment.
Members of the Committee expressed their support to both of the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General.