Thank you, Madam President,
The UK thanks the United Nations Joint Office for Human Rights, the High Commissioner, and the Expert team on Kasai for their reports and continued work to support the improvement of the human rights situation in DRC.
We note the reports’ recognition of government efforts to improve human rights and tackle corruption. We call on the Government of DRC to commit to achieving further progress and reforms, including by taking all necessary measures to address human rights violations and combat the culture of impunity that persists in DRC.
The UK remains concerned by the human rights situation in DRC. The increase in abuses committed by armed groups, the widespread nature of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, continued human rights violations by state agents and recent restrictions on democratic space are all worrying trends. We are concerned progress made by the Government of DRC risks being undermined and reversed, partly due to the additional challenges presented by Covid-19.
We would welcome an update on the measures the Government of DRC is taking to ensure the protection of communities at risk of violence, including conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, from armed groups and state agents, and on measures to ensure the preservation of open democratic spaces and media freedom.