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Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative, Olivier Nduhungirehe, at the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine

Madame President,

I thank you for convening this meeting. I also thank Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, for their respective briefings on the political and human rights situation in Ukraine.

Since February this year, the Security Council was seized with the conflict in Ukraine which, few months later, has killed more than 3,700 people, wounded more than 9,000 civilians and drove more than 824,000 Ukrainians out of their homes, including over 430,000 internally displaced. The position of Rwanda is clear and constant. It revolves around three key principles. First, end of hostilities and respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine; second, need for a genuine dialogue among Ukrainians, aimed at fostering national reconciliation, establishing self-governance and promoting rights for minorities; and third, need for a diplomatic settlement to this crisis, involving countries and organizations of the region.

It’s in this context that Rwanda welcomed the signing of the Twelve-point Minsk Protocol Agreement on 5 September 2014, which declared ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, as well as its implementation’s Memorandum of 19 September. We note with satisfaction the steps already taken by President Petro Poroshenko and the Ukrainian Parliament to implement both agreements, mainly the implementation of the ceasefire, the exchange of the detainees, as well as the adoption of laws on amnesty and on self-governance. In this regard, we believe that the parliamentary elections of this Sunday will help implementing those agreements, as they are critical to consolidate democracy, diversity and the rule of law in Ukraine. We are however concerned at the inflammatory statements of armed separatists against those elections and we recall that only elections organized by the legitimate government in Kiev will be constitutional and in line with the Minsk Agreements.

While the ceasefire, although fragile, had raised hope for peace in Ukraine, we are concerned by the statement of the Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”, officially declaring the end of the ceasefire, which followed regular violations by armed separatists. In this context, we reiterate our call on all illegal armed groups, mainly in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, to lay down their arms; and we urge the Trilateral Contact Group to use its influence to ensure that the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission is not hindered and that the Minsk Protocol is fully respected.

 

Madame President,

Rwanda is deeply troubled by the findings of the sixth monthly report of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU). We condemn the continued terror activities of armed groups in areas under their control, where they pursued killings, abductions, torture, ill-treatment and other serious human rights abuses, including destruction of housing and seizure of property. We equally condemn the violations of international human rights law by some of the volunteer battalions, under the control of the Government of Ukraine. Furthermore, we raise our concern over the use of heavy weaponry and indiscriminate shelling of densely populated areas, including the reported use of cluster munitions. On this last allegation, and in light of the response of the Ukrainian Government, which denied the use of those illegal munitions, we hope that a full, thorough and independent investigations will be conducted to shed light on this allegation.

But more generally, given this dark picture of the human rights situation in Ukraine, Rwanda urges all warring parties to comply with the international humanitarian and human rights law. We welcome the commitment of the Ukrainian government to investigate the reported human rights violations, including on the discovered mass graves, and we stress that the perpetrators, including those who bear the command responsibility, should be held accountable.

Let me conclude, Madam President, by noting that, with the ongoing fighting, the winter season fast approaching and the current shortage of gas in Ukraine, the eastern part of the country is heading towards a humanitarian catastrophe. We therefore call on the political leaders in Ukraine and those who have influence on them, to show leadership and responsibility by making sure that the ceasefire is upheld and by finding a lasting political and diplomatic solution to a crisis that has been going on for too long.

I thank you.

 

 

 

 

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative, Jeanne d’Arc Byaje, at the General Assembly 2nd Committee meeting on eradication of extreme proverty

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, let me state that Rwanda aligns itself with the statements made by the distinguished Permanent Representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia on behalf of the G77 and China and the distinguished Permanent Representative of the Republic of Malawi on behalf of the African Group.

It is relevant to note that this debate occurs only a few days after the Secretary General convened the UN family on October 17 to observe the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty; a reminder that poverty is by far one of the greatest global challenges of our time. Our new development agenda should therefore set poverty eradication as its overarching goal, calling for a collective obligation to strive to put an end to it by the year 2030.

We can look back with mixed satisfaction while evaluating progress accomplished as far as MDG#1 is concerned. At the global level, the world will have indeed managed to halve extreme poverty by 2014. Nevertheless, even though Africa has sustained positive economic growth in the last 20 years, the process did not translate significantly in the reduction of poverty. Indeed, as we are about to embark on the Second UN decade for Eradication of Poverty, we still realize that progress towards controlling poverty remains uneven, with an increasing number of people living in the threshold of poverty in most developing countries, especially in Africa and in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in general.

This therefore calls for placing greater attention on the multidimensional and dynamic nature of poverty and for us to understand the challenges faced by the different regions and the many dimensions of poverty for its effective and sustained reduction, all underlying causes have to be addressed and redressed. Fighting the new trends of growing inequalities, and addressing chronic global interdependencies should be some of the avenues to resort to if we are to eradicate extreme poverty.

In our view Mr. Chairman, it means that on top of promoting global economic growth to eradicate poverty, more efforts must be deployed on building individual and community-level capabilities, assisting national policies and strategies; in ensuring increased access to services including health and education and more importantly in improving access to decent work and recognizing the important role of ICTs among other enablers.

Mr. Chairman,

Bearing in mind that employment is vital if we are to eradicate poverty in all its forms, no stone should be left unturned to make it accessible to the key drivers of the economy, namely young people and women, who are the most disadvantageous due to their vulnerability.  In this regard, each nation should reinforce national policies geared at stimulating job creation such as entrepreneurship, improving quality of education so as to provide a comparative advantage to the vulnerable groups.  A lot remains to be done not only at the global level but also at the national, regional and international levels to access international financing which if not secured, will have a negative impact on labour markets especially in Africa.

Equally important is the need to empower women as primary contributors to the economy and into poverty reduction, mainly in rural areas. Effecting decent job creation and putting more women in the workplace as a form of empowerment can yield tangible results in eradicating poverty. We take note of the Report of the Secretary General “World Survey on the Role of Women in Development” focussed on gender equality and sustainable development. Increasing investment in women and girls through education and access to financial services can enable them to unleash their full potential especially in generating their own jobs.

Mr. Chairman, Rwanda has made huge strides ahead over the last two decades since the genocide against the Tutsi that destroyed the entire social and economic fabric. The enormous challenges in its aftermath coupled with the world economic crisis further impacted adversely on economic growth. Nevertheless, from the year 2000 when the MDG agenda was launched, Rwanda managed to sustain its economic growth and to reduce income inequality, thus lifting more than a million out of poverty and providing social protection to the most vulnerable. In this regard, we would like to emphasize the political will to eradicate poverty and sustain development as well as accountability mechanisms put in place to monitor progress and ensure delivery of services to the most vulnerable. The international community and donor countries in particular should provide support as an incentive to effective national policies and strategies.

It is worth mentioning that Rwanda has outlined its priorities in reducing poverty from 44.9% to below 30% by 2018. This will be achieved through focussing on increased productivity in agriculture which engages the vast majority of the population and ensures sustainable poverty reduction. Enhanced linkages of social protection programs will also be developed if we are to enable people to become productive citizens in a more sustainable manner.

Finally, tapping into available resources and mobilizing adequate means of implementation through FDI and the private sector and leveraging ODA to mobilize domestic funds will be crucial in implementing new projects of infrastructure, industrialization and energy. We hope that the new agenda will rally more actors in tackling poverty in all its facets to make shared prosperity a glaring reality.  Rwanda stands ready to work with all its partners to effect a life of dignity for all.

I thank you!

 

 

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative, Olivier Nduhungirehe, at the UN Security Council debate on Security Council Working Methods

Madam President,

I thank you for convening this important open debate on working methods of the Security Council, and for the concept note your delegation prepared to guide our discussion. I also thank Madam Kimberly Prost, Ombudsperson of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267, and Madam Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), for their respective briefings. Rwanda aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by the representative of St Lucia, on behalf of L.69 Group. I will now make additional comments in my national capacity.

Let me start by congratulating you, Madam President, and your delegation, for your able leadership of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions. Indeed, Argentina’s Chairmanship of the Committee led to laudable progress, notably through the adoption of important Notes of the President on intra-Council dialogue; on consultation between the Council, the Secretariat and Troops and Police Contributing Countries (T/PCCs); on dialogue with non-Council members; and on penholders, among others. Rwanda believes that these Notes will greatly contribute to a more transparent, democratic and effective Security Council, provided that they are implemented in good faith.

Rwanda also appreciates, Madam President that Argentina will organize, at the end of this presidency, a wrap-up session under the format of a public briefing. We note with satisfaction that this public format, introduced by Rwanda in its presidency in July this year, was since adopted by all countries that have or have decided to organize wrap-up sessions; namely the United Kingdom in August, Argentina in October and Australia in November. We hope that all Council members will continue on that path, so that we can all contribute to the transparency and effectiveness of our work.

Nevertheless, despite the current positive trends in working methods of the Security Council, we are yet to live up to the expectations of the 2005 World Summit, mainly on the representativity and legitimacy, on efficiency and effectiveness, on transparency and accountability; and on the implementation of the Council decisions. In this regard, we hope that in months to come, this Council will make tangible progress on the issue of penholders, on the basis of the Note of the President S/2014/268 of 14 April 2014, which recognized the right of any Council member to be a penholder. This reform would allow Council members representing the regions affected by conflicts on the Council’s agenda to at least share the pen with the current penholders.

But most importantly, Rwanda believes that there is a need to reform the use of the veto right, on the basis of the French proposal. Indeed, given the recent history of this Council and its failure in the past, permanent members should discuss and agree on how to refrain from using the veto in case of mass atrocities.

Madam President,

Rwanda recognizes the tremendous job done by Madam Kimberly Prost, as the Ombudsperson to the 1267 Sanctions Committee on Al Qaida and Associated Individuals and Entities. The appointment of the Ombudsperson to this Committee was a positive step towards the implementation of paragraph 109 of the 2005 World Summit. In this respect, we would like to express our support to the extension of the Ombudsperson’s mandate to all Sanctions’ lists without exception. This is just common sense. And I urge Council members that are still reluctant on this issue to reconsider their positions and putting the interests of countries for which the sanctions regime was established, above their national or strategic interests. Indeed, we are of the view that such enhancement of due process in sanctions regime will result in more fairness, effectiveness and credibility of sanctions regimes.

Madam President,

As recalled in the concept note, the Rome Statute grants the Council the power to refer to the ICC situations in which crimes within its jurisdiction were committed (article 13b), as well as the power to defer an investigation or prosecution for a period of twelve months, for reasons relating to the maintenance of international peace and security (article 16). We agree that the Security Council should ensure that both provisions, on the referral and the deferral, are implemented, when the conditions set out by the Rome Statute are met.

We join the Council President in regretting that no response was provided to any of the seven letters from the President of the ICC, in relation to the cooperation of States with the Court. We believe that the Council should take time to thoroughly discuss this issue and provide an appropriate response to those letters.

In the same vein, as much as we respect the function of the President and the Prosecutor of the ICC, we believe that African members of the United Nations also deserve respect and consideration. While the concept note deplores the Council’s failure to respond to the seven (7) letters of the President of the ICC, I would take this opportunity to remind this august body that decisions of African Heads of States adopted during at least seven (7) different Summits of the African Union since February 2009, requesting the deferral of the case against the President of Sudan, in accordance with article 16 of the Rome Statute, remained unanswered. Indeed, as the AU Heads of State and Government put it, “the search for justice should be pursued in a way that does not impede or jeopardize efforts aimed at promoting lasting peace”.

In addition, I would also wish to recall the AU Summit held on 12 October 2013 in Addis Ababa, which had requested the deferral of cases against the President and the Deputy President of Kenya, in accordance with the same article 16 of the Rome Statute. Despite the interactive dialogue between an African Ministerial Contact Group and members of this Council, and despite a draft resolution introduced by the three African members of the Council, the call of representatives of a whole continent was not heeded. Therefore, Rwanda, while regretting that letters of the ICC President were unanswered, would advise Council members to avoid double standards, particularly when African leaders are involved.

What can we do now? First, Rwanda recalls that the Informal Working Group was created for the two International Criminal Tribunals created by this Council. Therefore, its work cannot be extended to the ICC, which is a treaty-based jurisdiction. And I would wish here to recall that Rwanda, as well as others UN Member states, are not part of the Rome Statute. Second, for the situations in Sudan and in Libya (or any other situation that could be referred by this Council), we are of the opinion that the regular Council meetings, where the ICC Prosecutor presents her report, are the appropriate avenues to consider those situations, in all its aspects, including the cooperation of member states with the Court. Third, Rwanda believes that relationships between the Council and the ICC should be enhanced, including through regular interactive dialogues with the Prosecutor, to discuss all pending issues in relation to Council referrals or requested deferrals, or through “Arria formula” meetings with various organizations, including the civil society, which would highlight particular cases that require the attention of this Council. And the Permanent Representative of Australia mentioned that his co-organized some of those meetings. Rwanda, although not member of the Rome statute, is open to this permanent dialogue with the ICC or on its work, as our shared goal is to fight impunity and ensure accountability for the most serious crimes.  owever, Rwanda

I will conclude, Madam President, by reiterating Rwanda’s commitment to work for a continued improvement of the working methods of the Security Council, by supporting fairness and due process in sanctions regime, and by enhancing interaction between the Council and the ICC, with a view to make sure that justice and peace are equally achieved, while upholding the Charter’s equal sovereignty of states.

I thank you.

 

Statement by Minister of State in Charge of Cooperation, Eugene-Richard Gasana, at the Security Council, introducing the Security Council Annual Report

Madam President,

I thank you for convening this meeting to consider the draft annual report of the Security Council A/69/2, covering the period 1August 2013 to 31 July 2014, and for giving Rwanda the floor, as a delegation that coordinated the documentation of the Council’s business in the reporting period.

The process towards a consensus on this draft is one that is representative of how productive the Council could be if its members were willing to always work towards a common interest. This has been the expectation of UN member states, when they mandated this organ to deal with the maintenance of international peace and security – a united, hence effective Council. It is on that note that I would like to express our gratitude to all Council members for their valuable collaboration in the process of drawing up the draft report. As it has been confirmed by the Secretariat, this report is recorded as one of the substantive Security Council reports agreed on in a shortest period.

As stated in the introduction of the draft report, the Council held, during the reporting period, 238 formal meetings, of which 218 were public. The Council adopted 55 resolutions and 26 presidential statements, while issuing 113 statements to the press. During the same period, the Security Council conducted two missions in the field, one to Africa – in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia – in October 2013, and another to Mali, in February 2014. In Ethiopia, the Security Council held, on 8 October 2013, one of its two annual consultative meetings with the African Union Peace and Security Council that took place during the reporting period; and the second meeting was held in New York on 7 June 2014.

Madam President,

As it was the case over the past years, most of Council’s activities and efforts were on Africa. The continent registered some progress; in Sierra Leone, where the mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) was successfully completed; in Somalia, where the National Army, supported by the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) continued to make substantive territorial gains against Al Shabaab; in Guinea Bissau, where the constitutional order was restored, albeit fragile; or in DRC, where a Force Intervention Brigade was deployed, pursuant to resolution 2098 (2013), to neutralize all armed groups. This led to the defeat of the Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23) in November 2013, which ended its rebellion through the Kampala Process and the Nairobi Declarations. However, the Security Council continued to follow closely the situation in the DRC, where a number of other armed groups, including the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and the Alliance Democratic Force (ADF), which remain active in the eastern part of the country.

Nonetheless, despite the aforementioned progress in Africa, the Security Council had to deal, during the reporting period, with the outbreak of conflicts in Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Libya, which led to widespread human rights and humanitarian consequences. It’s in this context that the Security Council reinforced the mandate of protection of civilians of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS), through the adoption of resolution 2155 (2014), and decided to establish the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), created by through resolution 2149 (2014) and deployed on 15 September 2014 to replace the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA). On CAR, the Council also adopted resolution 2127 (2013) establishing a Committee mandated to oversee an arms embargo, a travel ban and an asset freeze imposed pursuant to the same resolution.

Madam President,

The situation in the Middle East was also prominent in the Council’s agenda, following the eruption of the conflicts in Gaza and in Iraq, as well as the worsening security situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and in Yemen. On Syria, the Council adopted three resolutions: resolution 2118 (2013), related to the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program and resolutions 2139 (2014) and 2165 (2014) related to the humanitarian situation in the country. On Yemen, Council adopted resolution 2140 establishing a Sanctions Committee mandated to oversee a travel ban and an asset freeze imposed to Yemen pursuant to the same resolution.

In Europe, the Security Council continued to follow the situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Kosovo, which remained generally calm and stable. However, in February 2014, the Council was seized with the conflict in Ukraine, which further escalated on 17 July 2014, with the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Donetsk Oblast, resulting in the loss of 298 lives. In that regard, the Security Council adopted resolution 2166 (2014) to condemn, in the strongest terms, this tragic incident; to demand a full, thorough and independent international investigation, and to stress that those responsible should be held accountable.

As for Asia and the Americas, the Council continued to monitor the situations in Afghanistan and in Haiti; and adopted relevant resolutions to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) and that of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

Madam President,

Turning to thematic, general and cross-cutting issues, the Council continued to hold regular open debates and other public meetings on human rights-related issues such as the protection of civilians in armed conflict, children and armed conflict and women and peace and security; on security-related issues such as non-proliferation and peacekeeping; on post-conflict-related issues such as peacebuilding, security sector reform and the rule of law; and on working methods, including through the wrap-up sessions. At the same time, the Security Council debated specific issues, such as prevention of genocide (on the occasion of the 20th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda); Medal of Honor for Captain Mbaye Diagne (a UNAMIR peacekeeper in Rwanda who saved hundreds of people during the genocide); small arms; and war, its lessons and the search for permanent peace.

During the reporting period, accountability for the most serious crimes was a permanent concern for the Security Council, through various country-specific debates and products; through meetings to discuss the work of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, and through meetings to consider reports of the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court (ICC), in accordance with relevant resolutions concerning the situation in Sudan and in Libya. Unfortunately, during the reporting period, Council members could not agree on two draft resolutions on the work of the ICC, in relation to the situations in Kenya and in Syria, respectively.

Madam President,

It is our hope that the important records of the Council’s business contained in this report will continue to be a guide to Council members, to the larger UN membership, to the UN secretariat and to all actors serving the international community in the maintenance of international peace and security. Nonetheless, I do hope that for the future, the Security Council should consider how to improve its annual reports by assessing its effectiveness in the reporting period, with concrete recommendations on how to act better and faster while maintaining international peace and security.

To conclude, Madam President, allow me to express our satisfaction for this opportunity for Rwanda to document the Council’s work. A particular thank to my Security Council Team, at the Rwanda Mission, which worked hard to put together this draft report, with the invaluable support and contribution to all Council members, to whom we extend our appreciation. We also express our gratitude to the Secretary-General and senior officers of his administration, for their usual availability to brief us, sometimes on a very short notice; and we recognize the invaluable support of members of the Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD), mainly for the advice they accorded to us throughout this drafting process, for the substantive contribution to this draft report, including on Council statistics; and for ably servicing the meetings that are the basis of this draft report.

I thank you.

Statement by Minister of State in Charge of Cooperation, Eugene-Richard Gasana, at the UN Security Council open debate on the Middle East, including the Palestine question

Thank you Madam President,

Let me start by expressing my appreciation to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, for his comprehensive briefing on the recent developments in the Middle East. I also thank Ambassador Ryad Mansour, Permanent Observer of the Observer State of Palestine, and the Representative of Israel, for their respective remarks.

The general situation in the Middle East remains delicate and capricious. The current status in many parts of the region is not sustainable, as it may lead to a spiral of violence, terrorism and destruction across the Middle East. Parties and belligerents should therefore understand that there could be no military solution anywhere in the region; they should rather make serious commitment to seek or resume political talks, in order to find peaceful solutions to all contentious issues within or between countries of the region.

Madam President,

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is important for the leadership in Tel Aviv and Ramallah, with the support of key stakeholders such as the United States, the Quartet and the League of Arab States, to keep the momentum on the talks, aimed at achieving a two-State solution for two peoples, living side by side in peace and security. Parties should make additional efforts to resume direct and genuine negotiations, while refraining from all provocative actions that would derail the current process. In this respect, Rwanda believes that the sustainable solution to the outstanding issues must be negotiated in good faith, and that any unilateral action may further complicate the current situation.

On Gaza, the humanitarian situation remains a cause for concern. Rwanda welcomes the outcome of the Cairo Donor Conference for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, held on 12 October. We commend the Governments of Norway and Egypt for successfully co-hosting this conference, which achieved even more than expected. We hope that pledges made in Cairo will soon be materialized and have a concrete impact on the ground. And we take this opportunity to call on other donors and international partners to join this international effort to rebuild Gaza.

In the same vein, we welcome the recent Trilateral Agreement between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the UN to enable them to work at the scale required in the Strip, involving the private sector in Gaza, and giving a leading role to the Palestinian Authority in the reconstruction effort, with the hope that the construction materials will not be diverted from their civilian purpose. Furthermore, we call upon parties to continue to uphold their commitments from the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on Gaza, agreed upon in August this year. We believe that a sustained implementation of these commitments will allow the restoration of people’s livelihoods in Gaza but even more importantly, will provide the required trust and political environment to reach a larger and sustainable solution to the Palestinian question.

Madam President,

Regarding Syria, it is unfortunate that military confrontation continues to escalate dangerously, and that the three-year-and-a-half conflict has claimed lives of over 190,000 people, with 10.8 million people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. As we look forward to the briefing by Special Envoy Staffan De Mistura to this Council, focusing on possible avenues to end the conflict in Syria, we reiterate our call to all the concerned parties to resume the Geneva II peace talks, which is the only way possible to end this political crisis, with its dramatic security, human rights and humanitarian consequences.

However, it is clear that political talks should never be envisaged with terrorist and/or genocidal forces. In this context, Rwanda reiterates its firm support to the ongoing fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), which commit mass atrocities against civilians, behead journalists and humanitarian workers and persecute religious minorities, including Christians and Yazidis. We believe that it is important that the Security Council, which has always been unanimous in its fight against terrorism, more recently in Resolution 2170 (2014) and Resolution 2178 should support the coalition led by the Unites States, aimed at degrading and ultimately defeating ISIL. And as we speak, the fight to save the population of the Syrian town of Kobane from a barbaric extermination should be our reaffirmation of our collective Responsibility to Protect.

Madam President,

The situation in Lebanon remained severely affected by the conflict in Syria, with cross border shelling, arms smuggling and further influxes of refugees. The involvement of different Lebanese armed groups in the Syrian conflict, violating the Lebanese Government’s dissociation policy, has raised tensions leading to sectarian violence, mainly along the Lebanese-Syrian border areas, which claimed civilian lives and kidnappings of members Lebanese Armed Forces. We commend the Lebanese Armed Forces for containing threats to the country’s security and stability, and we reiterate our call to all parties in Lebanon to continue upholding the Baabda Declaration and its disassociation policy. In the same vein, Rwanda also welcomes the announcement of new assistance to the Lebanese Army and encouraged further assistance in priority areas.

However, Rwanda expresses its concern over the prolonged vacancy in the presidency for over four months now, which increases the country’s vulnerability in facing mounting security, economic and humanitarian challenges. We express our appreciation to the efforts of Prime Minister Salam and his Government in ensuring the stability in the country. And we hope that parties in Lebanon, with the support of regional countries, will overcome their differences and put an end to this constitutional gridlock.

To conclude, Madame President, I would wish to recall that for all conflicts and crises in the Middle East, the genuine resolve and unwavering support of those who have real influence on parties are prerequisites for any progress or breakthrough. It is therefore critical that regional and world’s powers remain committed and coordinated to ensure lasting peace in the Middle-East.

I thank you.