Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2409 (2018), Security Council Extends Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo until 31 March 2019

SC/13265
27 March 2018
8216th Meeting (AM)

Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2409 (2018), Security Council Extends Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo until 31 March 2019

Text Maintains Authorized Uniformed Personnel Strength, Calls on National Stakeholders to Implement Comprehensive Political Agreement

The Security Council renewed the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) today, extending it until 31 March 2019 with a more focused mandate to help protect civilians and support implementation of the New Year’s Eve political agreement, including preparations for elections later in 2018.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2409 (2018) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the 15‑member organ decided to maintain the Mission’s authorized uniformed personnel ceiling at 16,215 troops, 391 police personnel and 1,050 personnel of formed police units.

Through the 18‑page text, the Council called on all stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — including President Joseph Kabila Kabange, the presidential majority and the opposition — to swiftly implement the Comprehensive and Inclusive Political Agreement signed in Kinshasa on 31 December 2016 in order to proceed without further delay to the preparation of elections on 23 December.

It called on the Government and its national partners, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, to ensure a safe, transparent and credible electoral process, and requested the Secretary‑General to provide political support to the implementation of the agreement, including through his good offices.

The Council also called on the Government to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially that of peaceful assembly, lift a blanket ban on demonstrations and exercise maximum restraint in responding to protests.  It reiterated the urgency of prompt and transparent investigations into violations of international humanitarian law and violations or abuses of human rights in the Kasaï region, the scene of violence over the past year.  It also demanded that all armed groups immediately cease all forms of violence, lay down arms and release children from their ranks.

Turning to the MONUSCO mandate, the Council said its tasks would include preventing, deterring and stopping all armed groups and local militias from inflicting violence on civilians as well as supporting and undertaking local mediation efforts to prevent escalation of violence.  Interactions with civilians would be enhanced to raise awareness and understanding of the MONUSCO mandate and activities, while its Intervention Brigade, under the direct command of the MONUSCO Force Commander, would be authorized to neutralize armed groups, in support of the Democratic Republic of the Congo authorities.

Regarding the implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement and the electoral process, MONUSCO would, by the terms of the resolution, provide technical and political support, including through good offices and engagement with interlocutors across the political spectrum.  It would also provide technical assistance and logistical support for the electoral process, in coordination with the Congolese authorities, including dialogue with the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Following adoption of the text, several Council members emphasized that the Democratic Republic of the Congo was entering a critical phase in its history, and that credible elections would be key not only for the peace and stability of the country, but also that of the wider region.  They underscored the more focused character of the MONUSCO mandate, with some delegates emphasizing also the need to respect the country’s sovereignty and independence.

The representative of France, the penholder on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said the unanimous adoption of resolution 2409 (2018) had demonstrated once again the Council’s unified approach towards the country.  Through the resolution, it was calling on the nation’s leadership to ensure the transparency and credibility of the elections, including through the presence of international observers.  Everyone bore a responsibility, especially the Congolese themselves as well as regional actors, to work in a coordinated way to implement the 31 December 2016 political agreement.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Council President for March, said the 15‑nation organ today had sent a strong signal that it stood united in support of MONUSCO, which could and must contribute to restoring trust between all parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He welcomed clear benchmarks for the electoral process as well as the resolution’s emphasis on community engagement, key enablers and early warning and response.

The representative of the United States said that previously, the Mission’s mandate lacked focus.  Going forward, MONUSCO must ensure protection of civilians and support the electoral process, she said, adding that without free, open and credible elections, everything the Mission did would be complicated by political unrest and the spectre of violence.  Ultimately, the country’s leaders must take responsibility for their nation’s future, she said, adding that the Congolese people must know that the United Nations had their back.

The Russian Federation’s delegate expressed hope that the timely conduct of elections would help ease tensions in Congolese society.  Emphasizing that respect for national sovereignty was a core principle of today’s resolution, he said solutions must not be imposed on Kinshasa and that MONUSCO must strictly adhere to its mandate.  In protecting civilians, he added, the Mission must refrain from intervening in Kinshasa’s domestic affairs.

Representatives of China, United Kingdom and Sweden also spoke.

The meeting began at 10:27 a.m. and ended at 11:01 a.m.

Statements

AMY NOEL TACHCO (United States) said the Democratic Republic of the Congo was entering a critical time, and that MONUSCO was poised to support the first peaceful transfer of power in the country’s history.  Previously, the Mission had been pulled in multiple directions, with its mandate lacking focus.  Going forward, it must ensure protection of civilians and support the electoral process, she said, adding that without free, open and credible elections, everything the Mission did would be complicated by political unrest and the specter of violence.  MONUSCO must work closely with the Electoral Commission, while the Secretary‑General must report to the Council on progress made or lack thereof.  With a unified command structure, the Intervention Brigade would be able to deploy anywhere in the country, she said, emphasizing also the need for concrete steps to address sexual exploitation and abuse.  Ultimately, Congolese leaders must take responsibility for the country’s future.  All Member States, especially regional partners, must invest more than troops and money in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The country’s people must know that the United Nations had their back, and the Government must know that failure was not an option.

DMITRY A. POLYANSKIY (Russian Federation) said that, in supporting the renewal of the Mission’s mandate, his delegation had taken into account the overall situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Hopefully, the timely conduct of elections would help reduce tensions in Congolese society.  Emphasizing that respect for national sovereignty was a core principle of today’s resolution, he said solutions must not be imposed on Kinshasa.  He called on MONUSCO leadership to strictly adhere to the mandate set forth in resolution 2409 (2018) and that, in protecting civilians in the context of elections, the Mission must not intervene in Kinshasa’s domestic affairs.

WU HAITAO (China) said that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo had in recent years proactively enhanced the peace process as well as its own governance capacity.  However, it still required ongoing support and assistance from the international community, which should in turn continue to support MONUSCO as it fulfilled its mandate.  China always believed that while helping the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the international community should guarantee the Government’s leadership to resolve issues, respect the country’s sovereignty and independence, and strengthen its capacity to ensure its own peace and security.  He noted China’s contribution to the Mission and the country’s economic development.

KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom) said MONUSCO was doing a vital job at a crucial time for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  More than ever, the Mission needed strong Council backing.  Welcoming the clearer prioritization of the Mission’s mandate, she said a whole‑of‑mission approach would be needed going forward, and welcomed proposals to unlock the responsibilities of the Intervention Brigade.  Changes to the mandate must be kept under review, she said, emphasizing, also, that elections must go ahead, leading to a peaceful transfer of power in accordance with the Constitution.  The Council would need to follow progress in that regard in the coming months, she said, welcoming, as well, language in the resolution on sexual exploitation and abuse.

CARL ORRENIUS SKAU (Sweden) said 2018 was a crucial year for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with MONUSCO having a critical role to play.  Elections would be a key step towards peace and stability, with the Mission tasked to provide logistical and technical support as well as its good offices.  Its revised mandate also called for the protection of civilians, including through better use of early warning mechanisms and an improved military response.  He emphasized the need for the Mission to be adequately resourced and underscored the role of regional organizations.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) said the unanimous adoption of resolution 2409 (2018) had demonstrated once again the Council’s unified approach towards the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Without credible elections, the stability of the country and the region would be at stake, he said, emphasizing the need for confidence in the way the vote was organized and in adhering to the electoral timetable.  Through the resolution, the Council was calling on the country’s leadership to ensure the transparency and credibility of the elections, including through the presence of international observers.  Candidates must meanwhile be able to campaign freely, without fear of reprisals, he said, demanding also the lifting of the ban on protests.  Turning to the MONUSCO mandate, he said the Council, through the resolution, was strongly encouraging the Mission to continue with reforms set out in its strategic review.  It had been given a clear mandate with no change in troop levels.  Everyone bore a responsibility, especially the Congolese themselves as well as regional actors, to work in a coordinated way to implement the 31 December 2016 political agreement, he said.

STEPHANUS BLOK, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Council President for March, speaking in his national capacity, said the 15‑member organ today had sent a strong signal that it stood united in support of MONUSCO, which can and must contribute to restoring trust between all parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He welcomed clear benchmarks for the electoral process as well as the resolution’s emphasis on community engagement, key enablers and early warning and response.  His country fully supported the Secretary‑General’s request to carry out contingency planning, which could be a vital tool to prevent conflict from escalating.  This was a crucial year for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, through its action today, the Council stood united behind both the Mission and the country’s people.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2049 (2018) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions and the statements of its President concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially its resolutions 2389 (2017), 2360 (2017), 2348 (2017), 2293 (2016), 2277 (2016), 2211 (2015), 2198 (2015), 2147 (2014), 2136 (2014), and 2098 (2013),

Reaffirming the basic principles of peacekeeping, including consent of the parties, impartiality, and non‑use of force, except in self‑defence and defence of the mandate, and recognizing that the mandate of each peacekeeping mission is specific to the need and situation of the country concerned,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as all States in the region and emphasizing the need to respect fully the principles of non‑interference, good neighbourliness and regional cooperation,

Recalling that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo bears the primary responsibility to protect civilians within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction, including protection from crimes against humanity and war crimes,

Reaffirming its strong support for the “Comprehensive and Inclusive Political Agreement” signed in Kinshasa on 31 December 2016, which remains the only viable path out of the current political situation, calling for a swift and full implementation of the agreement, in good faith and in all its components, in order to organize peaceful, credible, inclusive and timely elections on 23 December 2018, in line with the electoral calendar, leading to a peaceful transfer of power, in accordance with the Congolese Constitution,

Recalling that full and timely implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement and the electoral calendar is critical in supporting the legitimacy of the transitional institutions, stressing the crucial importance of a peaceful and credible electoral cycle, in accordance with the Constitution and respecting the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, for lasting stabilization, rule of law and consolidation of constitutional democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and calling on the Democratic Republic of the Congo Government to immediately implement the confidence‑building measures in full, as per the agreement, including by putting an end to restrictions of the political space in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular arbitrary arrests and detention of members of the political opposition and of civil society, as well as restrictions of fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of the press, and the right of peaceful assembly,

Recalling the importance of taking urgent measures to restore confidence between all actors involved in the electoral process, stressing the importance of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its national partners taking all necessary steps to accelerate preparations for the elections without further delay, and to ensure an environment conducive to the peaceful and inclusive conduct of political activities, including the security of all political actors, and reiterating its commitment to act accordingly regarding all Congolese actors whose actions and statement impede the implementation of the agreement and the timely organization of the elections,

Calling upon all parties to continue to reject violence of any kind, exercise maximum restraint in their actions and statements, to refrain from provocations such as violence and violent speeches, so as not to further inflame the situation, and to address their differences peacefully,

Remaining deeply concerned by reports of increased serious violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law committed by some members of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the National Intelligence Agency, the Republican Guard and Congolese National Police, including against members of the opposition and of civil society in the context of the electoral process, strongly condemning the killing of civilians by State and non‑State actors and disproportionate use of force by elements of the security forces, including during peaceful protests, in accordance with national legislation, stressing the importance of releasing all persons detained arbitrarily, including human rights defenders and persons of different political affiliations, and emphasizing that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo must respect human rights and refrain from disproportionate use of force,

Welcoming in that regard the report of the joint commission of inquiry, composed of representatives of the Ministries of Human Rights, Justice and Security, the National Commission of Human Rights and civil society, set up to investigate allegations of human rights violations and abuses committed on 31 December 2017 and 21 January 2018, which notes “cases of illegal use of force” and of violations of the right of freedom of religious assembly, and calling for the implementation of its recommendations, including regarding banning the use of live ammunition,

Reiterating its concern over the lack of progress in the investigations and prosecutions against alleged perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses committed during the 2011 electoral process, in January 2015, September and December 2016, in December 2017, and January and February 2018, and calling for further efforts to hold those responsible to account and fight impunity,

Remaining deeply concerned by the persistent high levels of violence and violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, condemning in particular those involving targeted attacks against civilians, widespread sexual and gender‑based violence, recruitment and use of children by armed groups and militias, the forced displacement of significant numbers of civilians, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary arrests, recognizing their deleterious effect on the stabilization, reconstruction and development efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and emphasizing that all those responsible for all such violations and abuses must be swiftly apprehended, brought to justice and held accountable, and calling upon the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to facilitate, in line with previous agreements, full and unhindered access for the Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to all detention centres, hospitals and morgues and all other premises required for documenting human rights violations, as applicable,

Recalling the importance of fighting impunity within all ranks of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congolese National Police, commending the Democratic Republic of the Congo authorities for prosecutions and convictions of members of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congolese National Police for crimes against humanity and encouraging them to take further action, and stressing the need for the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue to ensure the increased professionalism of its security forces, including the training and capacity‑building aimed at security during public meetings and protests fully respecting domestic and international human rights law,

Noting that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has continued to suffer from recurring and evolving cycles of conflict and persistent violence by armed groups, expressing particular concern at the reports of growing intercommunal and militia violence in areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular in the regions of Kasaï and Tanganyika, including attacks against religious institutions, and killings of policemen, further expressing concerns about mass graves in the Kasaï region, and calling upon all parties to take appropriate measures to protect and respect United Nations, diplomatic and foreign premises, property and personnel and other civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

Reiterating its deep concern regarding the security and humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo exacerbated by destabilizing activities of foreign and domestic armed groups, stressing the importance of neutralizing armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and recognizing the importance of efforts of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), including by conducting joint operations, in accordance with its mandate and the human rights due diligence policy on United Nations support to non‑United Nations forces, in that regard, recalling the strategic importance of the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region, and reiterating its call to all signatories to fulfil promptly, fully and in good faith their respective commitments under this Framework in order to address the root causes of conflict and put an end to recurring cycles of violence, and promote lasting regional development,

Recalling that it is prepared to impose targeted sanctions under paragraph 7 (d) and (e) of its resolution 2293 (2016), regarding inter alia human rights violations or abuses or violations of international humanitarian law,

Stressing the need for continued cooperation with the International Criminal Court by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and stressing the importance of actively seeking to hold accountable those responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country,

Encouraging the continuation of efforts by the Secretary‑General of the United Nations, the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and the Southern African Development Community  (SADC) to restore peace and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, encouraging the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure continuous close cooperation with these and other international parties, and recognizing the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo aiming at the achievement of peace and national development,

Expressing concern at the illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources by armed groups among others, and the negative impact of armed conflict on protected natural areas, which undermines lasting peace and development for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and encouraging the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to strengthen efforts to safeguard those areas,

Welcoming the decisions of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region at its seventh summit on 19 October 2017 regarding the fight against illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes region and encouraging Member States to further increase cooperation in fighting illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources, including gold and wildlife,

Expressing great concern over the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation that has left at least 13.1 million Congolese in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 7.7 million severely food insecure people, expressing deep concern that the worsening humanitarian situation has reached catastrophic levels in some parts of the country and has prompted the United Nations to activate the highest level of emergency preparedness, further expressing deep concern regarding the very high number of internally displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which has more than doubled in the last year to more than 4.49 million, and the 540,000 refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the more than 714,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a result of ongoing hostilities, calling on Member States and other international partners to scale up funding to urgently respond to the humanitarian needs in the country, further calling upon the Democratic Republic of the Congo and all States in the region to work towards a peaceful environment conducive to the realization of durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons, including their eventual voluntary return and reintegration in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in conditions of safety and dignity, with the support of the United Nations country team, stressing that any such solution should be in line with relevant obligations under international refugee law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and commending United Nations humanitarian agencies, partners, and donors for their efforts to provide urgent and coordinated support to the population,

Expressing further concern at increased impediments to humanitarian access in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo resulting from insecurity and violence, as well as continued attacks against humanitarian actors and assets, calling upon all parties to respect the impartiality, independence and neutrality of humanitarian actors, and underlining the need for safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors,

Recalling all its relevant resolutions on women, peace and security, on children and armed conflict, and on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, also recalling the conclusions on children and armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (document S/AC.51/2014/3) adopted on 18 September 2014 by the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict pertaining to the parties in armed conflicts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and welcoming efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in this regard, welcoming efforts by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to implement resolution 1325 (2000) and encouraging the implementation of the National Action Plan,

Welcoming the progress achieved by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the Presidential Adviser on Sexual Violence and the Recruitment of Children, in cooperation with the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and MONUSCO, to implement the action plans to prevent and end the recruitment and use of children and sexual violence by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to combat impunity for sexual violence in conflict, including sexual violence committed by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congolese National Police,

Welcoming the efforts of MONUSCO and international partners in delivering training in human rights, international humanitarian law, gender mainstreaming, child protection and protection from sexual and gender‑based violence for Congolese security institutions and underlining their importance,

Welcoming the commitment of the Secretary‑General to enforce strictly his zero‑tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, noting the various measures taken by MONUSCO and troop- and police‑contributing countries to combat sexual exploitation and abuse, which has led to a reduction in reported cases, but still expressing grave concern over numerous allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse reportedly committed by peacekeepers and civilian personnel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, emphasizing the need to ensure that incidents can be reported and duly verified in a safe and simple manner, stressing the urgent need for troop- and police‑contributing countries and, as appropriate, MONUSCO to promptly investigate those allegations in a credible and transparent manner and for those responsible for such criminal offences or misconduct to be held to account, and further stressing the need to prevent such exploitation and abuse and to improve how these allegations are addressed in line with resolution 2272 (2016),

Reaffirming that the successful protection of civilians is critical to the fulfilment of MONUSCO’s mandate and the delivery of an improved security environment, also stressing the importance of peaceful means and progress on key reforms to promote the protection of civilians, as well as appropriate prioritization and resourcing,

Reaffirming its strong support to the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General and MONUSCO in the implementation of their mandates, strongly encouraging the continuation of their efforts and calling on the Secretariat to support MONUSCO to fully implement its mandate,

Recalling that it is important that all MONUSCO contingents, including the contingents of the Intervention Brigade, are properly trained and effectively equipped, including with adequate language skills, staffed and supported to be able to sustain their commitment to carry out their respective tasks,

Recalling resolution 2378 (2017), which requests the Secretary‑General to ensure that data related to the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, including peacekeeping performance data, is used to improve analytics and evaluation of mission operations, based on clear and well‑identified benchmarks,

Noting the publication of the report on “Improving security of United Nations peacekeepers”, which highlights the link between the safety and security of peacekeepers and the performance of troops, recognizing that fatalities can be a consequence of deficiencies in training, equipment and performance,

Welcoming the initiative of the Secretary‑General to conduct special investigations into performance issues, encouraging the Secretary‑General to report on the findings of such investigations and efforts to take collective action to improve peacekeeping operations,

Noting the financial constraints the United Nations face and the need for the United Nations to make the best use of the resources placed at its disposal, encouraging Member States to ensure that MONUSCO is sufficiently resourced and equipped to effectively carry out its mandate and to ensure that the United Nations makes the best use of the resources placed at its disposal,

Reiterating its call on all parties to cooperate fully with MONUSCO and to remain committed to the full and objective implementation of the Mission’s mandate, reiterating its condemnation of any and all attacks against peacekeepers, and emphasizing that those responsible for such attacks must be held accountable,

Emphasizing that MONUSCO’s activities should be conducted in such a manner as to build and sustain peace and facilitate progress towards sustainable peace and development, stressing the need to involve the United Nations country team and, in this regard, emphasizing the importance of joint analysis and effective strategic planning with the United Nations country team,

Determining that the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

Political situation and electoral process

“1.   Reiterates its appeal to all Congolese actors to work for the preservation of the still fragile gains in the path of peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, underscores the responsibility that all Congolese political stakeholders bear, especially by overcoming their differences to reach consensus and upholding the interests and well‑being of their people above all other considerations, strongly urges all stakeholders, most notable all signatories of the 31 December 2016 agreement, to remain committed to the agreement and actively engaged to ensure its full implementation and work towards the holding of transparent, credible and inclusive elections within the timetable announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, including by refraining from provocations such as violence and violent speech, exercising maximum restraint in their actions and statements and addressing their differences peacefully,

“2.   Requests the Secretary‑General to provide political support to the implementation of the agreement and the restoration of trust among the different parties and preparation of the elections, consistent with this resolution, including through his good offices;

“3.   Calls on all stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including President Joseph Kabila Kabange, the presidential majority and the opposition, to swiftly implement the agreement, in good faith and in all its components, and to fully implement confidence‑building measures, and in particular the release of all political prisoners, an end to “unjustified lawsuits”, as they are referred to in the agreement, an end to the duplication of political parties and a credible candidates registration process, and allowing all main political parties to appoint their own representatives in the bodies overseeing the electoral process, in order to proceed without further delay to the preparation of the elections due to take place on 23 December 2018;

“4.   Reiterates its determination to bring its full support to the implementation of the agreement and that effective, swift and timely implementation of the agreement is critical to a credible process and the peace and stability of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in supporting the legitimacy of the transitional institutions;

“5.   Calls for continued and close coordination between the United Nations, the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, SADC and other key regional actors to ensure full implementation of the agreement and the successful conclusion of the electoral process;

“6.   Underscores the need to do everything possible to ensure that the elections on 23 December 2018 are organized with the requisite conditions of transparency, credibility and inclusivity and security, including full and effective participation of women at all stages, calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its national partners, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, to ensure a safe, transparent and credible electoral process, in fulfilment of their primary responsibility to create propitious conditions for the forthcoming elections, as per the 31 December 2016 agreement, and in accordance with the Constitution and national legislation, and respecting the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, including by ensuring full access to the Independent National Electoral Commission budget, plans and operations to Congolese observers and by ensuring continuous dialogue with political parties and civil society representatives, so as to ensure consensus and confidence in the conduct of the electoral process;

“7.   Welcomes the completion of the voter registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, with the active support of MONUSCO, the adoption of the amended electoral law and of the election financing bill by the Congolese Parliament, calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure the electoral calendar and key election benchmarks are respected, which include finalizing a clear and transparent budget, cleaning the voter registry by April 2018, conducting an independent audit of the registry by May 2018, and respecting deadlines for candidate registration finalized by August 2018, culminating in elections being held on 23 December 2018 and transfer of power on 12 January 2019;

“8.   Calls on the Parliament during the ordinary session starting on 15 March 2018 to adopt revisions to the law for the distribution of seats needed to keep the electoral timeline in conformity with the electoral calendar, further calls on all political stakeholders to take measures to improve women participation in the elections, especially ensuring an increase in the number of women candidates standing for election;

“9.   Encourages the Independent National Electoral Commission to approve the multi‑partner fund for the Projet d’Appui au Cycle Electoral au Congo in order to support civic education, the deployment of elections monitors and provide other important types of support for the election process and encourages donors to fund it accordingly, welcomes the commitment by the United Nations, the African Union, SADC, the European Union and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie to support the electoral process, and the establishment of a joint team of experts from these organizations, as well as the role of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and encourages the Independent National Electoral Commission to make us of their support;

“10.  Urges the Government as well as all relevant parties to ensure an environment conducive to a free, fair, credible, inclusive, transparent, peaceful and timely electoral process, in accordance with the Congolese Constitution and the 31 December 2016 agreement, which includes, for women and men alike, free and constructive political debate, freedom of opinion and expression, including for the press, freedom of assembly, equitable access to media including State media, the security of all political actors, freedom of movement for all candidates, as well as for election observers and witnesses, journalists, human rights defenders and actors from civil society;

Human Rights

“11.  Urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to hold accountable those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law or violations and abuses of human rights, as applicable, in particular those that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including those committed in the context of the electoral process, and stresses the importance to this end of both regional cooperation and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s cooperation with the International Criminal Court, as well as cooperation with the African Court on Human and People’s Rights;

“12.  Expresses concern about the increase in reported human rights violations by State agents, calls upon the Congolese authorities to ensure the prosecution of those responsible for the crimes involving grave human rights violations and abuses committed in the context of the 28 November 2011 elections and the current electoral process, deplores the loss of lives, injuries and arrests recorded during various incidents and condemns any disproportionate use of force, and calls on the Congolese authorities to urgently investigate any disproportionate use of force by security forces on peaceful protesters, in particular on 31 December 2017, 21 January 2018 and 25 February 2018, so that those responsible for these acts are swiftly brought to justice, underlines the importance of observing the rule of law;

“13.  Calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially the right of peaceful assembly, lift the blanket ban on demonstrations, and to exercise maximum restraint in their response to protests, as recommended by the report of the Congolese joint commission of inquiry on allegations of human rights violations and abuses committed on 31 December 2017 and 21 January 2018, and also calls upon the opposition actors to ensure the peaceful character of their demonstrations and to respect national legislation;

“14.  Reiterates its condemnation of the violence witnessed in the Kasaï region over the past year, further reiterates the importance and urgency of prompt and transparent investigations into violations of international humanitarian law and violations or abuses of human rights in the region, as well as its intention to closely monitor progress of the investigations into these violations and abuses, including the joint investigations by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO and the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in order to bring to justice and hold accountable all those responsible, and looks forward to their results; further calls upon the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue to cooperate with the team of international experts on the situation in the Kasaï regions, as mandated by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 35/33, and urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to fully cooperate with the united Nations team deployed, as agreed, to assist the Congolese authorities investigations into the deaths of the two United Nations experts in March 2017, and ensure all perpetrators are brought to justice and held accountable;

“15.  Welcomes efforts made by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to combat and prevent sexual violence in conflict, including progress made in the fight against impunity through the arrest, prosecution and conviction of perpetrators from the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congolese National Police, and urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue to strengthen its efforts to combat impunity for sexual violence in conflict, including sexual violence committed by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congolese National Police at all levels, and to provide all necessary services and protection to survivors and victims, and further calls upon the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to complete investigations into allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by members of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in line with the zero‑tolerance policy and, if appropriate, to prosecute those responsible;

“16.  Encourages the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to implement in full its National Strategy and the Road Map agreed during the national conference in Kinshasa from 11‑13 October 2016 to evaluate the implementation of the Joint Communiqué between the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations on the Fight Against Sexual Violence in Conflict adopted in Kinshasa on 30 March 2013;

“17.  Welcomes the progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan to prevent and end the recruitment and use of children by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the subsequent delisting of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for child recruitment and use, and calls upon the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to urgently ensure the gains of this Action Plan are sustained and to take all necessary steps to end and prevent violations and abuses against children, and to ensure that children are not detained for their alleged association with armed groups and are handed over to child protection actors, in line with the Ministry of Defence and the National Intelligence Agency directives issued in 2013;

Armed Groups

“18.  Condemns the increased activity of armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and shifting conflict dynamics, including a recent increase in violence against local communities and politically motivated violence, attacks against United Nations forces and the Democratic Republic of the Congo armed forces, escalating ethnic tensions and intercommunal violence, and an increase in displacement, and reiterates its strong condemnation of attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers, in particular the attack on 7 December 2017;

“19.  Strongly condemns all armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and their violations of international humanitarian law as well as other applicable international law, and abuses of human rights especially those involving attacks on the civilian population, United Nations and associated personnel and humanitarian actors, summary executions, sexual and gender‑based violence and recruitment and use of children, abductions of children and humanitarian personnel, attacks on schools and hospitals in violation of applicable international law, and reiterates that those responsible must be held accountable;

“20.  Demands that all armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence, including violations and abuses against children and other destabilizing activities, the illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources, and further demands that their members immediately and permanently disband, lay down their arms, reject violence and release children from their ranks, recalls in this regard its resolution 2360 (2017) renewing the sanctions regime established by its resolution 1807 (2008), and further welcomes the commitment of the signatory states of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region to complete without precondition the repatriation of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda disarmed combatants and former M23 combatants within the shortest time frame possible, urges the Governments of the region, with the support of the Framework guarantors, to strengthen their collaboration to meet the agreed time frame, and recalls in this regard its resolution 2389 (2017);

“21.  Calls for joint operations by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and MONUSCO, that include joint planning and tactical cooperation, in accordance with MONUSCO’s mandate and the United Nations human rights due diligence policy on United Nations support to non‑United Nations forces, to ensure all efforts possible are being made to neutralize armed groups and stresses the need to carry out operations in strict compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as applicable;

“22.  Calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take further military action, in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as applicable, in coordination and with the support of MONUSCO in accordance with its mandate, to end the threat posed by armed groups operating in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, further calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other signatories to implement the provisions of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region related to the root causes of conflict in order to put an end to the recurring cycle of violence;

“23.  Welcomes the renewed commitment of all the signatory States of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region towards its full implementation, as expressed in the Communiqué of the eighth high‑level meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism, held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on 19 October 2017, reaffirms that the Framework remains an essential mechanism to achieve durable peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, and stresses in this regard the importance of the signatory States fully implementing their national and regional commitments under the Framework, including not interfering in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries, neither tolerating nor providing assistance or support of any kind to armed groups, and neither harbouring nor providing protection of any kind to persons accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity or acts of genocide;

“24.  Calls for a suitable solution for the relocation of elements of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition currently present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the support of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the wider region, international partners and the Secretary‑General through his good offices, welcomes the establishment of a joint working group, and supports the efforts of the United Nations in that regard;

“25.  Calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has the primary responsibility for safeguarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to make further meaningful progress in implementing its commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region, in particular as regards the consolidation of State authority, reconciliation, tolerance and democracy, and to remain fully committed to protecting the civilian population through the swift establishment of professional, accountable and sustainable security forces, the deployment of an accountable Congolese civil administration, in particular the police, judiciary, prison and territorial administration and the consolidation of rule of law and promotion and protection of human rights;

“26.  Notes with deep concern the limited progress in those fields essential for the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s stabilization and reiterates its call to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take further steps in particular to uphold its national commitments to security sector reform, and to readjust and implement fully and immediately the national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, ensuring the protection of children’s rights is an integral part of those processes;

“27.  Calls for continued national efforts to address the threat posed by the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, including inter alia through ensuring the safe and effective management, storage and security of their stockpiles of weapons and ammunition, with the continued support of MONUSCO, as appropriate and within existing resources;

“28.  Encourages the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to fully implement its disarmament, demobilization and reintegration plan and provide appropriate funding, and initiate a strategic shift away from static demobilization to a more flexible approach, in order to effectively attract former combatants into joining the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, acknowledges that the absence of a credible disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process adjusted to current armed groups dynamics is preventing armed elements from laying down their weapons, further demands that the government conduct any integration of former combatants into the security sector in a transparent manner and in line with international disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform standards;

MONUSCO’s mandate

“29.  Decides to extend until 31 March 2019 the mandate of MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including, on an exceptional basis and without creating a precedent or any prejudice to the agreed principles of peacekeeping, its Intervention Brigade;

“30.  Decides that MONUSCO’s authorized troop ceiling will be comprised of 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units;

31.  Decides that the strategic priorities of MONUSCO are to contribute to the following objectives:

(a)   Protection of civilians, as described in paragraph 36 (i) of this resolution;

(b)   Support to the implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement and the electoral process, as described in paragraph 36 (ii) of this resolution, in order to hold credible elections, thus contributing to the stabilization of the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

“32.  Stresses that MONUSCO’s mandate should be implemented based on a prioritization of tasks established in paragraphs 36 to 37 of this resolution, and further requests the Secretary‑General to reflect this prioritization in the deployment of the Mission and to align budgetary resources according to the prioritization of mandate tasks as set out in this resolution, while ensuring appropriate resources for the implementation of the mandate, and, in this regard, reaffirms that the protection of civilians must be given priority in decisions about the use of available capacity and resources,

“33.  Notes that drivers behind different armed groups’ activities and militia violence are varied and that there is no purely military solution to these problems, underlines the importance of enhanced political and conflict analysis to inform comprehensive military and civil responses to these threats across MONUSCO, including through collecting, analysing and exchanging information at the proper levels on the criminal networks which support these armed groups and further underlines the need for tailored responses in tackling armed groups;

“34.  Stresses the need for coordination and cooperation between the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other national authorities, United Nations entities and development actors to build and sustain peace, stabilize, improve security situation and assist in restoration of State authority;

“35.  Authorizes MONUSCO, in pursuit of its mandated tasks, to take all necessary measures to carry out its mandate and requests the Secretary‑General to immediately inform the Security Council should the MONUSCO Force or police fail to do so;

“36.  Decides that the mandate of MONUSCO shall include the following priority tasks, bearing in mind that these tasks as well as those in paragraph 37 below are mutually reinforcing:

(i)   Protection of civilians

(a)  Ensure effective, dynamic and integrated protection of civilians under threat of physical violence through a comprehensive approach, including by preventing, deterring and stopping all armed groups and local militias from inflicting violence on the populations, and by supporting and undertaking local mediation efforts to prevent escalation of violence, paying particular attention to civilians gathered in displaced persons and refugee camps, peaceful demonstrators, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders, in line with the basic principles of peacekeeping and with a focus on violence emerging from any of the parties engaged in the conflict, outbreaks of violence between ethnic or religious rival groups or communities in identified territories, as well as in the context of elections, and mitigating the risk to civilians before, during and after any military operation;

(b)  Work with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to identify threats to civilians and implement existing prevention and response plans and strengthen civil‑military cooperation, including joint planning, to ensure the protection of civilians from abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including all forms of sexual and gender‑based violence and violations and abuses committed against children and persons with disabilities, and requests MONUSCO to accelerate the coordinated implementation of monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on sexual violence in conflict and to continue to ensure the effectiveness of the monitoring and reporting mechanism on children and armed conflict;

(c)  Enhance its interaction with civilians, including by the troops, to raise awareness and understanding about its mandate and activities, to strengthen its early warning mechanism, and to increase its efforts to monitor and document violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including in the context of elections; and continue and strengthen local community engagement and empowerment, as well as strengthening protection of civilians through early warning and response, including prevention, as appropriate, and by ensuring mobility of the mission;

(d)  Neutralize armed groups through the Intervention Brigade under direct command of MONUSCO Force Commander:  in support of the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the basis of information collection and analysis, and taking full account of the need to protect civilians and mitigate risk before, during and after any military operation, carry out targeted offensive operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through the Intervention Brigade with the support of the whole of MONUSCO, either unilaterally or jointly with the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in a robust, highly mobile and versatile manner and in strict compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law, and in accordance with the standing operating procedures applicable to persons who are captured or who surrender, and with the United Nations human rights due diligence policy on United Nations support to non‑United Nations forces, prevent the expansion of all armed groups, neutralize these groups, and disarm them in order to contribute to the objective of reducing the threat posed by armed groups to State authority and civilian security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to make space for stabilization activities, and for the whole of MONUSCO Force component to guarantee effective protection of civilians, including in support of operations conducted by the Intervention Brigade to neutralize armed groups and in areas where armed groups have been neutralized;

(e)  Provide good offices, advice and assistance to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure actions against armed groups are supported by civilian and police components as part of consolidated planning which provides a comprehensive response to area‑based stabilization efforts;

(f)  Work with the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, leveraging United Nations police investigation capacities and expertise, to arrest and bring to justice all those allegedly responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian law and violations or abuses of human rights in the country, including through cooperation with States of the region and the International Criminal Court;

(g)  Provide good offices, advice and support to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to promote human rights, in particular civil and political rights, and to fight impunity, including through the implementation of the Government’s “zero‑tolerance policy” with respect to discipline and human rights and international humanitarian law violations, committed by elements of the security sector, and to engage and facilitate mediation efforts at local level to advance sustainable peace;

(ii)  Implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement and support to the electoral process

(a)  Provide technical and political support to the implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement and the electoral process, including through good offices and engagement with interlocutors across the political spectrum, including the Government, opposition parties and civil society, in coordination with regional and international partners, and using an integrated approach throughout the United Nations making full use of the existing capacities of the Secretary‑General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, the United Nations Office to the African Union and the United Nations Office for Central Africa, with a view to furthering reconciliation and democratization, paving the way for holding the elections on 23 December 2018, consistent with paragraphs 1 to 10 above;

(b)  Provide technical assistance and logistical support for the electoral process, as appropriate and in coordination with Congolese authorities, the United Nations country team, regional and international actors, in order to facilitate the electoral cycle, in particular by engaging in a regular and substantial dialogue with the Independent National Electoral Commission, and decides that this support will be continually assessed and reviewed according to the progress made by the Congolese authorities in the steering of the electoral process, particularly on presidential and legislative elections, in accordance with paragraphs 1 to 10 above;

(c)  Contribute to the provision of training to the Congolese National Police in relation to elections security, and to this purpose provide expertise and advice in order to coordinate all relevant planning and security support to a smooth progress towards the elections, including through human rights training, in compliance with the United Nations human rights due diligence policy on United Nations support to non‑United Nations forces;

(d)  Monitor, report immediately to the Security Council, and follow up on human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law to report on restrictions on political space and violence, including in the context of the elections, and support the United Nations system in‑country to ensure that any support provided by the United Nations shall be consistent with international humanitarian law and human rights law and refugee law as applicable;

(iii) Protection of the United Nations

“Ensure the protection of United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment and the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel;

“37.  Further authorizes MONUSCO to pursue the following tasks, in a streamlined and sequenced manner, and in support of the strategic priorities identified above:

(i)   Stabilization and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration

(a)  Provide coordination between the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, international partners and United Nations agencies in a targeted, sequenced and coordinated approach to stabilization informed by up‑to‑date conflict analysis, through the implementation of the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy and adoption of a conflict‑sensitive approach across the Mission, in order to establish functional, professional and accountable State institutions, including security and judicial institutions;

(b)  Continue to collaborate with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the swift and vigorous implementation of the Action Plan to Prevent and End the Recruitment and Use of Children and Sexual Violence by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and continue dialogue with all listed parties to obtain further commitments and work towards the development and implementation of action plans to prevent and end violations and abuses against children;

(c)  Provide good offices, advice and assistance to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in close cooperation with other international partners, in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of Congolese combatants not suspected of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or abuses of human rights, into a peaceful civilian life in line with a community violence reduction approach through community‑based security and stabilization measures and flexible disarmament and demobilization approach, coordinated under the framework of the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy, while paying specific attention to the needs of children formerly associated with armed forces and groups;

(d)  Provide support to the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration process to return and reintegrate foreign combatants not suspected of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity or abuses of human rights and their dependants to a peaceful civilian life in their country of origin, or a receptive third country while paying specific attention to the needs of children formerly associated with armed forces and groups, including through the follow‑up mechanism under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region on the repatriation of Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda disarmed combatants and their dependants that are in the transit camps of Kanyabayonga, Kisangani and Walungu;

(ii)  Security Sector Reform

Work with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

(a)  In the reform of the police, including by assisting the comité de réforme de la police, and by advocating for the establishment of the Secrétariat Général à la sécurité et à l’ordre public that will coordinate security institutions with a law enforcement mission;

(b)  To encourage inclusive security sector reform, which delivers security, law enforcement and justice to all, including to women and children, and persons in vulnerable situation, and accelerate national ownership of security sector reform by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including through the development of a common national vision, to be encapsulated in a national security policy, as well as a clear and comprehensive security sector reform implementation road map including benchmarks and timelines, and play a leading role in coordinating the support for security sector reform provided by international and bilateral partners and the United Nations system;

(c)  In compliance with the United Nations human rights due diligence policy on United Nations support to non‑United Nations forces, for army reform that would enhance its accountability, efficiency, self‑sustainability, training, vetting and effectiveness, while noting that any support provided by the United Nations, including in the form of rations and fuel, should be only for joint operations, jointly planned and executed, and subject to appropriate oversight and scrutiny, failing which that support should be suspended;

(d)  For the implementation of any appropriate recommendations for justice and prison sector reforms as contained in the national justice reform plan and the final report of the Etats généraux de la Justice, including on the fight against impunity, for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, in order to develop independent, accountable and functioning justice and security institutions;

(iii) Sanctions regime

“Monitor the implementation of the arms embargo as described in paragraph 1 of resolution 2293 (2016) in cooperation with the Group of Experts established by resolution 1533 (2004), and in particular observe and report on flows of military personnel, arms or related materiel across the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including by using, as specified in the letter of the Council dated 22 January 2013 (document S/2013/44), surveillance capabilities provided by unmanned aerial systems, seize, collect, record and dispose of arms or related materiel brought into the Democratic Republic of the Congo in violation of the measures imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 2293 (2016), and exchange relevant information with the Group of Experts;

Child protection

“38.  Requests MONUSCO to take fully into account child protection as a cross‑cutting issue throughout its mandate and to assist the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in ensuring that the protection of children’s rights is taken into account, inter alia, in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes and in security sector reform as well as during interventions leading to the separation of children from armed groups in order to end and prevent violations and abuses against children;

Gender, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

“39.  Requests MONUSCO to take fully into account gender considerations as a cross‑cutting issue throughout its mandate and to assist the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other relevant stakeholders in ensuring the participation, involvement and representation of women at all levels, including in the creation of conditions conducive to the holding of elections, protection of civilians and support to stabilization efforts through, inter alia, the provision of gender and women protection advisers, and further requests enhanced reporting by MONUSCO to the Council on this issue;

“40.  Recalls its presidential statement S/PRST/2015/22 and its resolution 2272 (2016), reiterates the urgent and imperative need to hold accountable all perpetrators of violations of international humanitarian law and violations and sexual exploitation and abuse, requests the Secretary‑General to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance of all personnel in MONUSCO with the United Nations zero‑tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council fully informed through his reports to the Council about the Mission’s progress in this regard, and urges troop- and police‑contributing countries to take appropriate preventative action including vetting of all personnel, predeployment and in‑mission awareness training, and to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel through timely investigation of allegations by troop- and police‑contributing countries and MONUSCO, as appropriate;

“41.  Acknowledges the crucial role of United Nations women protection advisers deployed in MONUSCO in supporting the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to implement its commitments on addressing sexual violence in conflict and calls on MONUSCO to ensure they continue to work closely with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo at both strategic and operational levels;

“42.  Requests MONUSCO to ensure that any support provided to national security forces is in strict compliance with the United Nations human rights due diligence policy on United Nations support to non‑United Nations forces, and calls upon the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to work with MONUSCO to support the promotion of Democratic Republic of the Congo security service personnel with reputable human rights records;

Humanitarian Access

“43.  Demands that all parties allow and facilitate the full, safe, immediate and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel, equipment and supplies and the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need, in particular to internally displaced persons, throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, respecting the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, including humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence, and relevant provisions of international law;

“44.  Calls on MONUSCO to strengthen its collaboration with humanitarian actors and streamline coordination mechanisms with humanitarian agencies to ensure information‑sharing on protection risks to the population;

“45.  Calls on all Member States to generously contribute to the United Nations humanitarian appeals for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region to help ensure that United Nations humanitarian agencies and other international organizations are fully funded and able to address the protection and assistance needs of internally displaced persons, survivors of sexual violence, and other vulnerable communities;

Support to the Group of Experts

“46.  Expresses its full support to the United Nations Group of Experts established by resolution 1533 (2004), calls for enhanced cooperation between all States, particularly those in the region, MONUSCO and the Group of Experts, encourages timely information exchange between MONUSCO and the Group of Experts, further encourages all parties and all States to ensure cooperation with the Group of Experts by individuals and entities within their jurisdiction or under their control and reiterates its demand that all parties and all States ensure the safety of its members and its support staff, and unhindered and immediate access, in particular to persons, documents and sites the Group of Experts deems relevant to the execution of its mandate;

Mission effectiveness

“47.  Requests that mechanisms for intra‑Mission coordination should be strengthened to enable “whole‑of‑mission” efforts, particularly on priority issues such as protection of civilians, requests in that regard that all components of the MONUSCO force as well as its police and the civilian components to work together in an integrated way, and encourages MONUSCO and the United Nations system in‑country to strengthen integration through shared information and joint analysis, as well as joint planning and joint operational activities, based on coordinated knowledge management, comparative advantages and joint implementation arrangements;

“48.  Urges the United Nations to continuously incorporate lessons learned to conduct reforms across MONUSCO to better enable its offices and contingents to implement its mandate, in particular regarding the protection of civilians, and to improve Mission chain of command, increase the effectiveness of MONUSCO operations, strengthen safety and security of personnel, and enhance MONUSCO’s ability to manage complex situations, including the risk posed by improvised explosive devices and other explosive hazards;

“49.  Demands that all relevant parties cooperate fully in the deployment, operations, and monitoring, verification and reporting functions of MONUSCO, in particular by guaranteeing the safety, security and unrestricted freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel, throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

“50.  Requests MONUSCO to continue to maximize force interoperability, flexibility, mobility and effectiveness in the implementation of the entirety of MONUSCO’s mandate, including by deploying rapidly deployable units, specialized capabilities, including enhanced information‑gathering assets and analysis, specialized infantry, key enablers such as medical evacuation and air assets, and by continuing to modernize and to strengthen the performance of the Force, bearing in mind the safety and security of all military contingents, police officers, military observers and especially unarmed observers, calls on MONUSCO to streamline overall command and control of the force, in order to increase efficiencies and to improve coordination between all elements of the Force and the police component in priority areas, and reminds the Secretary‑General of the necessity to keep memoranda of understanding and Statements of Unit Requirements between the troop- and police‑contributing countries and the United Nations up to date;

“51.  Commends the commitment of the troop- and police‑contributing countries in implementing the Mission’s mandate in a challenging environment, further encourages troop- and police‑contributing countries to increase the percentage of women military and police in deployments to MONUSCO, highlights that undeclared national caveats, lack of effective command and control, refusal to obey orders, failure to respond to attacks on civilians and inadequate equipment and information may adversely affect effective mandate implementation, stressing that any national caveat that negatively affects the implementation of mandate effectiveness should not be accepted by the Secretary‑General;

“52.  Recognizes that the effective implementation of MONUSCO’s mandate is a shared responsibility and is contingent upon several critical factors, including well‑defined, realistic and achievable mandates; political will, leadership, performance and accountability at all levels; adequate resources; policy, planning and operational guidelines and training; further recognizes that measuring and monitoring peacekeeping performance should be based on comprehensive and objective policy with clear and well‑defined benchmarks; and, in this regard, welcomes the initiatives undertaken by the Secretary‑General to standardize a culture of performance in United Nations peacekeeping that operationalizes the Operational Readiness Assurance and Performance Improvement Policy, and conducts mission performance reviews of troop and police contingent performance, and leverages the Peacekeeping Capabilities and Readiness System to ensure performance data informs decisions regarding peacekeepers deployment, and calls on him to continue his efforts in this regard;

“53.  Calls upon the Secretary‑General and police‑contributing countries to ensure that adequate administrative arrangements are in place to enable timely deployment of Formed Police Units where they are most needed;

“54.  Requests MONUSCO to consider the environmental impacts of its operations when fulfilling its mandated tasks and, in this context, to manage them as appropriate and in accordance with applicable and relevant General Assembly resolutions and United Nations rules and regulations;

“55.  Requests the Secretary‑General to carry out contingency planning in order to consider temporarily reinforcing MONUSCO, looking at all options including through inter‑mission cooperation, with the sole purpose of implementing its mandate, and requests the Secretary‑General to inform the Security Council of these proposed plans within 90 days from the adoption of this resolution;

Exit strategy

“56.  Requests the Secretary‑General to continue his efforts to articulate a phased, progressive and comprehensive exit strategy, working with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations country team and other relevant stakeholders with a view to increasing national ownership and progressively transferring tasks for a smooth exit of MONUSCO, and to keep under constant review the Secretary‑General’s findings relating to adjustments following the successful holding of elections and sustainable progress towards reducing the threat posed by armed groups;

Strategic review

“57.  Takes note of the strategic review presented by the Secretary‑General (document S/2017/826) and endorses the recommendations relating to proposed adjustments to MONUSCO in the pre‑electoral phase, requests the Secretary‑General to implement changes in the mission leadership and mission support, and to implement a zero‑tolerance policy on serious misconduct, sexual exploitation and abuse, fraud, corruption, trafficking in natural resources or wildlife, including by making full use of the existing authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General to ensure accountability of the Mission’s staff and through effective mission support arrangement;

“58.  Requests the Secretary‑General to take full consideration of the evolution of the security situation in implementing changes to the Force, especially when considering the deployment of additional rapid deployment battalions, further requests the Secretary‑General to continue its work towards improving the efficiency of the Intervention Brigade;

Reports by the Secretary-General

“59.  Requests the Secretary‑General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of MONUSCO’s mandate, including its Intervention Brigade, as set out in this resolution, including on:

(i)   Progress made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement and the electoral process, including on the provisions of paragraphs 1 to 10 above, as well as on the ways in which MONUSCO will be best prepared to address security risks and to monitor and report on human rights violations and abuses in the context of the elections, including in terms of deployment of the Force in areas identified as potential zones of instability and configuration of civilian and police component of MONUSCO, sexual violence and the impact of conflict on women and children using disaggregated data, and any gender considerations made;

(ii)  The situation on the ground, including updates on operations to neutralize armed groups, in accordance with paragraph 36.i.d, and any instances where the Mission is not effectively fulfilling its protection of civilians mandate, and the circumstances surrounding these instances, including, as appropriate, incidents where units assert undeclared national caveats, lack effective command and control, refuse to obey orders, fail to respond to attacks on civilians and have inadequate equipment;

(iii) Progress made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo on protecting human rights and in the implementation of its commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region, including through the establishment and implementation of a national security sector reform road map, its provincial stabilization plan supported by the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy, and on the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration plans;

(iv)  Progress in the implementation of the measures taken to transform MONUSCO and improve its performance, including measures to ensure Mission effectiveness as outlined in paragraphs 47 to 55, steps taken to prevent and redress performance failures, the deployment of rapidly deployable battalions and employment of the Intervention Brigade’s capabilities, implementation of the comprehensive approach to protection of civilians, to become more mobile, efficient and effective in implementing its mandate and associated requirements, and on the definition of an exit strategy for MONUSCO, including the Intervention Brigade;

(v)   The risks and their implications for the safety and the security for the United Nations personnel and facilities as a result of the possible military operations as well as all instances of threats against MONUSCO personnel, and measures taken to strengthen their security and mitigate risks;

“60.  Requests the Secretary‑General to conduct a comprehensive performance review of all MONUSCO units in accordance with the Operational Readiness Assurance and Performance Improvement Policy and the Secretary‑General’s zero‑tolerance policy on sexual violence and abuse by September 2018 and further report to the Council every three months, as part of its regular reporting, on the percentage of MONUSCO contingents who have satisfied the requirements of the these reviews, the status of any remediation action to address contingents who have not satisfied requirements and detailing plans to address contingents where remediation is not deemed appropriate, as certified by the Force Commander;

“61.  Requests the Secretary‑General to update the Security Council in writing every 30 days on political and technical progress towards 23 December 2018 elections, including benchmarks laid out in paragraph 7 above and obstacles to the implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement, when no regular reports are due;

“62.  Requests the Secretary‑General to report to the Security Council every six months, in coordination with the Secretary‑General’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa and the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region and its linkages with the broader security situation in the Great Lakes Region;

“63.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

For information media. Not an official record.