Security Council Extends, Expands Sanctions against Democratic Republic of Congo to Cover Those Attacking Peacekeepers, Adopting Resolution 2360 (2017)

Permanent Representative Says Measures Should Also Target Firms Using Armed Groups, Objects to Actions that Hamper Pursuit of ‘Common Goals’

The Security Council today extended its arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 1 July 2018, expanding those sanctions to cover individuals and entities engaging in or providing support for acts that included planning, directing, sponsoring or participating in attacks against the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) peacekeepers or United Nations personnel, including members of the Group of Experts.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2360 (2017) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council extended the mandate of the Group of Experts assisting the Sanctions Committee through 1 August 2018, and decided to extend by two months � to 15 August � the deadline for the Group’s final report, given the extraordinary circumstances under which it was operating, including the killing of two of its members in the KasaA� region in March.

By the text, the Council requested that the Group of Experts gather, examine and analyse information regarding perpetrators of serious violations of international humanitarian law, and of human rights violations and abuses, including those within the national security forces.

The Council also extended provisions on the supply, sale or transfer of arms and related materiel set out in paragraphs 1 to 6 of resolution 2293 (2016), which stated that such measures did not apply to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO or the African Union Regional Task Force.

Strongly condemning all armed groups operating in the region and their violations of humanitarian and human rights laws, the Council, by the terms of resolution 2360 (2017), demanded that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and others cease immediately all violence, including the exploitation of natural resources, and that their members immediately and permanently disband, lay down their arms and liberate and demobilize all children from their ranks.

Urging the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue to fully implement its commitments made in the action plan signed with the United Nations and for the protection of girls and boys from sexual violence, the Council further called upon the Government to ensure that children were not detained on charges related to association with armed groups. It also called on the Government to pursue its action plan commitments to end sexual violence and violations committed by its armed forces.

By other terms, the Council stressed the importance of the Government to actively seek to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country. It also called on it to continue to enhance stockpile security, accountability and management of arms and ammunition, urgently implement a national weapons marking programme and to address the illegal exploitation and smuggling of natural resources.

Also by the resolution, the Council encouraged timely information exchanges between MONUSCO and the Group of Experts in line with paragraph 43 of resolution 2348 (2017), and requested MONUSCO to assist the Committee and the Group of Experts, within its capabilities.

It decided to review the provisions of the resolution by 31 October, following submission of its Expert Group’s final report.

Francois Delattre (France) said the text reiterated the Council’s condemnation of the murders of Expert Group members, Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan, and the call for an in-depth inquiry. He emphasized that the experts had been carrying out critical activities, which was the bedrock of the sanctions regime and the Security Council’s work.

Council members called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to cooperate with investigations that would bring the perpetrators to justice. Zaida and Michael lost their lives seeking the truth in Kasai, said Michele Sison (United States). We cannot let that search end. By renewing the mandate of the Group of Experts, the Council was sending a clear message that it would continue the work of Ms. Catalan and Mr. Sharp to address human rights violations and abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and commit to take action against those who harmed United Nations personnel.

Echoing a common message, Irina Schoulgin Nyoni (Sweden) said no stone should be left unturned in efforts to deliver justice for those who had lost their lives in the service of the United Nations. Sweden would continue looking into proposals on how the Council and the United Nations system could support ongoing national investigations, with one such option being a special investigation mandated by the Secretary-General.

Some speakers presented other options, with Stephen Hickey (United Kingdom) expressing full support for efforts in Geneva to mandate, through the Human Rights Council, an investigation into human rights violations and abuses in KasaA�. Noting that the impact of the situation in KasaA� was being felt beyond the region and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with 30,000 refugees in Angola, he said the Council must keep a close eye on the issue and be prepared to act.

Raising a related issue, Sebastiano Cardi (Italy) expressed concern over the shrinking democratic space and the current instability in the country. Ihab Moustafa Awad Moustafa (Egypt) said the resolution would consolidate peace and security while addressing the grave crimes being perpetrated by armed groups.

Gata Mavita Wa Lufuta (Democratic Republic of the Congo), addressing the heinous killing of Mr. Sharp and Ms. Catalan, said nine suspects had been arrested, including four individuals featured in the video of their barbaric assassination. Authorities were counting on MONUSCO for assistance, he said, stressing that the Democratic Republic of the Congo was determined to carry through related investigations with a view to punishing those responsible.

Turning to the newly adopted text, he said the Group’s final report could have served as a basis for related resolutions, thus avoiding the adoption of various resolutions during 2017, which did not advance common goals. In addition, the 31 December 2016 political accord and the issue of elections had already been mentioned in the Council’s resolution adopted in March 2017, and thus, had no place in a text related to the Sanctions Committee.

Further, he said, resolution 2360 (2017) did not spell out a clear way to address natural-resources-trafficking challenges, he said, noting that sanctions should also target multinational companies using armed groups, as well as transit and destination countries. On MONUSCO’s activities, he said that facts, including alleged mass graves, must be verified before they were reported. A recent incident involving an alleged mass grave had in fact turned out to be the burial site of a motorcycle.

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:37 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2360 (2017) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions and the statements of its President concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

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,

Stressing the primary responsibility of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for ensuring security in its territory and protecting its populations with respect for the rule of law, human rights and international humanitarian law, including protection from crimes against humanity and war crimes,

Taking note of the interim report (S/2016/1102) of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the Group of Experts) established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) and extended pursuant to resolutions 1807 (2008), 1857 (2008), 1896 (2009), 1952 (2010), 2021 (2011), 2078 (2012), 2136 (2014), 2198 (2015) and 2293 (2016),

Condemning in the strongest terms the killing of two members of the Group of Experts who were monitoring the sanctions regime in the KasaA� Central region, expressing its deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, the Governments of the United States, Chile and Sweden, as well as to the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the UN Secretariat, and further expressing concern over the unknown status of the four Congolese nationals accompanying them,

Reiterating the need for the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to swiftly and fully investigate the killing of the two members of the Group of Experts and bring the perpetrators to justice, calling upon the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to cooperate with the United Nations enquiries, as well as with law enforcement investigations that may be conducted by Sweden or the United States, in accordance with Democratic Republic of the Congo national legislation, and in this context, welcoming the Secretary General’s establishment of a UN Board of Inquiry to investigate the deaths of the two experts and his commitment that the United Nations will do everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice,

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 agreement in order to address the root causes of conflict and put an end to recurring cycles of violence,

Recalling the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework by all States of the region not to interfere in the internal affairs of neighbouring countries, and to neither tolerate nor provide assistance or support of any kind to armed groups, and reiterating its strong condemnation of any and all internal or external support to armed groups active in the region, including through financial, logistical or military support,

Remaining greatly concerned by the security and humanitarian situation that continues to severely affect the civilian population, expressing deep concern regarding the recent surge in the number of internally displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, further reiterating its deep concern regarding the ongoing military activities of foreign and domestic armed groups and the smuggling of Congolese natural resources, in particular gold and ivory, stressing the importance of neutralizing all armed groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and all other armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in line with resolution 2348 (2017),

Condemning the violence witnessed in the KasaA� region over recent months and expressing serious concerns at alleged violations and abuses of human rights committed in the region, reiterating its serious concern at serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by local militia in that region, recruitment and use of children in armed conflict in violation of applicable international law, as well as attacks on the Democratic Republic of the Congo security forces and symbols of State authority, further reiterating its serious concerns at the recent reports of 42 mass graves and of killings of civilians by members of the security forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all of which might constitute war crimes under international law,

Reiterating the importance and urgency of prompt and transparent investigations into violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights in the Kasais region, further reiterating its intention to closely monitor progress of the investigations into these violations, including the disproportionate use of force, which will be conducted jointly by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in collaboration with the African Union, as announced by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in order to bring to justice and hold accountable all those responsible, and looking forward to their results,

Condemning the brutal killings of more than 600 civilians in the Beni area since October 2014, expressing deep concern regarding the continued threat posed by armed groups, in particular the ADF, and the persistence of violence in this region, further expressing concern at reports of collaboration between elements of the FARDC and armed groups at a local level, in particular recent reports of individual officers of the FARDC playing a role in the insecurity in the region of Beni, calling for investigations in order to ensure that those responsible are held to account, noting the commitment expressed by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in its letter of 15 June 2016 (S/2016/542),

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, underlining that such acts could be the basis for designation pursuant to paragraph 2 of this resolution, and calling upon all parties in the conflict to respect the impartiality, independence and neutrality of humanitarian actors,

Reaffirming the importance of completing the permanent demobilization of the former 23 March Movement (M23) combatants, stressing the importance of ensuring that its ex-combatants do not regroup or join other armed groups, and calling for the acceleration of the implementation of the Nairobi Declarations and of the Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement of M23 ex-combatants, including by overcoming obstacles to repatriation, in coordination with the regional States concerned,

Condemning the illicit flow of weapons within and into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including their recirculation to and between armed groups, in violation of resolutions 1533 (2004), 1807 (2008), 1857 (2008), 1896 (2009), 1952 (2010), 2021 (2011), 2078 (2012), 2136 (2014), 2198 (2015) and 2293 (2016), and declaring its determination to continue to monitor closely the implementation of the arms embargo and other measures set out by its resolutions concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

Acknowledging in this respect the important contribution the Council-mandated arms embargo makes to countering the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in supporting post-conflict peacebuilding, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants and security sector reform,

Underlining that the transparent and effective management of its natural resources and ending illegal smuggling and trafficking of such resources are critical for the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s sustainable peace and security, expressing concern at the illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources by armed groups, and the negative impact of armed conflict on protected natural areas, commending the efforts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo park rangers and others who seek to protect such areas, encouraging the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue efforts to safeguard these areas, and stressing its full respect for the sovereignty of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo over its natural resources and its responsibility to effectively manage these resources in this regard,

Recalling the linkage between the illegal exploitation of natural resources, including poaching and illegal trafficking of wildlife, illicit trade in such resources, and the proliferation and trafficking of arms as one of the major factors fuelling and exacerbating conflicts in the Great Lakes region, and encouraging the continuation of the regional efforts of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region and the governments involved against the illegal exploitation of natural resources, and stressing, in this regard, the importance of regional cooperation and deepening economic integration with special consideration for the exploitation of natural resources,

Noting the Group of Experts’ findings that there have been positive efforts related to the minerals trade and traceability schemes but that gold remains a serious challenge, recalling the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region’s Lusaka Declaration of the Special Session to Fight Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Great Lakes Region and its call for industry due diligence, commending the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region’s commitment and progress on this issue and underscoring that it is critical for regional Governments and trading centres, particularly those involved in gold refining and the gold trade to intensify efforts to increase vigilance against smuggling and reduce practices that could undermine the Democratic Republic of the Congo and International Conference of the Great Lakes Region’s regional efforts,

Noting with concern reports indicating the continued involvement of armed groups, as well as some elements of the FARDC, in the illegal minerals trade, the illegal production and trade of charcoal and wood, and wildlife poaching and trafficking,

Noting with great concern the persistence of serious human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations against civilians in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including summary executions, sexual and gender-based violence and large scale recruitment and use of children committed by armed groups,

Recalling that full and timely implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement 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 and consolidation of constitutional democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and calling for the immediate implementation of confidence-building measures, 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, including freedom of the press, further 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 delays, including participation of women at all levels and to ensure an environment conducive to the peaceful and inclusive conduct of political activities, and the holding of elections, as per the 31 December agreement,

Remaining deeply concerned by reports of an increase in serious human rights and international humanitarian law violations committed by some members of the FARDC, the National Intelligence Agency, the Republican Guard and Congolese National Police, urging all parties to refrain from violence and provocation as well as to respect human rights, and emphasizing that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo must comply with the principle of proportionality in the use of force,

Recalling the importance of fighting against impunity within all ranks of its security forces, and stressing the need for the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue its efforts in this regard and to ensure the professionalism of its security forces,

Calling for all those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations or abuses of human rights including those involving violence or abuses against children and acts of sexual and gender-based violence, to be swiftly apprehended, brought to justice and held accountable,

Recalling all its relevant resolutions on women and peace and security, on children and armed conflict, and on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, also recalling the conclusions of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict pertaining to the parties in armed conflict of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/AC.51/2014/3) adopted on 18 September 2014,

Welcoming the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the Presidential Adviser on Sexual Violence and the Recruitment of Children, to cooperate with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence, and MONUSCO, to implement the action plan to prevent and end the recruitment and use of children and sexual violence by the FARDC, and to combat impunity for conflict-related sexual violence, including sexual violence committed by the FARDC,

Noting the critical importance of effective implementation of the sanctions regime, including the key role that neighbouring States, as well as regional and subregional organizations, can play in this regard and encouraging efforts to further enhance cooperation,

Underlining the fundamental importance of timely and detailed notifications to the Committee concerning arms, ammunition and training as set out in section 11 of the Guidelines of the Committee,

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,

Sanctions Regime

1. Decides to renew until 1 July 2018 the measures as set out in paragraph 1 to 6 of resolution 2293 (2016), including its reaffirmations therein, and decides to review the provisions of the present resolution by 31 October 2017 following submission of the final report referred to in paragraph 5 of this resolution;

2. Reaffirms that measures described in paragraph 5 of resolution 2293 (2016) shall apply to individuals and entities as designated by the Committee for engaging in or providing support for acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as set forth in paragraph 7 of resolution 2293 (2016);

3. Decides that such acts include planning, directing, sponsoring or participating in attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers or United Nations personnel, including members of the Group of Experts;

Group of Experts

4. Decides to extend until 1 August 2018 the mandate of the Group of Experts, expresses its intention to review the mandate and take appropriate action regarding the further extension no later than 1 July 2018, and requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary administrative measures as expeditiously as possible to re-establish the Group of Experts, in consultation with the Committee, drawing, as appropriate, on the expertise of the members of the Group established pursuant to previous resolutions;

5. Extends to 15 August 2017 the deadline for the submission of the final report of the Group of Experts requested in paragraph 9 of resolution 2293 (2016), given the extraordinary circumstances under which the Group of Experts is currently operating and taking into account the letter dated 15 June 2017 from the Chair of the Committee to the President of the Security Council;

6. Requests the Group of Experts to fulfil its mandate as consolidated below, and to provide to the Council, after discussion with the Committee, a mid term report no later than 30 December 2017, and a final report no later than 15 June 2018, as well as submit monthly updates to the Committee, except in the months where the mid-term and final reports are due;

(a) assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate, including through providing the Committee with information relevant to the potential designation of individuals and entities who may be engaging in the activities described in paragraph 2 of this resolution;

(b) gather, examine and analyse information regarding the implementation, with a focus on incidents of non-compliance, of the measures decided in this resolution;

(c) consider and recommend, where appropriate, ways of improving the capabilities of Member States, in particular those in the region, to ensure the measures imposed by this resolution are effectively implemented;

(d) gather, examine and analyse information regarding the regional and international support networks to armed groups and criminal networks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

(e) gather, examine and analyse information regarding the supply, sale or transfer of arms, related materiel and related military assistance, including through illicit trafficking networks and the transfer of arms and related materiel to armed groups from the Democratic Republic of the Congo security forces;

(f) gather, examine and analyse information regarding perpetrators of serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses, including those within the security forces, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

(g) evaluate the impact of minerals traceability referred to in paragraph 21 of this resolution and continue collaboration with other forums;

(h) assist the Committee in refining and updating information on the list of individuals and entities subject to the measures imposed by this resolution, including through the provision of identifying information and additional information for the publicly-available narrative summary of reasons for listing;

7. Expresses its full support to the Group of Experts and calls for enhanced cooperation between all States, particularly those in the region, MONUSCO, relevant UN bodies and the Group of Experts, encourages further that all parties and all States 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 that all parties and all States, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and countries of the region, provide unhindered and immediate access, in particular to persons, documents and sites the Group of Experts deems relevant to the execution of its mandate;

8. Calls upon the Group of Experts to cooperate actively with other panels or groups of experts established by the Security Council, as relevant to the implementation of its mandate;

Armed Groups

9. Strongly condemns all armed groups operating in the region and their violations of international humanitarian law as well as other applicable international law, and abuses of human rights including attacks on the civilian population, MONUSCO peacekeepers and humanitarian actors, summary executions, sexual and gender-based violence and large scale recruitment and use of children, and reiterates that those responsible will be held accountable;

10. Demands that FDLR, ADF, LRA and all other armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo cease immediately all forms of violence and other destabilizing activities, including the exploitation of natural resources, and that their members immediately and permanently disband, lay down their arms, and liberate and demobilize all children from their ranks;

National and Regional Commitments

11. Welcomes the progress made to date by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on ending the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue the full implementation and dissemination throughout the military chain of command, including in remote areas, of its commitments made in the action plan signed with the United Nations, and for the protection of girls and boys from sexual violence, and further calls upon the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure that children are not detained on charges related to association with armed groups;

12. 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, and calls on the Government of Democratic Republic of the Congo to further pursue its action plan commitments to end sexual violence and violations committed by its armed forces and continue efforts in that regard, noting that failure to do so may result in the FARDC being named again in future Secretary-General’s reports on sexual violence;

13. Stresses the importance of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo actively seeking to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country and of regional cooperation to this end, including through its ongoing cooperation with the International Criminal Court, encourages MONUSCO to use its existing authority to assist the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in this regard, and calls on all signatories of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework to continue to implement their commitments and cooperate fully with one another and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as MONUSCO to this end;

14. Recalls that there should be no impunity for any of those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, and, in this regard, urges the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all countries in the region and other concerned UN Member States to bring perpetrators to justice and hold them accountable, including those within the security sector;

15. Calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue to enhance stockpile security, accountability and management of arms and ammunition, with the assistance of international partners, to address ongoing reports of diversion to armed groups, as necessary and requested, and to urgently implement a national weapons marking program, in particular for State-owned firearms, in line with the standards established by the Nairobi Protocol and the Regional Centre on Small Arms;

16. Emphasizes the primary responsibility of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to reinforce State authority and governance in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, including through effective security sector reform to allow army, police and justice sector reform, and to end impunity for violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to increase efforts in this regard, in accordance with its national commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework;

17. Urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as all relevant parties to swiftly implement the 31 December 2016 Comprehensive and Inclusive Political Agreement and to ensure an environment conducive to a free, fair, credible, inclusive, transparent, peaceful and timely electoral process, in accordance with the Congolese Constitution, and recalls all relevant paragraphs of resolution 2348 (2017);

18. Calls upon all States, especially those in the region, to take effective steps to ensure that there is no support, in or from their territories, for armed groups in, or travelling through, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, stressing the need to address the networks of support, the recruitment and use of child soldiers, financing and recruitment of armed groups active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the need to address the ongoing collaboration between FARDC elements and armed groups at a local level, and calls upon all States to take steps to hold accountable, where appropriate, leaders and members of the FDLR and other armed groups residing in their countries;

Natural Resources

19. Further encourages the continuation of efforts by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to address issues of illegal exploitation and smuggling of natural resources, including holding accountable those elements of the FARDC which participate in the illicit trade of natural resources, particularly gold and wildlife products;

20. Stresses the need to undertake further efforts to cut off financing for armed groups involved in destabilizing activities through the illicit trade of natural resources, including gold or wildlife products;

21. Welcomes in this regard the measures taken by the Congolese Government to implement the due diligence guidelines on the supply chain of minerals, as defined by the Group of Experts and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recognizes the Congolese Government’s efforts to implement minerals traceability schemes, and calls on all States to assist the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region and the countries in the Great Lakes region to develop a responsible minerals trade;

22. Welcomes measures taken by the Governments in the region to implement the Group of Experts due diligence guidelines, including adopting the Regional Certification Mechanism of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region into their national legislation, in accordance with OECD Guidance and international practice, requests the extension of the certification process to other Member States in the region, and calls on all States, particularly those in the region, to continue to raise awareness of the due diligence guidelines, including by urging importers, processing industries, including gold refiners, and consumers of Congolese mineral products to exercise due diligence in accordance with paragraph 19 of resolution 1952 (2010);

23. Encourages the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region and International Conference of the Great Lakes Region member States to work closely with the industry schemes currently operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure sustainability, transparency and accountability of operations, and further recognizes and encourages the Democratic Republic of the Congo government’s continued support for the establishment of traceability and diligence systems to allow for the export of artisanal gold;

24. Continues to encourage the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region to put in place the necessary technical capacity required to support Member States in their fight against the illegal exploitation of natural resources, notes that some International Conference of the Great Lakes Region member States have made significant progress, and recommends all Member States to fully implement the regional certification scheme and report mineral trade statistics in accordance with paragraph 19 of resolution 1952 (2010);

25. Encourages all States to continue efforts to end the illicit trade in natural resources, in particular in the gold sector, and to hold those complicit in the illicit trade accountable, as part of broader efforts to ensure that the illicit trade in natural resources is not benefiting sanctioned entities, armed groups or criminal networks, including those with members in FARDC;

26. Reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 7 to 9 of resolution 2021 (2011) and calls upon the Democratic Republic of the Congo and States in the Great Lakes region to cooperate at the regional level to investigate and combat regional criminal networks and armed groups involved in the illegal exploitation of natural resources, including wildlife poaching and trafficking, and require their customs authorities to strengthen their control on exports and imports of mineral from the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

Role of MONUSCO

27. Recalls the mandate of MONUSCO as outlined in resolution 2348 (2017), in particular in paragraph 30 underlining the importance of enhanced political and conflict-related analysis, including by collecting and analysing information on the criminal networks which support the armed groups, paragraph 35 (iii) regarding the monitoring of the implementation of the arms embargo, and paragraph 35 (iv) on mining activities;

28. Encourages timely information exchange between MONUSCO and the Group of Experts in line with paragraph 43 of resolution 2348 (2017), and requests MONUSCO to assist the Committee and the Group of Experts, within its capabilities;

Sanctions Committee, Reporting and Review

29. Calls upon all States, particularly those in the region and those in which individuals and entities designated pursuant to paragraph 2 of this resolution are based, to regularly report to the Committee on the actions they have taken to implement the measures imposed by paragraphs 1, 4, and 5 and recommended in paragraph 8 of resolution 1952 (2010);

30. Emphasizes the importance for the Committee of holding regular consultations with concerned Member States, as may be necessary, in order to ensure full implementation of the measures set forth in this resolution;

31. Requests the Committee to report orally, through its Chair, at least once per year to the Council, on the state of the overall work of the Committee, including alongside the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as appropriate, and encourages the Chair to hold regular briefings for all interested Member States;

32. Requests the Committee to identify possible cases of non-compliance with the measures pursuant to paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of resolution 2293 (2016) and to determine the appropriate course of action on each case, and requests the Chair, in regular reports to the Council pursuant to paragraph 31 of this resolution, to provide progress reports on the Committee’s work on this issue;

33. Requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and the Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict to continue sharing relevant information with the Committee in accordance with paragraph 7 of resolution 1960 (2010) and paragraph 9 of resolution 1998 (2011);

34. Decides that, when appropriate and no later than 1 July 2018, it shall review the measures set forth in this resolution, with a view to adjusting them, as appropriate, in light of the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular progress in security sector reform and in disarming, demobilizing, repatriating, resettling and reintegrating, as appropriate, Congolese and foreign armed groups, with a particular focus on children among them, and compliance with this resolution;

35. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Source: United Nations

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