Explanation of vote by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva after the UNSC vote on a draft resolution on renewal of mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan
Russia abstained on the draft UNSC resolution on renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan that was put forward by the delegation of the United States.
We support the work of UNMISS in this African state. The Mission contributes meaningfully to stabilization of the situation and implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. Despite a lack of logistics equipment and understaffing, Blue Helmets and their efforts enjoy much authority with the local population and deserve to be respected.
At the same time, we still have concerns about US-proposed amendments to the UNMISS mandate in terms of protection of civilians, which give the peacekeepers a wide discretion without the need to coordinate with the government of the host country. Such approach to resolving the problem of inter-communal violence does not take into account the specifics of the situation in South Sudan, is intrusive by nature and risks to undermine the peace process at this crucial stage when the transition period is terminating and preparations for elections (scheduled for December 2024) begin. At this point, South Sudan particularly needs support. We are convinced that settlement of inter-communal conflicts can be effective only if these efforts coordinate closely with the local authorities and apply a holistic approach aimed at eradication of the root causes of violence and enhancement of South Sudanese potential, i.a. via strengthening of unified armed forces that are under formation now. We call on the peacekeepers to proceed from these guidelines.
We also regret that the American penholders of the South Sudanese country file refused to continue constructive talks in order to fine-tune other language of the draft resolution, first of all with regard to climate and attribution of uncharacteristic tasks at this track to the personnel of the Mission; and also with regard to preserving the language of UNSC resolution 2417 on hunger-conflict nexus.
American penholders of South Sudanese file at the UNSC agenda once again proved not ready to engage in faithful talks with all UNSC members and abused their status to promote national interests. We believe this is another proof that the current system of penholdership is living through a deep-reaching crisis, which threatens to undermine trust of host countries in the activities of the United Nations, including peacekeeping operations. This once again demonstrates that we need a more just distribution of pen duties among UNSC members.