Explanation of vote by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva after the UNSC vote on a draft resolution on renewal of the sanctions regime for South Sudan
Russia abstained during the vote on US-proposed draft Security Council resolution on renewal of the sanctions regime for South Sudan.
UNSC sanctions is one of the strongest forms of response to peace threats. We are convinced that sanctions must be used with caution, always be perfectly justified and well-calibrated. They must never be used as a punitive tool. UNSC restrictions must reflect the situation on the ground and serve the interests of political process. Therefore, they must undergo regular review and modification until the moment they are fully lifted.
By our estimates, many of UNSC sanctions regimes that are in effect today no longer correspond to de-facto situations on the ground and interfere with plans of national governments in the area of state-building and forming effective security bodies.
South Sudanese sanctions regime is no exception. Let me emphasize that we are not trying to sugarcoat the situation in this young state, which still has many challenges to overcome. At the same time, we must recognize that the security situation in South Sudan saw some significant changes. Juba achieved certain progress in meeting the “benchmark indicators” as per UNSC resolution 2577, even though some objective delays surely took place. At this stage, South Sudan needs to strengthen its armed forces which are still in the making.
Juba’s approach to sanctions is well known. It has been expressed at the highest level and, most importantly, supported by the African Union and IGAD.
At the same time, the United States, acting as penholder of South Sudanese file in the Security Council, when preparing this document ignored not only the calls of Juba and a consolidated position of African states, but also approaches of some Council members (including Russia) regarding the importance of showing respect to the opinion of South Sudanese and, through readiness to ease sanctions, inspire them to achieve even greater results in state-building.
We have increasingly more questions to penholder working methods. Let me remind that Note 507 by the President of the Council prescribes the penholders to give their SC colleagues an opportunity to be fully engaged in the drafting exercise, convene consultations with openness and flexibility. Unfortunately, in Security Council work on South Sudan resolutions, we encounter more and more situations when Washington’s own interests are placed above the interests of Juba and the region, and opinions of other Council members are not taken on board.