Explanation of Vote following the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2448 Renewing the Mandate of MINUSCA

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen
U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
December 13, 2018


Mr. President, the United States strongly supports MINUSCA and is pleased to have voted for this mandate renewal.

We note that it will be difficult for this Council and MINUSCA to assist the Government of the Central African Republic in making peace with armed groups, re-establishing government control over the entirety of its territory, and laying the groundwork for peace and prosperity for all the citizens of the Central African Republic unless there is total unity, transparency, and coordination among key actors, including with the AU and ECCAS.

Mr. President, we’re deeply concerned by violence in Bangui, Bambari, and Alindao, and believe that this fighting and these actions against civilians demonstrate the importance of having Central African authorities coordinate with MINUSCA before redeploying security forces, as authorized in this mandate. We’re concerned by the possibility the Central African military might be moving to zones where they were not previously agreed with the UN.

We’ll continue to urge the establishment of a national inspection protocol for all weapons donations made to the Government of the CAR and commend all donors who are providing this assistance, and we restate our commitment to achieving the highest possible standards of transparency to coordinate with the government and other partners on military assistance, training, and donations. In some cases, it has been unclear which activities represent official government assistance and which represent private commercial activities unrelated to donor coordination.

Mr. President, assisting the Government of the Central African Republic is not a competition. In helping one of the world’s poorest countries emerge from more than a decade of conflict in pursuit of peace and development, there is no room for jealousy. We must coordinate closely to ensure our combined assistance and our related activities help to achieve the Security Council’s objectives in support of the Central African Republic’s territorial integrity.

As authorized in this mandate, we urge more rapid progress on the African Union Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation, and we urge all Member States to embrace transparency and full cooperation with the Government of the Central African Republic, the AU, ECCAS, and MINUSCA in support of a political resolution to the violence.

Finally, Mr. President, we note that this resolution contains references to the International Criminal Court, and in this connection we refer to the U.S. policy on the ICC as announced by the White House on September 10. In particular, the United States reiterates our continuing and longstanding principled objection to any assertion of ICC jurisdiction over nationals of states that are not parties to the Rome Statute, including the United States and Israel, absent a UN Security Council referral or the consent of such a state. We also wish to reiterate our serious and fundamental concerns with the ICC Prosecutor’s proposed investigation of U.S. personnel in the context of the conflict in Afghanistan.

As recalled in this resolution, the Central African Republic is a State Party to the Rome Statute and has consented to the ICC’s exercise of jurisdiction in its territory.

The United States remains a leader in the fight to end impunity and continues to support justice and accountability for international crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. We respect the decision of those nations that have chosen to join the ICC, and in turn we expect that our decision not to join and not to place our citizens under the ICC’s jurisdiction will also be respected.

Thank you, Mr. President.