Delivered by Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, 12 August 2016

Thank you Mr President,

New Zealand too welcomes the adoption of Resolution 2304. It is disappointing that the Council was unable to reach unanimity on the text. But on issues as important as this, sometimes that is just not possible.

The Council has nonetheless adopted this resolution under Chapter VII of the Charter, as was the case for the earlier UNMISS resolutions, and we must give it our full support in implementation.

We thank the United States for its commendable efforts in leading the negotiations on the draft and the significant engagement of all Council members, including the Russian Federation for calling for the important discussion on the text at yesterday’s informal consultations.

New Zealand’s vote in favour of the resolution demonstrates our strong support for the Council’s response to the clear message we have received from IGAD and the African Union, that the Council needs to act urgently and decisively to mandate a Regional Protection Force within UNMISS. Any questions on the need for this force were comprehensively answered in the letter from the Secretary-General to Council members earlier this week.

In deploying peacekeeping forces, host state consent is desirable and should be worked for in every case. There is a clear practical need why this is important and in this respect we note and welcome the in-principle consent given by the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan.

But consent to every aspect of the peacekeeping mission is not a requirement in a Chapter VII operation. The Council must ultimately be prepared to take the tough decisions in accordance with the charter that are required for the maintenance of peace and security, and in the best interests of the people of South Sudan and its region. We very much hope that South Sudan will cooperate with UNMISS. That is in the interests of the South Sudan people and the United Nations. But it would be a mistake to allow the government of South Sudan, which was at least partially responsible for the current situation, to dictate the terms of the UN’s deployment.

More broadly, the ongoing obstruction of UNMISS in the performance of its mandate, as evidenced in the catalogue of violations of the Status of Forces agreement, is not acceptable. We welcome the clear signal in this resolution that this Council will take action, including through the establishment of an arms embargo, should the obstruction of UNMISS continue.

I thank you.