On 4 September 2018, the Informal Expert Group on Women and Peace and Security held a meeting on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ahead of the visit by the Security Council in October 2018. The members received a briefing from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Leila Zerrougui, experts from the Mission and representatives of the country team. The Special Representative provided a comprehensive overview of key developments since the previous meeting and of progress and challenges in implementing commitments with regard to women and peace and security. She reaffirmed the Mission’s commitment to advancing the women and peace and security agenda in collaboration with the Congolese partners and the country team. Members asked questions related to women’s low representation on candidates lists for the December 2018 elections, the continuing threats to and shrinking space for civil society organizations and human rights defenders, and the accountability of perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence, including through the sanctions regime. They also inquired about ongoing efforts to increase the genderresponsiveness of MONUSCO and sought input on key messages and concerns ahead of the visit by the Security Council to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in October 2018.