Swedish statement at the UNSC Briefing on MINUSMA and Mali Sanctions
National statement delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, MINUSMA, and Mali Sanctions, 11 April 2018, New York.
I want to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, for his thoughtful briefing to the Council today, and express appreciation for the presence of Foreign Minister Coulibaly. While it is clear that some progress is being made in Mali, concerns remain over the security situation and the pace of implementation of the peace agreement.
I want to begin by paying tribute to the work of MINUSMA in difficult and often dangerous circumstances. Our thoughts remain with the families of the peacekeepers from Chad and Niger who lost their lives in the attacks which occurred in Aguelhok and Gao last week. The Malian government has the primary responsibility to fight impunity for violence and ensure access to justice for all, including by prioritising the reconciliation and justice measures in the peace agreement. In this regard, we welcome the new government's ambitious plans to restore security, particularly in central Mali and always with full respect for human rights.
On January 24, the Security Council adopted a press statement that clearly set out our expectations in relation to the key reforms foreseen under the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. We expressed a shared sense of impatience at persistent delays in the agreement's implementation, as well as our intention to assess progress and respond with appropriate steps if needed. The time to evaluate progress has now come; we are ready to engage with all parties and key actors to do so.
We welcome the continued engagement by the parties in the implementation process. The visit of Prime Minister Maïga to the Northern and Central regions recently is encouraging, as is the ongoing drafting process of a national strategy on security sector reform. However, engagement must be further translated into tangible actions. We regret that most of the deadlines set out in the January timetable have not been met. We stand ready to continue to work with parties to implement the roadmap, as further revised in March. We hope that there will be no further delays or adjustments to the timetable going forward.
We reiterate the need for substantial steps towards the full implementation of the peace agreement as a prerequisite for successful elections. At the same time, it is crucial for Mali and the peace process that elections are duly and legitimately undertaken and the electoral timetable respected. As the timetable for the planned elections gets closer, there is no time to spare. All parties have a responsibility to honour their commitments and engaging in confidence-building measures without further delay.
We welcome - and echo - the Secretary-General's call for the inclusion of women and youth in all the mechanisms supporting the implementation of the Agreement, as well as among interim authorities. Inclusivity and the full and effective participation of women, including in elected and nominated functions and decision-making structures related to the peace process, is essential to building a sustainable peace. For this reason, the meeting between the president of the Agreement Monitoring Committee, the High Representative of the President for the Peace Process and MINUSMA with a delegation of women representing signatory armed groups and civil society on January 16 is encouraging, however, further institutionalization of women's inclusion in the mechanisms supporting the implementation of the Agreement is needed.
All the tools necessary to support the peace process are now in place, including the independent observer, the International Commission of Inquiry and resolution 2374. We encourage the parties to take advantage of this opportunity.
In this regard, let me also thank Foreign Minister Coulibaly for his availability and active engagement during the 2374 committee's trip to Mali. It was clear that the parties take the sanctions instrument seriously, with all parties to the peace agreement expressing their support and engaging. That engagement needs to be sustained.
Finally, Mr President, MINUSMA's presence remains a key factor for stability in Mali. Its support to the Malian government serves to build confidence between state actors and the population. We look forward to the conclusions of the independent strategic review, which we hope will identify ways to enhance the performance of the mission.
We are proud to contribute to MINUSMA's important work as it continues to support the parties to deliver on their commitment to implement the outstanding provisions of the peace agreement.