Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on Peace and Security in Africa
National statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Peace and Security in Africa, 23 May 2018, New York.
Thank you, Madam President,
Let me also thank ASG Keïta and Permanent Secretary Sidikou for their important briefings to the Council today. I also thank the Permanent Observer of the African Union, Ms. Fatima Kyari Mohammed and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Mr. João Vale de Almeida, for your useful contributions to the discussion.
During the Council's visit to the Sahel in October last year, we witnessed first-hand the strong determination of the countries of the region to address the security challenges they face. We commend them for their efforts for peace and security in the Sahel, which are being pursued under difficult circumstances. This is evidenced by the tragic loss of lives – of civilians and security forces – in recent months. Let me take this opportunity to extend our condolences to all those affected.
We are encouraged by steps taken so far in the operationalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force. This includes the conclusion of a technical agreement, and the execution of two operations by the force. It is now time for outstanding elements of resolution 2391 to be implemented. In particular, we call on G5 Sahel countries to deploy the remainder of troops committed to the Joint Force, and to ensure the transfer of authority of their battalions to the Force Commander. This is crucial for the full functioning and credibility of the force.
The implementation of the Human Rights Compliance Framework to prevent, investigate, address and publicly report violations of human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law is also critical for the long-term success of the force. We welcome the seed funding for the compliance framework provided by the Peacebuilding Fund. We are preparing to provide further support through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The functioning of the Joint Force and the compliance framework will be dependent on a functional civilian and police component. For this reason, we welcome the decision taken by the G5 Committee for Defense and Security last week in Ouagadougou, to continue to deepen collaboration between the police forces of G5 countries. We also welcome the support being provided by the UN Office for Drugs and Crime in this area.
We encourage all parties to actively explore how the active contributions and perspectives of women can be ensured and integrated in the implementation of the compliance framework, the operational planning of the force as well as in the police and civilian components.
We welcome funding pledges made so far in support of the G5-Sahel, including at the Brussels conference in February. We call on all donors to swiftly disburse funds to allow the operationalisation of the force. We hope that donors will earmark funds for MINUSMA to provide engineering support for the camps of the Joint Force, in line with resolution 2391. This is urgently needed, not least in light of the continuously deteriorating security situation.
We welcome the Secretary-General's strong engagement on the G5 Sahel Joint Force. The options for further UN support to the Joint Force laid out in the Secretary-General's report must be seriously considered. As we move forward, predictable and reliable funding is vital for the Joint Force to be able to carry out planning and operations in an effective, predictable and sustainable manner. It is also essential if this Council is to ensure that our repeated calls for regional ownership, demands for accountability and expectations of force output, are matched with adequate resources and support.
The G5 Sahel Joint Force is one of many instruments that make up an integrated, sustainable and regional approach to the situation in the Sahel. The primacy of politics should guide this work, and we agree with the Secretary-General that the Joint Force should be embedded within a larger political and institutional framework, as part of a broader and more comprehensive strategy for the region. The establishment of the Groupe de Soutien and coordination with regional structures and organizations is an important element in this regard. We also encourage a continued and deepened cooperation and dialogue between the UN – AU and the G5.
Sustainable peace and prosperity in the Sahel region can only be achieved through political solutions, respect for human rights, equal distribution of social and economic opportunities to the population and restored and expanded state presence across the region. The situation in Mali key to this aim. It is, therefore, important that the implementation of the peace agreement proceeds at a more rapid pace and that the holding of peaceful, fair and transparent elections in July is ensured.
The challenges facing the Sahel are many and interlinked. They have implications, not only for the millions of people facing insecurity and hunger, but also for the wider region, and indeed, globally. The collective efforts of the G5 Sahel countries to address these challenges, to step up development efforts, and to move towards the full operationalisation of the G5 Sahel Joint Force is essential. It deserves our full support.