Swedish Statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on Mali/MINUSMA
National statement delivered by Ambassador Carl Skau on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), 19 October 2018, New York.
Thank you, Madam President,
Madam President, let me begin by thanking the Permanent Representative of Mali, Ambassador Konfourou for joining us in this discussion today. Let me also thank USG Lacroix for his informative briefing.
We recognize recent progress in the implementation of the peace agreement, and welcome the signing of the Pact for Peace in Bamako earlier this week. It is now important that parties redouble efforts to carry out key reforms, as outlined by the pact and in resolution 2423. Reforms related to decentralization, DDR and security sector reform, rule of law, social cohesion and socioeconomic development, should be taken forward without any delay. It is also important that the MOC mixed patrols can begin patrolling and that regional and local interim authorities are made fully operational.
The Security Council and other partners should continue to support the implementation of the peace agreement through established mechanisms. We call on all parties to take full advantage of this support, including the independent observer and the 2374 committee. As Chair of this committee, Ambassador Skoog plans to visit Mali later this year.
Inclusivity is essential for long-term stability. We therefore welcome the commitment in the Pact for Peace to seek an inclusive approach to the implementation of the peace agreement. We hope that the Government will translate this commitment into further action without delay. As underlined by this Council in resolution 2432, parties should ensure full and equal participation of women in the peace process, including through greater representation of women in the mechanisms established by the peace agreement to support and monitor its implementation, as well as in the upcoming elections.
The continued deterioration of the security situation, in particular in Central Mali, remains of great concern. We are particularly alarmed by the increasing number of civilian casualties, now the highest number during any reporting period since MINUSMA was deployed. We are also deeply concerned by the spill-over of insecurity to Burkina Faso and to the wider region.
The targeted attacks on civilians and intercommunal clashes, the limited humanitarian access and inadequate access to basic social services as well as to justice, are deeply concerning. Allegations of violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law, and reports of wide-spread conflict-related sexual violence, and grave violations against children further adds to these concerns. We call on the Malian government to increase efforts to prevent and investigate human rights violations and abuses, including those committed by the Malian armed forces.
It is now urgent to stem this tide of violence and carefully assess our joint approach to the protection of civilians in the central regions. This includes assessing the approach of the government, as well as of the UN and of other actors. Addressing the root causes of the situation must be part of this analysis. We welcome further information on the ongoing efforts in this regard, including in relation to resolution 2423 and the government’s integrated security plan. We also commend the efforts by the G5 Sahel joint force and continue to advocate for sustainable support.
Sweden remains a committed partner to Mali and to the entire Sahel region in their efforts to enhance security and development and build sustainable peace. Our broader commitment includes support through the UN and the EU, as well as bilateral and regional development cooperation and humanitarian assistance.
It also includes a substantial troop contribution to MINUSMA, where Swedish Lieutenant General Dennis Gyllensporre took up his function as Force Commander of MINUSMA on 2 October. We will continue to strongly support this mission, including through continuous engagement on the commitments made within the framework of the Action for Peacekeeping agenda.
The decline in peacekeeper fatalities in Mali is encouraging. It is important, however, that measures are taken to enhance mobility of troops, with the aim to achieve greater operational effect, in parallel with the efforts to strengthen safety and security of peacekeepers.
Long-term stability and prosperity in Mali can only be achieved through a combination of security and development support. Strategic coordination within MINUSMA and the UN, as well as with the African Union, ECOWAS and other partners, must continue to be strengthened.
It is also important that cooperation is further enhanced between the countries in the Sahel region and the UN, including with UNOWAS, to further advance the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel. The Peacebuilding Commission offers an important forum to continue discussions in this regard, including as steps are taken to transfer certain tasks to the UN Country Team and to other development partners.
Over three years since the signing of the peace agreement for Mali, important progress has been made, but much still needs to be done to advance its effective implementation. We commend all the efforts made and continue to urge all parties to take further steps without delay. Sweden will continue to offer its full support.
I thank you, Madam President.