National Statement by Sweden at the Security Council Briefing on Peace and Security in Africa

Published

National Statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin-Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Peace and Secrity in Africa, Tuesday, 15 August 2017, New York.

Mr President,

I thank ASG Wane for his briefing. Please allow me to begin by expressing my deepest condolences to the people of Burkina Faso and to the families and friends of the victims of Sunday night's atrocious terrorist attack in central Ouagadougou. Let me also express my condolences for the loss of a peacekeeper, alongside a Malian soldier, in Douentza yesterday, and for the loss of lives of employees of MINUSMA and the Malian gendarmerie during the attack in Timbuktu yesterday. Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims and we hope for a speedy recovery of those injured.

These tragedies and heinous attacks are stark reminders of the challenges facing the Sahel countries. In this regard, I commend the G5 Sahel countries' collective efforts to move towards the full operationalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force. In order to respond to these challenges and the regional implications of terrorism, we need regional, multidimensional and coordinated solutions. The G5 Sahel Joint Force is one part of this response. A sustainable solution will, also requires continued and reinforced attention to the root causes of instability. We must ensure that the young women and men of the Sahel see a future without having to migrate or join criminal or extremist networks.

I agree with colleagues stating that while the primary responsibility for the operationalisation of the force lies with the member states of the G5 Sahel, support from the international community, and the UN, is needed on the basis of a clearly defined catalogue of capability gaps and needs. Let me therefore also highlight some issues that we believe remain to be clarified, in order to ensure the full efficiency and success of the G5 Sahel Joint Force:

First, an overarching political framework and a coherent strategy should guide the activities of the force. Command and control structures must also be well defined.

Similarly, and considering the amount of stakeholders and security actors in the Sahel, it is crucial to ensure coordination both on the ground – not least with MINUSMA and EU capacity building missions in the region - and on a political level. Embedment within the AU Peace and Security Architecture is desirable, as is consideration of other regional initiatives.

Secondly, while the CONOPS of the Joint Force includes references to human rights, protection of civilians with particular attention to women and children, gender, respect for international humanitarian law and the right of pursuit across borders, we see a need for these aspects to be further developed and clarified, not least in light of the important role of women in peacebuilding as highlighted in resolution 2359. We therefore ask for further details on how the Joint Force aims to take these perspectives into account in the implementation of its mandate.

Lastly, and related, the civilian component is paramount to the success of the Joint Force. We would ask actors to clarify its structure, size and function as a matter of urgency.

Let me conclude by reiterating that the challenges of the Sahel concern all of us, and require multidimensional and coordinated investments in both security and development, throughout the region. Sweden remains fully committed to supporting these efforts.

Thank you.

Contact

Lisa Laskaridis
Head of Press and Communication, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
Phone +1 212 583 2543
Mobile +1 917 239 0941
email to Lisa Laskaridis