Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on MINUSMA
National statement delivered by Ambassador Carl Skau on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on MINUSMA, 14 June 2018, New York.
Let me recognise the presence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs for Mali, we really thank you sir for being with us today. Let me also thank Under-Secretary-General Lacroix for his useful briefing to us today. We welcome the progress that has been made in the implementation of the peace agreement in recent months. This includes the establishment of Operational Coordination Mechanisms in Kidal and Timbuktu and the Prime Minister's visit to the northern and central regions. It is now crucial that implementation of the peace agreement is intensified and that the current momentum is maintained through the presidential election campaign. It is also imperative that the eventual winner of the Presidential election continues to prioritize the peace process.
Inclusivity is an essential prerequisite for building a sustainable peace in any country, this also true in Mali. As stated in the Secretary-General's report, little progress has been made in ensuring women's meaningful engagement in the peace process. We must step up our efforts in this regard, and we call on all parties to urgently address this shortfall.
We are concerned by the lack of trust between the government and opposition parties, highlighted most recently by violent clashes sparked by demonstrations. It is crucial that political actors and parties put aside their differences and work towards the holding of inclusive, transparent and credible elections for the good of all Malians.
The continued deterioration of the situation in central Mali, leading to an unprecedented number of civilian casualties, remains of great concern. We are particularly worried by serious allegations of human rights abuses and violations in the context of counter terrorism operations being carried out by the Malian Armed Forces. We call on the government to step up protection efforts in the region, and to conduct investigations of alleged abuses and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Restoring trust in the government and building the legitimacy of state functions in the region, including through provision of basic social services, is essential. It will also be important to take local dynamics into account and address fundamental causes of instability, including conflicts over resources and land, inequalities and exclusion and climate change.
Turning to MINUSMA's mandate. We welcome the conclusions of the independent strategic review, as presented in the Secretary-General's report. The review provides important recommendations on how to better align the mission's objectives and strategic vision with realities on the ground and key provisions of the Peace Agreement, including on decentralization, security-sector reform and reconciliation.
The Peace Agreement is the only path to peace and stability in Mali; supporting its implementation should remain the priority of the mission. For this reason, we support the idea of enhancing MINUSMA's political role as well as the development of a "Pact for Peace", which would associate assistance to existing benchmarks and timelines, including progress on governance and institutional reforms.
We agree that an increased level of strategic coherence amongst the UN presence in Mali is needed. This, along with integrated planning within the mission, remain essential in order to fulfil the objectives of a common vision in support of the peace process and stabilization.
It is clear that United Nations efforts, together with those of the Malian authorities, to address the situation in central Mali must be reinvigorated. We support the recommendation of a fully integrated plan, taking the multidimensional nature of challenges in the region into account.
Finally, it is important that key civilian components of the mission, not least in human rights, are safeguarded. In light of the heavy security presence on the territory, monitoring and reporting on these issues is essential.
The situation in Mali has implications for the wider region. 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 United Nations has an important role to play in support of national efforts and will continue to have our full support.