Delivered by H.E. Amiera Alhefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
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I would like to thank Special Representative El-Ghassim Wane for his comprehensive briefing and commend him and MINUSMA for their tireless efforts in support of peace and stability in Mali. We also listened carefully to Ms. Sadya Touré. We welcome the participation of His Excellency Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, Mali’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in today’s meeting.
The UAE is closely following the situation in Mali and the wider Sahel region. We share the Secretary-General’s concerns about the deteriorating political, security and humanitarian situation. However, we believe that intensified national and regional efforts – coupled with strong international support – can enable Mali to address these challenges and ultimately allow Malians to live in peace.
The security situation remains deeply concerning, especially in the context of increased trans-national threats that terrorist groups pose to the security and stability of Mali and the wider region. Despite significant counterterrorism efforts, these groups continue to expand their control, and launch sophisticated attacks causing serious harm to civilians as well as peacekeeping forces. The UAE strongly condemns these attacks and calls for all the perpetrators to be held accountable. We would also like to express our sincere condolences to the governments of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Arab Republic of Egypt and the families of the peacekeeping victims of the recent attacks.
Concurrently, tackling security issues in Mali will require a two-pronged approach, focusing on ensuring the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, alongside MINUSMA’s stabilization efforts. In this regard, we look forward to learning more from Secretary-General’s upcoming analysis and recommendations, within 6 months, on how to ensure MINUSMA’s mission is fit for purpose in its current operating environment.
We continue to support the Secretary-General’s recommendation to renew MINUSMA’s mandate for another year and look forward to engaging constructively with other Council members to negotiate MINUSMA’s mandate.
In terms of the political process, both the Secretary-General’s report as well as the outcome of ECOWAS’s last meeting make it clear that Mali is at a critical juncture. Continued dialogue and engagement among the country’s key stakeholders as well as regional and international actors remains vital at this moment. In the same vein, continued commitment to the key tenets of the 2015 Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation is essential to support stability and recovery in Mali, along with a focus on the strategy prioritizing the challenges in the centre of the country. Progress in the political transition will be critical as well. In this context, the UAE believes in the need to ensure inclusive community participation. We encourage Mali to redouble efforts on the political process and to remain steadfast in their commitment to build a country that answers to the aspirations of the people of Mali.
I would like to highlight that the humanitarian situation and food insecurity in Mali is another issue requiring the Council’s urgent attention. According to the Secretary General’s report over 7.5 million people are in urgent need of assistance in Mali, and more than 960,000 children under five at risk of acute malnutrition. The situation is untenable. Regular updates to the Council need to include forecasts of expected hunger levels and the implications for local communities, especially those most vulnerable like women and children, so that the Council can support early action.
Furthermore, the dire humanitarian situation in Mali is exacerbated by the country’s vulnerability to climate change. We believe that part of the response to this double conundrum will require the Council to encourage climate finance actors to increase support for food and water investments in Mali; at the moment, highly fragile countries receive only $2 per capita of climate finance, despite offering very high returns on stability and early recovery. We also welcome the SRSG’s efforts to increase the use of renewable energy where it can reduce costs and security risks, as well as to foster a positive legacy for host communities.
In conclusion, Madam President, the UAE reaffirms its continued support for Mali on its path towards peace, stability, and prosperity.
Thank you, Madam President.