Delivered by: Her Excellency Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
I would like to thank France, in its capacity as penholder, for steering this resolution to its conclusion and unanimous adoption that we, as the UAE, voted in favour of with some concern today.
I wish to express my deep gratitude on behalf of the UAE to SRSG Wane and the MINUSMA personnel for their efforts and contribution to peace and stability for the people of Mali. We pay tribute to the men and women who have served as peacekeepers, troops, and police officers, and especially to those blue helmets killed while performing their duty in Mali. Their sacrifice is recognized here today by all of us.
The UAE voted in favour of the Resolution today because it directly responds to the request from the host authorities of Mali for the withdrawal of MINUSMA without delay. The prospect of the UN maintaining a political office and peacekeepers in a country without consent would be untenable. Not only would it run counter to the fundamental principles of peacekeeping, it would be unworkable, both politically and practically. However, the Council remains responsible for ensuring the proper implementation of this resolution.
The resolution provides clear timelines and reporting for the drawdown to be completed in an orderly and safe manner. Importantly, it ensures consultations with the Transition Government of Mali and those countries contributing troop and police personnel.
All efforts should now be focused on successful and safe implementation. The smooth and safe departure of MINUSMA will be no small task given the large number of UN personnel and extensive equipment present in the country. We look forward to receiving the Secretary-General’s regular updates in this regard, and to continue consultations with regional stakeholders.
Strong communication must be at the heart of efforts to move forward.
First, between MINUSMA and the Transition Government of Mali to ensure strong coordination.
Second, between MINUSMA and the UN Country Team, particularly with regard to the departure of armed personnel whose presence helped facilitate their work and lifesaving humanitarian assistance.
And finally, those citizens for whom the presence of MINUSMA is a protective shield should benefit from clear communication related to drawdown plans. This will also serve in safeguarding MINUSMA personnel against the threat of dis- or misinformation.
Today’s resolution reaffirms the centrality of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, to achieving a sustainable peace in Mali. We reaffirm the UAE’s support for the international mediation, its efforts for the implementation of the peace agreement, and its engagement with regional actors. Ensuring conclusion of the political transition will also be important.
We also underline that regional stability must be preserved. The role of regional actors, including the African Union and ECOWAS, together with UNOWAS, is vital.
MINUSMA is withdrawing from Mali, but Mali and its people will not be left behind.
We will count on the Malian Transitional Authorities’ commitment during this critical phase, to respect the Status of Forces Agreement until the departure of MINUSMA and allow for a smooth withdrawal, and beyond, for peace and security in Mali, and the protection of its people.