Delivered by Mrs. Ameirah Alhefeiti Deputy Permanent Representative
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I thank Special Representative Wane for his efforts and those of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). I also welcome the participation of Ambassador Konfourou to today’s meeting.
First, I would like to reiterate our continued solidarity with the Malian people, who aspire to live a dignified and secure life and to put an end to the cycle of challenges their country faces. In order to address these challenges, a comprehensive approach is required – one which pays attention to the political, security, humanitarian, and developmental facets equally.
Also necessary is this Council’s continued support, including in the context of the discussions on the upcoming renewal of MINUSMA’s mandate. We hope that the Council will speak with one voice, in the interest of the Malian people, taking into account the regional perspectives on this matter.
Similarly, we know that in order for peacekeeping missions to effectively carry out their duties there must be continued cooperation with host countries. Ensuring that peacekeeping forces can carry out their mandate safely is an important matter for the Council. In this context, we look forward to the Department of Peace Operations’ joint study on the capabilities of the military and police forces, which will better inform the Council’s discussions on the future of the MINUSMA.
With this in mind I would like to highlight the following three points:
First, our main goal must continue to be the success of the political process, given its importance in consolidating state institutions. It is therefore essential to continue making progress with the political transition, particularly with regards to electoral arrangements for next year as well as the related constitutional steps.
Dialogue at the national and regional levels, including with ECOWAS and the African Union, remains an indispensable pillar for maintaining and building on the gains made in the political process, and it also requires continued support from the international community.
The Peace and Reconciliation Agreement provides the framework for establishing sustainable security and stability in Mali. On this basis, we hope that the efforts of the international mediation will help the signatories communicate constructively in order to address outstanding issues and overcome the obstacles preventing the Agreement’s implementation.
Second, addressing the security challenges in Mali requires adopting approaches that match their complex nature, particularly those that are trans-border. The most prominent example of this are the threats posed by terrorist groups, such as Da’esh in the Greater Sahara and groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda, which, through their spread of extremism and violence, continue to threaten the security and stability of Mali and the region.
Therein lies the value of regional and subregional cooperation to address these grave threats. We believe that regional initiatives and the leaders’ efforts to enhance coordination and cooperation in the Sahel are encouraging steps worthy of our support.
The UAE continues to support regional initiatives, as they reflect the commitments of the countries in the region to keep working together to advance shared goals and enhance collective security.
Achieving peace and stability in the long term requires focusing our efforts on addressing the root causes of violence and extremism. This includes ensuring that they are adapted to the local context in Mali and to the community’s needs and inclusive of religious leaders, women, and youth – in initiatives that focus on enforcing the values of tolerance and moderation.
As we all know, there is no security without development, and there is no development without security. Therefore, supporting development and humanitarian programs in Mali is crucial. Initiatives, such as Strategy for Central Mali have the potential to help protect against extremist ideology and provide opportunities for prosperity. We also believe that consolidating national efforts would improve the security situation in Mali, including by making progress in the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration process.
Finally, particular attention needs to be paid to the humanitarian crisis in Mali, caused by the compound effects of violence, food insecurity, and climate change. The fact that nearly nine million people are in need of humanitarian assistance necessitates further efforts to strengthen Mali’s resilience.
We also reiterate the importance of improving our understanding of the relationship between climate change and insecurity, including its impact on the humanitarian situation. We therefore stress the importance of including information and analysis on the threats posed by climate change to peace and security in the Secretary-General’s report to help the Council respond in a proactive, comprehensive, and effective manner.
Thank you, Mr. President.