|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
7120th Meeting (AM)
Only Mali’s People Can Ensure Sustainable Peace, France’s Representative
Tells Security Council after Leading Visiting Mission
A comprehensive and sustainable peace in Mali could only truly be realized by the country’s people themselves, with the full backing of the international community, France’s representative told the Security Council today.
Gérard Araud (France), briefing Council members on a mission he led to that country from 31 January to 3 February, said the visit had provided an opportunity for open, useful dialogue with the national authorities. The discussions had convinced him that any future political agreements would be reached within the country itself, with the support of the Security Council. During the mission, the Council delegation had also met with members of armed groups and civil society, and visited the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) camp to evaluate its functionality.
He said armed groups must lay down their weapons, in accordance with the provisions of the peace accords, adding that the specifics of the disarmament process must be developed in cooperation with MINUSMA. Moving forward, it was clear there would be no sustainable peace in Mali without a specific focus on development, he said, emphasizing that youth must be prevented from falling prey to terrorist or drug trafficking organizations.
Banté Mangaral ( Chad), who accompanied Mr. Araud, the Council delegation’s arrival had raised much hope among the Malian population, as most were convinced that dialogue was the only way to achieve sustainable peace. Despite major progress towards normalization, great challenges remained in the areas of security, justice, health, food security and education. The persistence of crime had been noted, especially in the north, he said. Future efforts for peace must address the needs of all victims, particularly women.
He said the people of Mali needed support in their quest for peace and security, and emphasized that the emergence of a shadow Government must be prevented. Armed groups were a source of concern not only for Mali, but also the entire Sahel region. The roadmap drawn up by the Government of Mali was a sign of hope and a sound foundation for resuming peace talks, particularly if the international community stood read to help the find lasting peace.
The meeting began at 10:25 a.m. and concluded at 10:36 a.m.
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