23 September 2016

Concerned by Terrorism, New Sources of Instability in Mali, Secretary-General Urges All Parties to Implement Year-old Peace Agreement

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the Ministerial Meeting on the Implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, in New York today:

Je suis heureux de vous souhaiter la bienvenue à cette importante réunion avec le Président Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta et les Ministres des affaires étrangères MM. Lamamra et Ayrault.

Je remercie les nombreux amis internationaux du Mali présents ici aujourd’hui, notamment les partenaires régionaux et les États qui fournissent du personnel.  La promotion de la paix et de la stabilité au Mali est primordiale pour son peuple, pour la région et pour notre monde.

For the past year, we had the historic Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, and United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) is in its third year.  Both have helped to drive progress.

The parties agreed on a way forward to establish interim administrations.  There are foundations for the cantonment of combatants and the redeployment of security institutions.  The stage is set to strengthen the rule of law and basic services.

But, progress is tenuous.  We see confrontations and violations of the ceasefire.  Just last month, I condemned armed clashes between signatory parties in Kidal.  There were new confrontations last week.

We are responding together.  President Keïta’s High Representative is working together with my Special Representative and Algeria to defuse tensions.

I call on the armed groups to cease confrontations, and on all parties to set aside short-term interests and carry out the peace agreement.  This is essential for Mali’s partners, including MINUSMA, to achieve lasting stability and peace dividends for communities in Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu and beyond.

Insecurity affects access to people.  Among them, the nearly half a million needing immediate food assistance, and 180,000 children facing severe acute malnutrition.

I am also deeply worried about new sources of instability in Mali, the impact of terrorism on civilian life and the many instances of serious human rights violations.  All sides must fully comply with their human rights obligations, including during counter-terrorism operations.  Violations play right into the hands of the terrorists.  Any feelings of marginalization and disillusionment with the peace process can breed resentment and create fertile ground for spoilers.

I call for inclusiveness of the dialogues that will shape Mali’s institutions.  All segments of society should participate, including women, youth, opposition groups, and religious and community leaders.  I hope that the “Conférence d’entente nationale” will reflect this spirit of inclusiveness of constituencies and interests.

I count on President Keïta’s statesmanship to generate new momentum and propose clear benchmarks and timelines for the peace agreement’s accelerated and inclusive implementation. 

Mali needs the unwavering and coherent support of its international partners.  The Security Council has strengthened MINUSMA to ensure it can support the implementation of the Peace Agreement and the restoration of State institutions, and protect civilians.

MINUSMA is doing everything possible to help stabilize areas where terrorist and criminal networks operate and where our troops face the threat of explosive hazards.  In this dangerous environment, MINUSMA still suffers key capability gaps.  I call on Member States to urgently help strengthen the Mission.

Countries in West Africa and the Sahel must also do their part to tackle instability in the region, and boost cross-border cooperation through initiatives spearheaded by the African Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the G-5 Sahel and others.

Le Mali a besoin de notre soutien indéfectible.  L’Accord de paix reste le cadre qui donnera à tous les Maliens une chance pour une vie meilleure et plus sûre.

Hier, c’était la fête nationale du Mali.  Il ne saurait y avoir de meilleure façon de la célébrer que de stimuler le processus de paix en formulant des objectifs clairs à atteindre ensemble et de donner à la MINUSMA les moyens de mener à bien notre mission commune.

For information media. Not an official record.