The Security Council today renewed the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for one year, requesting the Mission to respond to the deteriorating security situation in the country’s central region as a second strategic priority.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2480 (2019), the 15-member organ, under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, decided that MINUSMA continues to comprise up to 13,289 military personnel and 1,920 police personnel.
Authorizing MINUSMA to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate, the Council decided that the Mission’s primary strategic priority remains to support the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali by the Government, the Plateforme and Coordination armed groups, as well as by other relevant national stakeholders.
The Council further decided that the second strategic priority is to “facilitate the implementation of a comprehensive politically-led Malian strategy to protect civilians, reduce intercommunal violence, and re-establish State authority, State presence and basic social services in Central Mali”.
The Council has the Secretary-General conduct in six months “a thorough assessment of the situation in Northern and Central Mali and of the Mission’s configuration in regard to the implementation of its primary and second strategic priorities”.
The resolution also specified the progress the Council is expecting to see in the implementation of the 2015 peace agreement, including in constitutional reform, decentralization, security sector reform, development of the north and the full, effective and meaningful participation of women. Further, it expressed its intent to respond with sanctions, should these priority measures not be implemented by the end of MINUSMA’s mandate in June 2020.
The Council also requested MINUSMA, in coordination with the Instance de Coordination au Mali, “to develop a long-term conditions-based transition approach to ensure a phased, coordinated and deliberate transition of security responsibilities”.
France’s delegate said the resolution sends a strong signal underlining the urgency of implementing the peace agreement, while defining five concrete and realistic measures to put in place. It also considers the worsening situation in the central region and outlines a clear exit strategy for MINUSMA based on the redeployment of the armed forces of Mali and the full operationalization of the G5 Sahel joint force, he added.
The representative of the United States said that “this is no ordinary mandate renewal — because MINUSMA is no ordinary peacekeeping mission,” explaining that the Mission, with more than 16,000 personnel and a budget over $1 billion a year, has operated in a challenging, dangerous and asymmetric environment. Expressing disappointment over the lack of progress on implementation of the peace agreement, he welcomed the inclusion of new specific and measurable benchmarks focused primarily on the political and security pillars of the agreement.
Côte d’Ivoire’s delegate expressed concern that issues related to the exit strategy are being prematurely discussed, saying the situation in Mali remains grave and any such decisions must be considered when circumstances on the ground improve. While sanctions can be used, all procedures in this regard must be respected.
The Russian Federation’s delegate said sanctions should only be used in extreme cases and must be subject to regular review by the Panel of Experts of the sanctions committee.
The representatives of Germany and Belgium expressed regret that the text failed to explicitly mention the impact of climate change on conflict.
Mali’s delegate, while welcoming the second strategic priority for the Mission, said that “creating a mandate is one thing but mobilizing resources is another”. He expressed hope that the Secretary-General’s report due in six months will increase the level of resources for the Mission.
Also speaking today were representatives of the Dominican Republic, United Kingdom, Peru, Poland, Indonesia, China and Kuwait.
The meeting began at 10:06 a.m. and ended at 11:04 a.m.
FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) said that Security Council resolution 2480 (2019) sends a strong message underlining the urgency of implementing the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, while defining five concrete and realistic measures to put in place. It also considers the worsening situation in the central region and outlines a clear exit strategy for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) based on the redeployment of the armed forces of Mali and the full operationalization of the G5 Sahel joint force. Meanwhile, all security presences on the ground are encouraged to ensure their actions are complementary. The resolution also gives a clear mandate to MINUSMA. France supports the invaluable role played by the International Criminal Court and recalled his delegation’s conviction that the United Nations and local governments must consider climate change and other factors. Council unity on the Mali file is essential and members must do everything possible to maintain this.
TIEMOKO MORIKO (Côte d’Ivoire) said maintaining MINUSMA presence is essential, given the current fragile security situation that is exacerbating humanitarian conditions. In a bid to tackle issues to review the Constitution and consider the peace agreement, parties must do more, including reforming and reconstituting the armed forces. Concerned that issues related to the exit strategy are being prematurely discussed, he said the situation in Mali remains grave and any such decisions must be considered when circumstances on the ground improve. While sanctions can be used, all procedures in this regard must be respected.
JOSUÉ ANTINOE FIALLO BILLINI PORTORREAL (Dominican Republic), concerned about the current security situation, said the resolution establishes a clear balance. Going forward, MINUSMA and other actors must work together in clear, concrete ways. Regretting the absence in the text of a mention of the impact of climate change, he said, more generally, the 2019 MINUSMA mandate is a step in the right direction.
JONATHAN GUY ALLEN (United Kingdom), citing a rise in intercommunal violence, said urgent action is needed to reduce conflict, and the resolution offers concrete ways to do so. However, MINUSMA’s mandate must remain clear, based on the peace agreement. However, more than one year after parties committed to priority actions, key actors still fail to deliver results. Urging all parties to honour their commitments, he said Mali’s people deserve to reap the benefits of peace efforts.
KARIN GOEBEL (Germany) welcomed that the primary strategic priority of the Mission remains the support to the implementation of the political Agreement. MINSUMA now has a clear set of tasks to support Mali’s Government in confronting the crisis in the centre of the country. Her delegation welcomed that the need for operational support from the Mission to the G5 Sahel joint force has been recognized. The adverse effects of climate change on the stability and security of Mali need to be explicitly referenced in this resolution. These are key challenges that the international community needs to address collectively and urgently.
KAREN VAN VLIERBERGE (Belgium) welcomed the adoption of the text, which her delegation believes better reflects and responds to the situation on the ground. Noting the slow implementation of the peace agreement and the deteriorating situation in the country’s centre, she attached her delegation’s true importance to the Mission. Belgium welcomes that the resolution mentions that the primary responsibility to stabilize the country belongs to the Malians themselves. Her delegation regrets that the negative impact of climate change on the conflict is not explicitly mentioned in the resolution.
LUIS UGARELLI (Peru) said his delegation voted in favour of the text as there is a vital need to continue to help Mali achieve national peace and reconciliation. The resolution establishes clear and tangible benchmarks for the Government of Mali to achieve. Citing the dangerous situation in the centre of the country, he stressed that the Security Council continue to work with unity because it is essential to provide support to the Mission.
RODNEY M. HUNTER (United States), stressing the need to create the right mandate to respond to escalating violence and hold the signatory parties accountable, said that “this resolution will help accomplish both”. The Council made the significant decision to create a second strategic priority for MINUSMA focused on central Mali, the most dangerous region in the country. With more than 16,000 personnel and a budget over $1 billion a year, the Mission will prioritize support to the Mali Government’s efforts to improve civilian protection and respect for human rights. The key focus of MINUSMA remains to support implementation of the peace agreement. This resolution includes new specific and measurable benchmarks focused primarily on the political and security pillars of the Agreement, he said, urging the parties to make significant progress on these benchmarks.
“This is no ordinary mandate renewal — because MINUSMA is no ordinary peacekeeping mission,” he said. Since its creation in 2013, MINUSMA has operated in a challenging, dangerous and asymmetric environment. It is a peacekeeping mission in a counter-terrorism environment. The resolution calls for improved troop and police performance, more control and flexibility for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Force Commander, and better pre-deployment training for incoming troop-contributing countries. He reiterated his Government’s principled objection to any assertion of International Criminal Court jurisdiction over nationals of States that are not parties to the Rome Statute, such as the United States and Israel. The threat of terrorism is a reality across all of West Africa, not just the Sahel, and it is time to transform the stand-alone report and briefing on the G5 Sahel joint force into a broader discussion of terrorism challenges across West Africa.
MARIUSZ LEWICKI (Poland) said his delegation fully supports MINUSMA, whose work remains essential to preserve hard-won gains since the signing of the peace agreement. However, to be successful, the Agreement must be fully implemented by all parties, and those trying to obstruct progress in this regard must face the consequences.
ALEXANDER V. REPKIN (Russian Federation) said the main priorities for MINUSMA include maintaining stability and restoring full State and military presence throughout Mali. However, with regard to sanctions, they should only be used in extreme cases and must be subject to regular review by the Panel of Experts of the sanctions committee. In fact, certain aspects of peacekeeping operations should be considered by the appropriate General Assembly committee. With regard to Council discussions on the resolution, he pointed out that some issues raised by members were only partially considered in the final draft.
MUHSIN SYIHAB (Indonesia) welcomed the adoption of the text, concurring with the view expressed by the Secretary-General in his latest report on Mali that the Mission’s presence there remains crucial. Restoration of State authority and redeployment of reconstituted and reformed Mali defence and security forces are important. The renewal of the Mission’s mandate, with prioritization of its tasks, coordination with other security presences in Mali and the Sahel region, as well as division of labour with the United Nations country team, will enable further progress and prevent deterioration of the situation in the country.
ZHANG DIANBIN (China) said the current situation in Mali requires continued engagement to address pressing security, economic and development challenges. MINUSMA must conscientiously implement its mandate while ensuring the safety of its peacekeepers, he said, expressing hope that the Mission will continue to complement other efforts on the ground.
BADER ABDULLAH N. M. ALMUNAYEKH (Kuwait), Council President for June, speaking in his national capacity, said that his delegation voted in favour of the text, convinced that the situation requires a robust peacekeeping mandate to respond to many challenges, including a security threat in central Mali. In that regard, he welcomed the expansion of the Mission’s mandate to the centre.
ISSA KONFOUROU (Mali), welcoming the unanimous adoption of this important text, said that in addition to the mandate renewal, the resolution reaffirms the need to mobilize support for his country’s restoration of lasting peace and stability. Assuring the Council that he took due note of all comments made today, he promised that they will be passed onto the capital. The parties in Mali are working on a new road map. In the centre of Mali, the Foreign Minister was at Headquarters earlier in June to announce a series of measures undertaken, including a political framework to manage the crisis in the country’s centre, including the appointment of a High Representative for the central region. Also, a panel of eminent persons was established to continue the process of inclusive political dialogue. Welcoming the second strategic priority for the Mission and creation of its sector for the region, he said that implementation of the mandate requires provision of resources, now being discussed in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary). “Creating a mandate is one thing but mobilizing resources is another,” he said, expressing hope that the Secretary-General’s report due in six months will increase the level of resources for the Mission.