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National Statement Delivered by Ambassador Byrne Nason at UNSC Briefing on MINUSMA (Mali)

Merci, Monsieur le Président,


Je voudrais d’abord remercier le Représentant Spéciale du Secrétaire-Générale Annadif pour son intervention très éclairante et pour le travail important fait par la MINUSMA. L’Irlande est fière d’être un « pays contributeur de troupes » à la MINUSMA et de contribuer aux efforts de stabilisation au Mali.


Comme nous avons entendu ce matin, la présence de la MINUSMA reste indispensable au Mali. Les niveaux de violence au Mali sont extrêmement préoccupants et nous reconnaissons qu'il faut en faire beaucoup plus pour protéger la vie. Il est donc impératif que la MINUSMA ait les capacités et les ressources dont elle a besoin pour remplir sa mission.


Nous nous félicitons de l’application continue du plan d’adaptation de la MINUSMA. En particulier, nous soutenons l’objectif de protéger de façon proactive les civils au centre du Mali. Nous encourageons la pleine application de ce plan dans les plus brefs délais.


J’exprime mes condoléances les plus sincères aux victimes qui ont été tués récemment au Mali, y compris les membres de la MINUSMA et des Forces Armées Françaises. J’aimerais rendre hommage à tous ceux et celles qui ont fait le sacrifice ultime en service de la paix et de la sécurité au Mali.


Mr. President,


Mali is at an important juncture. Ireland strongly welcomes the progress that has been made in establishing the transitional government and institutions. We commend the leadership demonstrated by ECOWAS and the AU in supporting that transition. Today, we encourage all Malians to continue to work to ensure a successful civilian-led transition and return to constitutional order. We call on the government to move towards holding inclusive, transparent, free, fair and credible elections within the 18 month timeframe.  


There is now, in Mali, a real opportunity to make progress towards inclusive and lasting peace. President N’Daw’s New Year’s message gives hope and offers a way forward. We look forward to these commitments being translated into actions.



Mr President, I would like to outline a number of areas where progress is both needed and possible.  We know this is a view shared by many Malians also.


The implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali remains critical. We strongly welcome the inclusion of civil society in the transitional cabinet of representatives, and for the first time, four representatives of signatory movements. We see this as an opportunity to advance the peace process. MINUSMA’s continued support to mediation and communal reconciliation efforts are vital to conflict prevention and peacebuilding. They will reinforce the implementation of the plan.


I want to highlight and welcome the steps taken to increase the engagement of women in the peace process, we have heard several speakers refer to this this morning and call for greater participation of women in the political transition. Women’s participation will help to anchor the process. Looking forward, women must be encouraged and supported to participate fully, equally and meaningfully, I underline that, as voters, as candidates, and as representatives of their communities. This is in Mali’s interests. As co-chair with Mexico of the WPS Group we intend to follow and monitor and hopefully support progress.


We remain concerned by levels of violence including from inter-communal conflict and, as we heard this morning, terrorist activity. We also recognize that these challenges cannot be resolved through security efforts alone. We must help to address the root causes of instability. Working together to support sustainable and inclusive development. That really must be at the heart of all our efforts. As indeed we must also act to promote good governance, the rule of law and human rights, and to strengthen the democratic institutions in Mali.


The restoration of State authority is clearly integral to Mali’s security. MINUSMA’s support to the Malian security forces and the judicial authorities play an important role in that. And we welcome efforts also to advance Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reinsertion, and Integration processes and stress the importance of the mainstreaming of child protection in this work needs to be given consideration.


Ireland notes the report of the International Commission of Inquiry for Mali and encourages the government to respond comprehensively. Ending impunity is integral to breaking the cycle of conflict and, importantly, to building confidence in the State’s institutions. We strongly support the Secretary General’s call for investigations into human rights violations and abuses.


Mr President, we continue to be particularly concerned by the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, which we know is exacerbated by COVID-19. Violence, increased displacement, growing food insecurity and the adverse effects of climate change all have their impact. A lack of access to education, especially for adolescent girls, remains a key challenge and, I would say, a risk. We call on the government to address conflict-related sexual violence and ensure access for survivors to justice and services, including sexual and reproductive healthcare, and to hold perpetrators, of course, accountable. We call on all parties to support humanitarian action and to respect humanitarian principles and facilitate the basic delivery of essential assistance to those in need.


Ireland is particularly conscious of the adverse impacts of climate change on security in Mali. We were honoured last year to chair, alongside Mali and Niger, an event on UN Peacekeeping Operations and Pastoral Related Insecurity. In our view, we must do more to integrate current and projected climate-related threats in our analysis and actions in Mali.  Working with Niger in deepening this Councils understanding of the links between Climate and Security, we hope to shine a light on the Sahel and the challenges in particular which those links cause.


In concluding, I call on all member states to ensure that MINUSMA has the full resources necessary to allow it to continue to deliver on its core priorities, protecting civilians and supporting the delivery of peace in Mali. Ireland, my country, knows from lived experience that the path to peace is not easy, not linear, but it is possible, and should be pursued with vigour. We know, we know well, that Mali has a significant burden of responsibility in rising to meet such complex challenges and obligations and we want to reiterate our support for accompanying Mali on this path. As Mr Annadif said today, we dare to hope that this path, points to a brighter stable future for Mali and the Malian people.  


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