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Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Mali

Thank you Mr. President and let me also acknowledge the presence of Foreign Minister Diop at this meeting. I also want to thank SRSG Wane for his briefing this morning.

Ireland is extremely concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Mali and join others in condemning the attacks that have targeted civilians, peacekeepers and national security forces in recent months.

I want to express our sincere condolences to all those impacted, including the families of the four Chadian peacekeepers killed in recent days.



This Council has, regrettably, become accustomed to sobering briefings on the situation in Mali.

But just 21 months ago when Ireland joined this Council, we had hope that a civilian-led transition would see Mali return to constitutional order by February 2022.

We had hope that efforts to address violence, reduce humanitarian need and protect civilians were making an impact.

And we had hope that the implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation would accelerate.

Regrettably, the situation in Mali has deteriorated on almost every front since then.



Political and institutional reforms are necessary in order to resolve the considerable challenges in Mali. Long-term progress can only be legitimately pursued by a civilian-led and democratically-elected government.

The political transition must be genuinely inclusive, involving civil society including women and youth.

We urge the Malian authorities to continue to engage with ECOWAS and MINUSMA and to ensure that the electoral timetable is followed.

In this regard, we welcome efforts to operationalise the High Authority for Election Management.

This body must be independent and inclusive to ensure the credibility of elections which must be completed by February 2024.

While recent focus has been on the political transition, we cannot lose sight of the importance of the Peace Agreement and its implementation is vital.

We welcome commitments made at the recent High-Level Decision Making Meeting. Concrete implementation of those commitments must now follow.



Ireland condemns the ongoing violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law.

The fact that violations attributed to the Malian Defence and Security Forces accounted for over a quarter of incidents in MINUSMA’s human rights report is of particular concern. Ongoing allegations about the activities of the Wagner Group in Mali is also deeply disturbing.

Furthermore, the 40% increase in reported instances of conflict-related sexual violence is simply unacceptable. We urge the Mission and the transitional authorities to step up prevention and protection efforts.

We reiterate that human rights abuses and violations must be investigated promptly, transparently and thoroughly. Perpetrators must be held accountable, regardless of affiliation or nationality.



This deepening protection crisis is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation. It has forced tens of thousands of people in the Centre and North of the country to flee in recent months and it simply must be addressed. 

In this context, the restrictions placed on MINUSMA’s operations, particularly on its protection of civilians and human rights taskings, are inexcusable.

We call on the transitional authorities to cooperate with MINUSMA and ensure freedom of movement.

The ongoing review of MINUSMA is an opportunity for progress, but only if it asks, and answers, the hard questions. An assessment of the relationship between the mission and host country must be at the heart of the review. It should produce comprehensive options for the future of the mission.

However, no matter which strategic option is pursued, a sustainable solution to the issues facing Mali will only be found by repairing the social contract. This is much more than a peace operation can achieve on its own. It requires the buy-in of the Malian authorities and their positive engagement with the international community and the UN system.


President, I conclude today by urging Council cooperation on Mali, something that has been sorely lacking over the past year.

We owe this to our peacekeepers. We owe this to the humanitarian workers. And we owe this to the people of Mali.

Thank you.


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