Noting the progress that has been made to date to secure stability in Mali, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General today urged all parties to adhere to the peace accord signed earlier this year, while also stressing the need to address development challenges.
“This ministerial meeting must send a strong message to the signatory parties, particularly to the political-military movements,” Jan Eliasson told participants at a gathering at UN Headquarters aimed at continuing to build international support for the country’s peace process and the implementation of the June 2015 Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali.
“They must renounce all actions which violate the Agreement and the ceasefire. They must also commit to resolving their differences through the mechanisms envisaged in the Agreement, and implement its provisions related to defence and security,” Mr. Eliasson added.
He also cited the need for the Government to carry out the institutional reforms envisaged in the Agreement, which was concluded with the help of an Algeria-led mediation team, saying that this will strengthen the confidence of the signatory parties and the northern communities in the peace process.
In addition, the protection of human rights and the fight against impunity are critical for restoring public confidence in State institutions. It is also essential that the Agreement’s follow-up mechanisms become more open to representation by women.
Despite positive developments on the ground, the situation in Mali has long remained a challenge. The country's Government has been seeking to restore stability and rebuild following a series of setbacks since early 2012, including a military coup d'état, renewed fighting between Government forces and Tuareg rebels, and the seizure of its northern territory by radical Islamists. In addition, the country has been consumed by a series of humanitarian crises.
Throughout much of this time, Mali's north has remained restive. The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA), which is tasked with supporting the implementation of the Agreement, as well as protecting civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, among other things, have come under repeated violent attack.
Mr. Eliasson paid tribute to the important efforts of MINUSMA and the UN country team “to quickly generate peace dividends for the Malian population.”
“I often stress the undeniable links between peace and security, development and human rights,” he stated. “I would like the combination of our actions in the coming months to strengthen these three factors for the Malian people – and in the interest of the sub-region.”