Speech by Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on MINUSMA in the UN Security Council

11.06.2020 - Speech

(Video conference)

Monsieur le Président,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Cher Jean-Yves,

Je te remercie de nous avoir invités aujourd’hui - et merci aussi pour ton action et pour l’engagement extraordinaire de la France au Mali et au Sahel!

There is no doubt that the situation in Mali remains a threat to international peace and security.

Violence and unrest between communities are spreading, especially in the centre.

Although we have seen progress in recent days in the fight against terrorism, terrorist groups continue to attack civilians and security forces. And some of their targets lie well beyond Mali – in neighbouring countries, and potentially in Europe too.

Finally, there can be no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social effects will deepen existing conflicts.

This is not the time to scale back.

If we want to make progress, we must do three things:

First: The international community must uphold its commitment to Mali.

In past years, we have made enormous efforts to stabilise the country.

Thanks to the United Nations and MINUSMA, there has been progress:

The inclusive national dialogue has been concluded.

Parliamentary elections were held.

And the new Malian security forces were deployed to parts of Northern Mali which had been under complete rebel control.

Germany has supported MINUSMA from day one - with our most important military commitment to any UN mission.

We will continue to do so. Just a few days ago, our parliament approved our military’s participation for another year. And we remain a relevant contributor of police trainers who are essential for the long-term stability of the country.

We will play our part to support the Secretary-General’s Force Adaptation Plan, also by expanding our high-value reconnaissance assets.

And we appeal to even more UN member states to commit to MINUSMA. The mission needs to be strengthened further. I am confident that the new mandate will reflect this.
However, our international efforts will only succeed if all Malian actors work together for a better future of their people. This is my second point.

We acknowledge progress made in the execution of the Algiers Peace Agreement. But its full implementation requires additional efforts to reconcile all parts of society.

Human rights must be respected, including by the Malian security forces. Therefore, MINUSMA’s work to integrate women into peace processes and to protect human rights remains crucial.

And we are counting on the commitment by G5 Sahel states to cooperate more closely for peace and prosperity in their region.

Ladies and gentlemen,

My third point is: Peace and prosperity will not be won by military means alone.

We have therefore expanded our stabilisation, development cooperation and humanitarian assistance measures for Mali and the region.

We are building local capacities through the European training missions EUTM Mali and EUCAP Sahel Mali.

And we will go even further.

France has taken the initiative to launch the International Coalition for the Sahel. This includes a Partnership for Security and Stability. It was introduced by France and Germany, and the European Union will now assume a leading role. Our common goal is to prepare the G5 countries and their security sectors for the serious challenges they face. Their presence on the ground and overall performance must be enhanced - with full respect for human rights.

Ladies and gentlemen,

For me, this is a prime example of how France and Germany are working hand in hand for peace and security.

And let me add, cher Jean-Yves: I could not wish for a better partner than you.

Merci beaucoup!


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