Explanation of Vote Following the Adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution Ending the Mandate of MINUSMA

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
June 30, 2023


Thank you, Madam President. I would like to first thank France as the penholder for its work on this resolution.

While we deeply regret the transition government’s decision to abandon MINUSMA and the harm this will bring to the Malian people, we voted in favor of this resolution as we are ultimately satisfied with the drawdown plan this Council has just adopted. We call on all signatory parties to continue their cooperation and avoid any actions that would jeopardize the ceasefire.

We note that, despite the loss of MINUSMA’s assistance, the transition government must continue to adhere to its agreement with the Economic Community of West African States to transition to a democratically elected, civil-led government by March 2024.

The resolution we adopted today clearly reinforces the transition government’s obligation to cooperate fully with the drawdown, withdrawal, and liquidation of MINUSMA, and to ensure these processes are carried out safely and orderly with the utmost care for the safety and security of peacekeepers.

The transition government also has an obligation to respect its commitments under the Status of Forces Agreement, which remains in force until the final MINUSMA element leaves Malian soil. This means guaranteeing unimpeded access to UN facilities and full freedom of movement of MINUSMA, its personnel, and equipment throughout Mali and full cooperation in the redeployment and export processes, including by granting visas as necessary to all personnel required for drawdown and liquidation.

Steps taken by the Malian transition authorities in recent days to block MINUSMA’s imports can impede the drawdown process and undermine the safety and security of peacekeepers, and as such are unacceptable.

We are concerned by statements from some domestic actors calling for harassment of peacekeepers. Actions that threaten the security of peacekeepers are unacceptable, and we call on the transition government to ensure the safety of all MINUSMA personnel.

We welcome the resolution’s clear directive to MINUSMA to ensure that all assets are handed over in full compliance with UN practices and regulations. We urge the mission to take all necessary steps and precautions to ensure the safe and orderly transfer of UN facilities and equipment to designated entities. The UN has a responsibility to minimize the risk that its assets fall into the hands of those looking to destabilize Mali or bring harm to its people – including violent extremist organizations and the Wagner Group.

Finally, I would like to applaud the resolution’s reaffirmation of Mali’s primary responsibility to protect its civilians, consistent with its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The international community will continue to monitor the human rights situation in Mali and speak out against violations and abuses. While this resolution marks the end of MINUSMA, the United States’ commitment to the Malian people remains strong and lasting.

I wish to conclude by expressing the profound gratitude of the United States to MINUSMA for its service over the last decade, especially the troop- and police-contributing countries whose peacekeepers have risked and sacrificed their lives for Mali’s peace and security.

Thank you.