Ambassador Richard Mills
U.S. Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 29, 2021
Thank you, Madam President, and my delegation wants to join other Council Members in thanking your Permanent Representative and the Permanent Representatives of France and other countries, as well as other UN colleagues, for organizing a successful visit to Mali and Niger.
Thank you, Special Representative Wane, for your briefing today, and I want to begin by praising your work and that of MINUSMA’s brave peacekeepers in supporting the Malian transition government to implement the Algiers Peace Accord, to carry out elections, and to protect civilians
The United States is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Mali, as evidenced by the increasing audacity, frequency, and severity of attacks against civilians, against national security forces, against international forces, and against MINUSMA. It is imperative that the protection of civilians remains a top priority for the transition government and for MINUSMA. Further, the transition government must continue to take credible steps to combat impunity and to ensure its citizens have a political channel through which to express their concerns.
As the Security Council, we continue to stand with ECOWAS in calling for the Malian transition government to strictly adhere to the timetable to transition to a democratically elected government and the holding of presidential elections on February 27, 2022.
We also join ECOWAS in calling on the Mali transition government to release an election calendar per ECOWAS’ demands and to make concrete progress toward organizing elections. This will help international partners develop plans for supporting the elections. While we agree that governance and corruption issues lie at the heart of Mali’s insecurity, reforms the transition government initiates, should either be completed within the agreed transition timeframe or turned over to an elected government to continue.
We also support the parameters outlined by ECOWAS and reflected in Mali’s transition charter that preclude the transition president and prime minister from participating under any circumstance as candidates in the forthcoming presidential election.
It is critical that the February 2022 elections be free and fair and administered transparently. We urge the transition government to ensure the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in the elections, including ensuring that women are both on the ballot and registered to vote. We also emphasize the importance of domestic election observer groups as a critical tool for facilitating free and fair elections.
The transition government must create conditions for stability and for addressing social grievances. This requires the full implementation of the Algiers Peace Accord. We welcome Algeria’s appointment of Boujemaa Delmi as President of the Algiers Accord Monitoring Committee. The United States also calls for meaningful inclusion of women and women-led civil society organizations in the implementation of the Accord.
The United States, Madam President, welcomes efforts to support the G5 Sahel, to advance the peace, stability, development, and security of the Sahel region. We continue to have doubts that the UN, regardless of the mechanism, is an appropriate or effective vehicle through which to provide logistical support to the G5 Joint Force. We look forward to discussing the Secretary-General’s letter – requested pursuant to Resolution 2584 – on support options for the G5 Joint Force and also to working with our fellow Council Members to identify additional non-UN bilateral and multi-lateral options.
Thank you, Madam President.