Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
August 30, 2023
We find the Russian draft for the sanctions regime disingenuous and lamentable. First, Russia’s draft was introduced with no opportunity for discussion or negotiation.
Although the text calls for maintaining the travel ban and asset freezes, the draft ends the Panel of Experts’ reporting mandate. One also must question why Russia seeks to renew the sanctions for only six months and then add a sunset clause. The situation in Mali requires our sustained support. The text Russia has put forward falls lamentably short in that objective.
Following the withdrawal of MINUSMA, the Panel of Experts is the only UN mechanism left to monitor and report on human rights abuses as well as facilitate efforts to implement the peace agreement.
The Panel’s elimination – as called for by Russia – would render the regime ineffective and not useful for Mali.
Russia seeks to eliminate the Panel of Expert’s mandate to stifle publication of uncomfortable truths about Wagner’s actions in Mali which require attention. Russia is putting its own interests above those of the region.
Russia’s repeated refusals to engage in negotiations followed by its submission of an alternative text at the eleventh-hour are egregious breaks in procedure which fail to respect the integrity and transparency essential to Council deliberations.
It is for these reasons that the United States must oppose the Russian drafted resolution, and we urge others to do so as well for the sake of the Malian people.