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Conclusions of the Ministerial Meeting on the Implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali

1. On 23 September 2016, the United Nations convened a Ministerial Meeting on the Implementation of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. The meeting was opened by the President of Mali, H.E. Mr Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon. The Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Algeria, H.E. Mr. Ramtane Lamamra and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, H.E. Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault were also present and issued opening remarks. Following the opening session, the event was co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and African Integration of Mali, H.E. Mr. Abdoulaye Diop and the Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Algeria, H.E. Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, together with the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Hervé Ladsous. The meeting was attended by members of the international mediation (Algeria, the African Union, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, Mauritania, Niger, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations) and members of the Security Council. Troop and Police Contributing Countries to MINUSMA also participated.

2. Condemning the recent violations of the ceasefire arrangements by the signatory armed groups, the violations of human rights, and the obstruction of access to humanitarian assistance, particularly with regard to recent and alarming developments in Kidal, participants urged signatory parties to fully and sincerely maintain their commitments under the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali. They also recalled the provisions of the resolution 2295 (2016) on the Security Council's readiness to consider targeted sanctions against those who would obstruct the implementation of the peace agreement. In this regard, they expressed serious concern that a lack of trust and shared vision for peace among the signatory parties, and other challenges, including limited progress on confidence building measures and the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of armed combatants, were impeding and delaying progress. Participants urged the Platform and the Coordination political-military movements to strictly adhere to the ceasefire arrangements and to resolve their disputes through dialogue and the structures set forth in the Agreement.

3. Participants urged the Government of Mali and the signatory parties to translate their commitments under the Agreement into immediate action by undertaking concrete steps to swiftly deliver on their obligations as per the Agreement. In particular, signatory parties were called to take urgent actions to implement provisions related to defense and security, the establishment of interim authorities, the restoration and extension of state authority, including basic social services, as well as to accountability, truth and reconciliation. The signatories were urged to ensure the immediate and full launch of the structures of the Mécanisme opérationnel de coordination. In this regard, they took note of the outcomes of the Comité de suivi de l'Accord (CSA) of 21 September, including the provision of some of the lists by signatory armed groups, as a first step in that direction. Participants also called on the Government of Mali and the signatory parties to urgently commit to concrete and prioritized benchmarks and timelines for the implementation of the Agreement. The Government of Mali informed that significant progress was made, with support from MINUSMA, in designing the parameters for the development of such timelines and benchmarks, as requested by the United Nations Security Council resolution 2295 (2016). Participants also recalled that such a progress should be reflected in the December report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Mali.

4. Participants acknowledged at the same time that a number of significant steps have been taken by the Malian Government and signatory parties in implementing the Agreement over the last year. They encouraged the Malian parties, and in particular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, to accordingly prioritize the political dialogue, which until now has laid the groundwork for future political and institutional reforms. Pending reforms related to decentralization, the security sector and the rule of law offer a historical opportunity to bring a sustainable solution.

5. Participants thanked the international mediation, notably Algeria, for supporting the peace process, and reaffirmed that the full implementation of the peace Agreement remains the basis for lasting peace and stability in Mali. Participants also called upon the international community and donors to consider providing adequate financial support for the Agreement's implementation. They expressed gratitude to regional and international partners, including the African Union, ECOWAS, and the European Union, for their support to the stabilization process.

6. Participants noted the importance of broad participation in the peace process and its follow-up mechanisms, in particular of civil society organizations and women and youth groups. The upcoming Conférence d'entente nationale was seen as an opportunity to strengthen and widen the ownership of the peace process by all segments of the Malian population and to address long-standing grievances of local communities. Participants also urged the Government of Mali, with the support of international partners, to take meaningful steps toward creating a climate propitious to long-term national and local reconciliation and to translate into practice the delivery of peace dividends. The Government was encouraged to finalize the development strategy for the northern regions, including the national emergency response plan. The Malian authorities were also called on to continue to combat impunity.

7. Participants also strongly condemned the continuing attacks perpetrated, especially by terrorist groups, against the Malian defense and security forces, MINUSMA and the French forces. They expressed serious concern over the increased presence of terrorist groups and criminal networks in northern Mali, as well as the spreading of insecurity, particularly intercommunal violence, to the central regions. In this context of insecurity, they also emphasized the need for all parties to uphold and respect humanitarian principles to ensure continued provision of humanitarian assistance.

8. Participants further urged all the parties in Mali to cooperate fully with MINUSMA in its efforts to carry out its mandate, including to support the implementation of the Agreement, in line with Security Council resolution 2295 (2016). Under Resolution 2295 (2016), the Security Council authorized MINUSMA to take all necessary means to carry out its mandate, within its capabilities and its areas of deployment, authorized a strengthening of MINUSMA's posture and uniformed component, and requested MINUSMA to move to a more proactive and robust posture to stabilize key population centres and other areas where civilians are at risk. Participants acknowledged the important challenges faced by MINUSMA in realizing full operational capacity and that significant capability gaps that continue to seriously affect the Mission's ability to deliver on its mandated tasks and keep its peacekeepers safe. Participants called on Member States and the United Nations Secretariat to ensure that MINUSMA is appropriately resourced, supported logistically, and positioned to achieve its mandate.

9. Participants emphasized the key role that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Mali and MINUSMA should continue to play to support the implementation of the Agreement. Both were called on to continue playing a lead role in coordinating the implementation of the Agreement, in supporting Malian parties in prioritizing its implementation, and in supporting the CSA. Participants also welcomed the appointment of a High Representative of the President of Mali for the implementation of the peace agreement. They reiterated the need to appoint an independent observer as set forth in the Agreement.

10. Finally, participants noted that the stabilization of Mali would only be possible with the strong and effective engagement of the countries of the region. Welcoming the renewed commitment by regional leaders to work closely together to this end, including through the Group of Five for the Sahel and the Nouakchott Process on the enhancement of the security cooperation, participants reiterated the necessity to continue to cooperate to combat recurrent threats in the Sahel, including terrorism, violent extremism and transnational organized crime, as well as to address the root causes of these threats through improved security, governance and resilience. Participants emphasised the key role of countries of the region, particularly in strengthening border control, supporting the development of the Malian defense and security forces and in enhancing their support to and cooperation with MINUSMA.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations - Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
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