Виступ заступника Міністра закордонних справ України С.Кислиці на засіданні РБ ООН щодо миру та безпеки в Африці

Виступ заступника Міністра закордонних справ України С.Кислиці на засіданні РБ ООН щодо миру та безпеки в Африці

Mr. President,



Members of the Security Council,

I would like to thank the French Presidency for bringing once again the Security Council’s attention to the issue of peace and security in the Sahel region. Today’s briefing is a good opportunity to discuss steps that the international community can take to respond to challenges facing the region. So thank you once again, Mr. President.

Our appreciation also goes to the Secretary-General for his report on the G5 Sahel Joint Force and for his comprehensive presentation today. We also thank Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, for his valuable contribution to this discussion.

Mr. President,

Ukraine is extremely concerned by the rapidly deteriorating security situation in the Sahel region. The crisis in Mali in 2012 created a state authority vacuum in the central and northern parts of the country that was subsequently filled by violent extremist groups associated with Al-Qaeda, Daesh and other terrorist entities. Weak governance, poverty, influx of weapons and armed combatants created conducive environment for the spread of radical extremism and terrorism into neighboring countries, in particular those sharing common borders with Mali.

The terrorist attack in Ouagadougou this August, a spate of attacks against MINUSMA in September, and other recent militant strikes in the region illustrate that the threat of terrorism continues to loom over the most of the Sahel. This is a vivid example of how a regional spillover of violence is transforming into a threat affecting global peace and security.

In this regard, Ukraine welcomed the decision of G5 Sahel Member States to create a Joint Force tasked with combating violent extremism and terrorism within their borders. We cannot agree more with the Secretary-General that the establishment of the Joint Force represents an opportunity that cannot be missed.

Mr. President,

During a field mission to Mali, Burkina-Faso and Mauritania, that was timely organized by France and co-led by Italy and Ethiopia earlier this month, the Security Council had a chance to garner an insight into the real situation on the ground and the state of operationalization of the Joint Force.

Given the participating countries’ limited resources, quite an impressive progress has been made so far. In particular, I refer to the development of the concept of operations and steps to attain initial operational capability of the Force Headquarters in Sévaré, and the Command Post in Niamey.

However, much more remains to be accomplished. It is important now that G5 Sahel Member States maintain a strong commitment to their initiative and continue working towards a set goal with support of bilateral partners, this Council and the wider international community.

As has already been said in this Chamber, reaching full operational capability will require significant technical and financial resources. While recognizing the primary responsibility of the G5 Sahel countries, we believe it is crucial that international partners provide their helping hand to address equipment and financial needs of the Joint Force. In this context, the donor conference scheduled for December in Brussels is an important initiative. We commend the Secretary-General for his readiness to get involved personally to mobilize needed resources.

Ukraine also believes that, in its turn, the United Nations can play a role in supporting the Joint Force. The four options of the support presented in the Secretary-General’s report are worth close consideration. It is our view that MINUSMA can provide valuable targeted assistance to the Force. It is clear that the Mission’s mandate would have to be adjusted accordingly. However, any expansion of MINUSMA operations should not be made at the expense of the Mission’s ability to implement its primary mandate. We should not forget either that there are still significant gaps in the Mission’s capabilities that prevent it from fully opening up its potential.

Mr. President,

This leads me to my last — and perhaps the most important — point, which is the need to address the root causes of the crisis and instability in the Sahel. We are convinced that the Joint Force, once fully operationalized, would still constitute only one part of the required broader strategy. Full and unconditional implementation of the 2015 Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation is another crucial piece of the regional puzzle on how to restore peace and stability in Mali and Sahel, as well as contain and eliminate any spillover effects of internal struggle in the country.

The signatory parties should redouble their efforts to complete the operationalization of the interim administrations in the north and to engage in inclusive national consultations in light of the upcoming constitutional review and referendum. The ultimate goal of these efforts should be the comprehensive reform of national institutions which will help to bring real peace dividends to the people of Mali and to contribute to curbing instability in the neighboring countries.

In this regard, we believe that resolution 2374 remains an important tool for achieving change in behavior of the signatory parties and to encourage them to be more proactive in advancing peace in Mali.

Let us be clear.

If we want to achieve a sustainable peace and stability in the region, more investment has to be made into socio-economic development. Without functioning government structures, without provision of most essential social services, without working law-enforcement and judiciary, without active state support of local businesses and trade initiatives, vulnerable communities in conflict-affected and government-neglected areas will remain an easy target for the terrorists and extremists. Thus, initiatives on fighting terrorism, bringing economic development, ensuring respect for human rights, including active promotion and protection of rights of women and children, must go hand in hand and complement each other.

Lastly, Mr. President, I want to echo the Secretary-General’s call to keep the deployment of the Joint Force on the radar of the Security Council and to stand ready to take possible additional measures.

I thank you.