Madam President,

I would like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, El-Ghassim Wane, for his presentation. I welcome His Excellency Mr. Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali.

Switzerland condemns all the violence and attacks perpetrated against peacekeepers and civilians since our last meeting. I express my deepest condolences to the victims and their families. I would also like to acknowledge the losses suffered by the Malian armed forces.

In the face of insecurity, population displacement and an alarming humanitarian situation, the efforts of the United Nations and MINUSMA remain crucial to peace, stability and sustainable development in Mali. In view of the renewal of the mandate, I would like to underline three key points:

Firstly, as we have just heard and read in the Secretary-General's report, MINUSMA's ability to carry out its mandate effectively and predictably is hampered. A complex operational context combined with the vast perimeter of the intervention zone and the lack of personnel make this mission particularly difficult. Adjustments are therefore necessary. Indeed, we need to reconcile the mission's tasks with current realities, while allowing it the flexibility to use the resources at its disposal. MINUSMA's effectiveness will also depend on better cooperation with the Malian authorities and their progress on the four parameters identified by the Secretary-General last January, including freedom of movement. Yet the mission continues to face restrictions, including the non-authorization of reconnaissance flights.

Secondly, we are concerned by the persistence of allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law throughout Mali. We were deeply concerned to learn of the report published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the events in Moura, which took place in March 2022 as part of a military operation. Switzerland strongly condemns all these violations, some of which could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.  It calls on all parties to the conflict - state, non-state and private, Malian and foreign - to respect their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. Violations must be impartially, independently and effectively investigated and prosecuted. Switzerland is convinced that impunity is an obstacle to lasting peace and continues to fuel cycles of violence in Mali.

Thirdly, the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement remains as crucial as ever. Despite delays in its implementation and ongoing blockages, it has made it possible to maintain the ceasefire since 2015. We cannot and must not lose the benefit of 9 years of work, dialogue and efforts towards national reconciliation. Switzerland calls on all parties to resume dialogue by establishing concrete confidence-building measures, with the support of the International Mediation.  Diligent implementation of the agreement in its entirety would enable a united front to be forged against the new threats. We reiterate the importance of a peaceful political transition, enabling credible and transparent elections to be held on schedule, leading to a stable, democratic and civilian government. We welcome the holding of the constitutional referendum scheduled for this Sunday, and hope that it will take place throughout the whole of Mali.

Madam President,

In the face of multiple challenges, this Council's continued support for Mali and MINUSMA is crucial. Switzerland believes that the mission's priorities remain relevant, which is why we reaffirm our full support for its important mandate, in particular the protection of civilians and the implementation of the peace agreement.

Thank you for your attention.

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