United Nations Security Council

Why Israel is a Problem
  • Question: Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East created 762,000 refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship, the USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171 American sailors?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What Middle East country allows American Jewish murderers to flee to its country to escape punishment in the United States and refuses to extradite them once in their custody?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What Middle East country preaches against hate yet builds a shrine and a memorial for a murderer who killed 29 Palestinians while they prayed in their Mosque.
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States, according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East deliberately targeted a U.N. Refugee Camp in Qana, Lebanon and killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East receives more than one-third of all U.S. aid yet is the 16th richest country in the world?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East receives U.S. weapons for free and then sells the technology to the Republic of China even at the objections of the U.S.?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely insults the American people by having its Prime Minister address the United States Congress and lecturing them like children on why they have no right to reduce foreign aid?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East had its Prime Minister announce to his staff not to worry about what the United States says because "We control America?"
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: What country in the Middle East was cited by Amnesty International for demolishing more than 4000 innocent Palestinian homes as a means of ethnic cleansing.
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East has just recently used a weapon of mass destruction, a one-ton smart bomb, dropping it in the center of a highly populated area killing 15 civilians including 9 children?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely kills young Palestinian children for no reason other than throwing stones at armored vehicles, bulldozers, or tanks?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East signed the Oslo Accords promising to halt any new Jewish Settlement construction, but instead, has built more than 270 new settlements since the signing?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East has assassinated more than 100 political officials of its opponent in the last 2 years while killing hundreds of civilians in the process, including dozens of children?
  • Answer: Israel
  • Question: Which country in the Middle East regularly violates the Geneva Convention by imposing collective punishment on entire towns, villages, and camps, for the acts of a few, and even goes as far as demolishing entire villages while people are still in their homes?
  • Answer: Israel
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Cabralista

“…a 2011 documentary film by Valerio Lopes. It asserts a number of theory-based ideas born around Amilcar Cabral and the independents and human rights movements he led mainly in the 1960’s.
Amílcar Cabral was a Guinea-Bissauan leader, writer, freedom fighter and politician, he was assassinated in 1973.
"Cabralista” reflects the collective memory, how this revolutionary theoretician whose influence reverberated far beyond the African continent is remembered. With never released voice recordings, humanist citations and quotes, timeless footage and cultured visual effects, this film is a unique vision of Africa yesterday and today.
From the first audience granted to an african freedom fighter by the pope Paul VI to Amílcar Cabral in 1970; to his speaking in front of the United Nations security council again as the first defender of African Independence, Cabral’s unique work is remembered in this film by young African and Pan-African scholars filmed in Cape Verde, Libya, Portugal, Guinea Bissau …
” via Youtube link

Special Crimes Court to pave the way to justice for victims of crimes in Central African Republic #CAR

The recent announcement of the appointment of the prosecutor of the Special Crimes Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic marks a major step forward for victims of crimes committed during the conflict in the Central African Republic (#CAR).

The United Nations, through its peacekeeping mission acting on Security Council mandate, played a key role in the establishment and functioning of the court, including the establishment and operation of the office of the prosecutor, the special unit for judicial police, investigative chambers, the special indictment chamber and the registry.

The government of #CAR adopted a law in June 2015 to create the SCC and pave the way to justice for victims and to hold accountable those who have committed crimes since 2012. While the mandate of the court dates back to 2003, it can now play a crucial role to ending the impunity that has driven the recent conflict in #CAR. Although, the court is not yet fully operational, the appointment of the prosecutor, Congolese Toussaint Muntazini Mukimpa is welcomed by human rights organizations, the international community and donor countries.

Once the court is fully operational, @MINUSCA will continue its support to the court by focusing on trials procedures

UN 'disturbed' by reports of torture, forced disappearances and killings in Burundi

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has once again “expressed their deep concern over the political situation”, describing the “lack of engagement by the government of Burundi” with regards to the implementation of a resolution stipulating a UN police force should be sent to the African nation.

On 9 March, members of the UNSC met to discuss the situation in Burundi. The bloody crisis that has killed thousands, pits supporters of President Pierre Nkurunziza against those who say that his re-election in July 2015 for a third term violated the nation’s constitution.

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Council president Matthew Rycroft, from the United Kingdom, noted that, while the security situation in the country “has remained generally calm”, member states “were alarmed by the increasing numbers of refugees leaving the country and disturbed by reports of torture, forced disappearances and killings”.

January 2017 saw the largest rate of new arrivals in a single month, since the start of the Burundian crisis in May 2015, with just under 19,000 people crossing the border into Tanzania alone, according to the the UN refugee agency.

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The members of the Security Council expressed their concern about the humanitarian and human rights situation in the country and called on the secretary-general to continue to sustain United Nations humanitarian assistance in support of the Burundian population.

UNSC members reiterated their demand that all sides in Burundi “refrain from any action that would threaten peace and stability in the country and may affect regional stability in the long run”.

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In reference to claims Burundian rebels may be training in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Burundians touted in Rwanda and Uganda refugee camps, the council also called on states in the region to “refrain from supporting the activities of armed movements in any way”.

In a statement, Rycroft urged the Burundi government to engage with the secretary-general and his special adviser on conflict prevention, while expressing “regret at the decision by Burundi to suspend all cooperation and collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR)”. The OHCHR had been working in Burundi since 1995.

UNSC members also expressed their deep concern over “slow progress” in the East African Community-led, African Union-endorsed inter-Burundian dialogue to end the crisis. This comes after the government last month refused again to sit down at the negotiation table with opposition leaders, including Cnared, which it claims are sought by Burundian justice.

“The members of the security council stressed that the East African Community-led, African Union-endorsed inter-Burundian dialogue is the only viable process for a sustainable political settlement in Burundi,” Rycroft said in his statement, in reference to the facilitation led by former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa under the mediation of President Yoweri Museveni, in his capacity as chair of the East African Community.

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21/8/2015: Crown Prince Hussein said that Youth are the strategic asset and the real wealth. “This is what I see every day in the youth of my country, Jordan, and in my peers around the world.”

Addressing the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security, which kicked off today King’s Academy, Madaba, he said Jordan will work through its membership in the United Nations Security Council for the Council’s adoption of an agenda on youth, peace and security to ensure the inclusion of youth in efforts towards building sustainable peace and security. “This is how we grew up here in Jordan, with the involvement of all men and women. We built a resilient nation with the hard work of young people and the foresight of their fathers,” the prince said.

Following is the full text of Prince Al Hussein’s speech:

In the name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It has been said that “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.” That rings true for this house, my home, Jordan.

So, let me welcome all of you, friends, to my beloved country Jordan. And know that your presence enriches us; because while Jordan’s foundations of peace and mutual respect are deep, they grow ever stronger with each new friendship.

We are proud that ours is a house that has never turned away a neighbor seeking refuge and relief; and a home for all who seek peace and progress because peace is not just a policy, not just a value or ideal, it is a human trait and it is the pillar that holds up the roof over our one global family.

Welcome to Jordan and a special thank you to our partners: the UN system and its visionary leadership, the United Network of Young Peacebuilders, and Search for Common Ground.

Brothers and sisters,

“Youth are the future” this perhaps one of the most frequently cited statements on how to affect the future through shaping its generations, and part of the discourse of heads of states, politicians and political parties.

Those who possess the key to young minds can unlock the doors of the future. This is the strategy followed by all those who seek to shape generations, because when youth believe in a mission, they will dedicate their lives to fulfill it.

Unfortunately, if we look back on our modern history, we will find that tyrants, occupiers, and terrorists in any shape or form including Al Qaeda and Daesh have all exploited young people and their potential.

Has not the time come to utilise this formula to make peace? To build strong generations that won’t be swayed by the slogans of those who seek to advance their own agendas, whatever they may be!

This formula has never been more appropriate, for the world has never been as young as it is today. Therefore, there has never been a greater opportunity to influence the future, especially in the Arab world, where youth under 25 years old make up around 70 per cent of the population.

Youth are the strategic asset. They are the real wealth. This is what I see every day in the youth of my country, Jordan, and in my peers around the world. Youth are the ones most ready to dedicate their lives for the future of their country. They are the peace builders who go to serve their brothers and sisters in disaster areas. They are the doctors who volunteered to aid their Arab brethren in times of catastrophes in Gaza.

They are the teachers helping in refugee camps so that children are not deprived of education and knowledge. They are the millions of youths who create networks that give unconditionally, not expecting anything in return. These are but examples of what I have seen and experienced. This is my generation; these are the peacemakers.

I assure you that the young people of my generation do not lack the will to take action. On the contrary, they are the most aware of the challenges facing their homelands. They are the most knowledgeable of the advancements of their times; and they are the most capable of listening to the world and communicating with it because they have mastered the language of this age, with the cyberspace carrying their voice from East to West across all borders and restrictions.

This is my generation, and its youth are well-equipped to be partners in setting a future strategy that suits them.

This is why we are here today, because we have the opportunity to make a fundamental change in the future an opportunity that we must seize quickly because youth are targeted by many, and we are in a race to win their minds.

We are in a race against agendas on the hunt for the youth’s capacities to serve their own goals. We are in a race with time because our future cannot afford to waste the capacities of today’s generation.

We are here to build on the outcomes of the Security Council’s open session on the “Role of Youth in Countering Violent Extremism and Promoting Peace”, which was organised by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during its presidency of the Council in April.

We are also here to reach a consensus over a declaration on youth and their role in peace building and combating extremism.

This may be the first conference of its kind in terms of strong participation and the ability to bring together all stakeholders from representatives of the United Nations, governments as well as national and international organisations, to the party most concerned: Young people themselves and their organisations.

But I also hope that the Forum will be the first of its kind in the tangible outcomes that it yields, realised through a genuine involvement of youth, not sideline participation or modest representation.

It is the first of its kind because young people themselves will draft the recommendations, with the support of the experts we have here with us, for what we need as young people is a space to work, not readymade templates that limit us.

This conference will contribute to creating stronger networks that seek to empower youth and give them the chance to express their ambitions and their belonging to humanity.

Our dear guests,

Today, I announce to you that Jordan will work through its membership in the United Nations Security Council for the Council’s adoption of an agenda on youth, peace and security to ensure the inclusion of youth in efforts towards building sustainable peace and security. This is how we grew up here in Jordan, with the involvement of all men and women. We built a resilient nation with the hard work of young people and the foresight of their fathers.

I have recently read a saying that caught my attention: A boy becomes a man the first time his dream dies.

Something has pushed me not to settle for this statement as is, but ask all of you here today to take on the responsibility of making it right.

Economic, social and political challenges have turned our youth into men and women capable of shouldering their responsibilities, and it is our duty to offer them an environment that nurtures vibrant, achievable dreams that can change the course of their lives; for there is no dream without hope, and hope is a fundamental right for each and every young man and woman. We are here to reaffirm this right, and to push them to dream bigger and farther every time not only to be the largest young generation in history, but also the generation that made the world’s largest leap towards peace and coexistence.

May God’s blessing and peace be upon you.

(Source: Petra)

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Apr 24, 2015
U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie makes a plea to the United Nations Security Council to do more to help and protect refugees of the ongoing conflict in Syria.

“Mr President, Foreign Ministers, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen: it is an honor to brief the Council. I thank His Excellency the Foreign Minister of Jordan, the High Commissioner for Refugees, and my colleagues from OCHA, and the World Food Program.

Since the Syria conflict began in 2011, I have made eleven visits to Syrian refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Malta. I wish that some of the Syrians I have met could be here today. I think of the mother I met recently in a camp in Iraq. She could tell you what it is like to try to live after your young daughter was ripped from your family by armed men, and taken as a sex slave.

I think of Hala, one of six orphaned children living in a tent in Lebanon. She could tell you what it is like to share the responsibility for feeding your family at the age of 11, because your mother died in an air strike and your father is missing. I think of Dr Ayman, a Doctor from Aleppo, who watched his wife and three year-old daughter drown in the Mediterranean when a smugglers’ boat collapsed packed with hundreds of people. He could tell you what it is like to try to keep your loved ones safe in a war zone, only to lose them in a desperate bid for safety after all other options have failed.

Any one of the Syrians I have met would speak more eloquently about the conflict than I ever could. Nearly four million Syrian refugees are victims of a conflict they have no part in. Yet they are stigmatized, unwanted, and regarded as a burden.

So I am here for them, because this is their United Nations. Here, all countries and all people are equal – from the smallest and most broken member states to the free and powerful. The purpose of the UN is to prevent and end conflict: To bring countries together, to find diplomatic solutions and to save lives. We are failing to do this in Syria.

Responsibility for the conflict lies with the warring parties inside Syria. But the crisis is made worse by division and indecision within the international community – preventing the Security Council from fulfilling its responsibilities.

In 2011, the Syrian refugees I met were full of hope. They said “please, tell people what is happening to us”, trusting that the truth alone would guarantee international action. When I returned, hope was turning into anger: the anger of the man who held his baby up to me, asking “is this a terrorist? Is my son a terrorist?" On my last visit in February, anger had subsided into resignation, misery and the bitter question "why are we, the Syrian people, not worth saving?”

To be a Syrian caught up in this conflict is to be cut off from every law and principle designed to protect innocent life: International humanitarian law prohibits torture, starvation, the targeting of schools and hospitals – but these crimes are happening every day in Syria. The Security Council has powers to address these threats to international peace and security – but those powers lie unused. The UN has adopted the Responsibility to Protect concept, saying that when a State cannot protect its people the international community will not stand by – but we are standing by, in Syria. The problem is not lack of information – we know in excruciating detail what is happening in Yarmouk, in Aleppo and in Homs. The problem is lack of political will. We cannot look at Syria, and the evil that has arisen from the ashes of indecision, and think this is not the lowest point in the world’s inability to protect and defend the innocent. And I say this as someone who is proud to have been part of the UN system for 13 years.

I don’t think enough people realize just how many people are fed, sheltered, protected and educated by the United Nations every day of the year. But all of this good is undermined by the message being sent in Syria: that laws can be flouted – chemical weapons can be used, hospitals can be bombed, aid can be withheld and civilians starved – with impunity.

So on behalf of Syrian refugees, I make three pleas to the international community:

The first is an appeal for unity. It is time for the Security Council to work as one to end the conflict, and reach a settlement that also brings justice and accountability for the Syrian people. It is very encouraging to see ministerial representation from Jordan, Spain and Malaysia here today. But I think we would all like to see the Foreign Ministers of all the Security Council Members here, working on a political solution for Syria as a matter of urgency. In the last few months we have seen intensive diplomacy at work elsewhere in the region: so now let us see what is possible for the people of Syria. And while these debates are important, I also urge the Security Council to visit Syrian refugees, to see first hand their suffering and the impact it is having on the region. Those refugees cannot come to this Council, so please, will you go to them.

Second, I echo what has been said about supporting Syria’s neighbors, who are making an extraordinary contribution. It is sickening to see thousands of refugees drowning on the doorstep of the world’s wealthiest continent. No one risks the lives of their children in this way except out of utter desperation. If we cannot end the conflict, we have an inescapable moral duty to help refugees and provide legal avenues to safety.

And third, the barbarism of those inflicting systematic sexual violence demands a much greater response from the international community. We need to send a signal that we are serious about accountability for these crimes, for that is the only hope of establishing any deterrence. And I call on Member States to begin preparations now so that Syrian women are fully represented in future peace negotiations, in accordance with multiple resolutions of the Security Council. And if I may make a wider, final point to conclude my remarks.

The crisis in Syria illustrates that our inability to find diplomatic solutions causes mass displacement, and traps millions of people in exile, statelessness, and displacement. 52 million people are forcibly displaced today – a sea of excluded humanity. And while our priority must be ending the Syrian conflict, we must also broaden out the discussion to this much wider problem.

Our times will be defined not by the crises themselves, but by the way we pull together as an international community to address them.

Thank you.” Angelina Jolie

5 things the UN just did on the situation in Burundi

by Simon Cleobury, Policy Adviser and Burundi Expert at UK Mission to the UN

The United Nations Security Council just unanimously adopted a resolution on Burundi, the small country in East Africa where ethnic tensions are running high. Killings, human rights abuses, and hate speech coming from government leaders in the capital Bujumbura have many diplomats at the @united-nations drawing parallels with the events that led to the horrors in neighbouring Rwanda 21 years.

In response, the Security Council today adopted a resolution. Here are 5 key takeaways that you should know about.

1. Calls for restraint

This may seem obvious, but the government of Burundi needs to know that the world is watching.

2. Urges dialogue

At the moment, inflammatory language and divisive ethnic rhetoric have brought the country to the brink of crisis. The conversation needs shift to how to bring stability and peace.

3. Invites the Secretary General to send a team

A team sent from the UN’s leader sends a strong message. It also means that we want the UN presence on the ground to be strengthened so they can support the dialogue.

4. Possibility of “additional measures”

The resolution says the Security Council intends to “consider additional measures” against those that perpetuate violence and impede peace. When we say measures, this includes targeted sanctions. This therefore sends a message that there will be accountability for violence.

5. Contingency planning

What exactly is contingency planning? It means putting a plan in place to be ready if the situation deteriorates further and civilians need to be protected. The African Union is preparing to deploy a standby force to intervene to prevent widespread violence. The UN is also looking at various options for deploying peacekeepers from existing UN peacekeeping operations. At worst this could mean intervening to prevent a genocide and at best the plans are never put into motion. Either way, a pivotal lesson of preparedness seems to have been learned by the international community. A lesson that came at an unspeakable cost 21 years ago.

Click here to see what the United Kingdom tweeted after the resolution was adopted.

So, let me get this straight…the Palestinian Authority wants to be party to an international tribunal with prosecutorial power against war criminals – as opposed to gaining sovereign rights through terrorism or violence – and Israel decides that this is so unacceptable that it withholds tax revenue earned by and due to the Palestinians? This comes less than a week after the United States and Australia voted down a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for Palestinian statehood.

“I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them.” – Baruch Spinoza, Tractatus Politicus, 1676

If we demand that the Palestinians use legal and peaceful means to achieve their ends, I don’t understand what it is we’re asking them to do and how we want them to do it when we actively work to create obstacles for Palestinian statehood and sovereignty. Since the most powerful nation in the world is effectively using their veto power in the United Nations so as not to ruffle the feathers of the Israeli government, what else can the Palestinians do? They decide to try to gain recognition as a sovereign state by joining as many international organizations and signing on to as many treaties as possible, yet that’s still not acceptable. The Palestinian Authority – and through them, the Palestinian people – are, in effect, being punished for attempting to join an international body with a mandate to end genocide, achieve justice for victims of crimes against humanity, and bring war criminals to trial. That’s literally the opposite of a path to peace. Yet we wonder why desperate people with seemingly hopeless causes are driven to terrorism? And we don’t understand why it is often directed towards us?

“Peace cannot be worth its name unless it is based on justice, and not on the occupation of the land of others.” – Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat, speaking to the Israeli Knesset, Jerusalem, November 20, 1977

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Angelina Jolie attends UN Security Council meetings in New York.

Actress and activist Angelina Jolie delivers a speech during the United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East and Syria at the United Nations on April 24, 2015 in New York City.

Dr. Joanne Liu Addresses United Nations Security Council Regarding Hospital Attacks

“In short, make your resolution operational. Stop bombing hospitals. Stop bombing health workers. Stop bombing patients.”

Presenting in front of the United Nations Security Council, Dr. Joanne Liu, International President of Medecins Sans Frontieres, addresses a string of attacks and bombings that have destroyed MSF hospitals, as well as various other facilities.  

Direct Statement: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/dr-joanne-liu-addresses-united-nations-security-council-regarding-hospital-attacks

Bombing in Aleppo: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/aleppo-two-surgical-hospitals-bombed-only-two-others-left-besieged-city

Open letter to the UN Security Council on Mali

Brussels  |   3 Jun 2014

Excellencies,

The recent clashes between the army and rebels in the Kidal region show that Mali’s crisis is unresolved. The violence is directly linked to the lack of progress in talks between northern groups and the government that have stalled mostly because the main actors have been reluctant to engage in meaningful dialogue, despite their pledge in last June’s Ouagadougou agreement. Multiple and confusing diplomatic initiatives have not helped. The UN mission (MINUSMA) has struggled to reconcile its mandate to facilitate talks with that of helping to restore state authority; some perceive it as pro-government and compromised. I urge the Security Council, with the support of its main partners in Mali, to establish a UN-led international mediation mechanism.

The negotiations that started a year ago with signing of the Ouagadougou agreement are in jeopardy. Crisis Group’s January report, Mali: Reform or Relapse, warned that deadlock would have major security consequences. The provisional ceasefire reached in May under auspices of the African Union’s president, with the aid of the UN Secretary-General’s special representative, is fragile. Unless talks are revived promptly, new clashes will occur, undermining the substantial international efforts since MINUSMA’s deployment last July.

The Malian authorities and the northern-based movements have mostly used the dialogue to voice grievances, not resolve differences. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta’s government considers the “northern question” a matter of national pride and has stalled to avoid serious concessions. The three main rebel groups – MNLA, HCUA and the Mouvement arabe de l’Azawad – are fragmented, unable to offer realistic or coherent claims.

Regional and other international actors share responsibility. They have been unable to reconcile diverse, often competing interests to promote a common vision of a solution. Initiatives have often been uncoordinated. Mediation needs new impetus to re-launch talks.

For months, MINUSMA has played a vital role in calming tensions between the army and the northern movements, but without political progress, this can only delay new violence. The mission has struggled to facilitate implementation of the Ouagadougou agreement, in part due to perceptions about its neutrality. Resolution 2100 (25 April 2013) calls for it to both “restore the authority and the sovereignty of the Malian State throughout its national territory” and “to facilitate progress towards an inclusive national dialogue”, which by its nature involves bringing in the very armed groups that challenge the state’s authority in the north.

Building the capacity of Malian institutions is of course important. But the mandate’s tension raises competing expectations from the parties. Some members of the northern movements believe the mission backs the government, citing inter alia its provision of armoured vehicles to the defence ministry and that talks have been held almost solely in Bamako. They requested MINUSMA support for talks to be more balanced. The government believes the mission should focus primarily on helping the state recover its full sovereignty, as requested by the prime minister in his 29 April speech to the National Assembly.

The 30 May, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit asked the Burkina Faso and Nigeria presidents to renew mediation efforts, but these have been dormant for months and are unlikely to revive the talks. Mali accuses Burkina Faso of harbouring the MNLA’s political wing; ECOWAS is a key regional institution but does not include countries with influence in the north, such as Mauritania and Algeria. It is thus crucial to establish an international mediation mechanism that is coherent, backed by the region and other major powers and empowered to broker compromises. This new initiative should be UN-led.

The Security Council could consider two options. Neither will be easy, given politics in the region and beyond, but existing arrangements are proving insufficient.

The first would be to strengthen MINUSMA’s political mandate and have it mediate, not just facilitate. The Secretary-General’s special representative would become a full-time mediator. This would allow the UN to use its good offices and, together with Mali’s partners, press parties to resolve deadlocks. To achieve this, the Council must resolve the tension in the mandate by shifting it away from state building. An emphasis on state building might be necessary again in the future – and the gap would need to be filled by others now – but for the moment talks must be the priority.

The second would be to appoint an envoy of the Secretary-General, with African Union and ECOWAS agreement, independent of MINUSMA. The parties could express preferences from a list of names with high-level West Africa experience. The envoy would be an official mediator to whose team MINUSMA would give logistical help while continuing its state building role. This would require greater effort to build consensus, internally and regionally, but might be more likely to break the deadlock.

Whatever the preferred option, the mediator will need the support of Mali’s main partners. They should form a contact group whose membership should be relatively restricted, to ease coordination. It must include France and Algeria, who, working together, have enough influence to bring all the parties to the negotiating table. Algeria’s pivotal role in the region should be recognised, but it must exercise its influence within a multilateral framework.

The mediator, consulting with the main parties and the contact group, should quickly revive the Ouagadougou agreement’s negotiation framework. The current stalemate is not the result of flaws in that agreement but of parties’ refusal to implement it and insufficient pressure on them from Mali’s regional and other partners. The monitoring and evaluation committee established by the agreement has not met since October. It should be resuscitated and, chaired by the mediator, convene monthly to allow international actors to coordinate their efforts. The parties should urgently agree on and commit to a detailed schedule of such sessions.

As the Council prepares to renew MINUSMA’s mandate, it should draw the right conclusions from the challenges the mission faces. In appointing a new UN-led mediation mechanism, whether within the mission or external to it, it has another opportunity to help Malians reach a sustainable solution; it should not assume such an opportunity will come again soon.

Sincerely,

Louise Arbour 

President and CEO, International Crisis Group