Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia before UNSC vote on a draft resolution on renewal of Mali's sanctions regime
This meeting was preceded by lengthy work on a draft resolution on renewal of Mali’s sanctions regime that would be acceptable for members of the Security Council and the regionals, and also would accommodate the position of Mali. We must say that the draft resolution in front of us does not solve these tasks.
We are convinced that adopting the document as it is, given the fact that Bamako submitted an official demand to abolish sanctions regime, would be counter-productive both for ensuring efficiency of the sanctions regime and for the Malian peace process. This step would antagonize further pasties to the Algiers Agreement.
We all remember that the Security Council imposed a sanctions regime on Mali in 2017 following an official request of the Malian government, and its main goal was to promote Malian settlement on the basis of a peace agreement. There is no doubt that attempts to thrust Security Council’s wardship on the Malians without their consent are futile. We repeatedly said that during the negotiations.
We also said that using the authority of the Security Council to push through approaches that Malians find unacceptable may jeopardize the entire architecture of Bamako’s subsequent cooperation with the United Nations, which becomes particularly important against the withdrawal of MINUSMA which is underway now. We must not let this happen.
Based on these considerations, the Russian Federation cannot support the draft resolution that has been put forward by the co-sponsors.
We call on the colleagues in the Security Council to demonstrate strategic wisdom and pragmatism by supporting our alternative draft resolution. What’s crucial about it is that it takes into account the position of African members on the Council suggesting that the sanctions regime must remain for some time so its potential can be used for the purpose of implementing the Algiers Agreement. However, it is fundamentally important that the Security Council sanctions should aim at solving this exact task, and not turn into an instrument of external influence on the internal political processes in Mali. I mean an instrument like the one that the Panel of Experts of Security Council Committee 2374 has become.
We disagree that the Panel of Experts is the only UN mechanism at the disposal of the Security Council for supporting the Malians’ efforts in a peace process. It is obvious, first, that for one of its parties, the government of Mali, the PoE has already lost its relevance in the context of the Algiers Agreement for a number of reasons. Secondly, the Council has every opportunity to determine the modalities of its own work in support of domestic settlement in Mali and relevant parameters for the use of UN resources. However, this should be done only with the consent of the direct participants of the peace process.
In our alternative draft resolution, we propose to disband the Panel of Experts, effective today, and limit the sanctions regime to one year, with a clear indication that, in order to meet Mali's formal request, this is going to be the final extension.