Evaluating the mandate and political strategy for the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali ahead of the June 2022 mandate renewal.
On April 19, 2022, the International Peace Institute (IPI), the Stimson Center, and Security Council Report organized a virtual workshop to discuss the mandate and political strategy of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). This discussion was part of a series of workshops that examine how the activities included in peace operations’ mandates can be better prioritized, sequenced, and grounded in political strategy. This was the fifth consecutive year in which these partners convened discussions around the MINUSMA mandate negotiations. The meeting note summarizes the main points raised in the discussion under the Chatham House rule of non-attribution and does not necessarily represent the views of all participants. The project is funded with the support of the German Federal Foreign Office.
The UN Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in June 2022. Deliberations on MINUSMA’s mandate are unfolding during a period of heightened political uncertainty in Mali and as security, human rights, and humanitarian conditions are deteriorating throughout the country. These dynamics impact MINUSMA’s role and engagement, as its strategic priorities are anchored in supporting the 2015 Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Mali and the political transition, as well as protecting civilians, reducing violence, and helping reestablish state presence.1
In this context, the International Peace Institute (IPI), the Stimson Center, and Security Council Report co-hosted a virtual roundtable discussion on April 19, 2022, to discuss the mission’s mandate. This closed roundtable offered a platform for member states, UN stakeholders, civil society representatives, and independent experts to share their assessments of the situation in Mali in a frank and collaborative environment. The discussion sought to help the Security Council make more informed decisions with respect to the prioritization and sequencing of MINUSMA’s mandate and the mission’s strategic orientation and actions on the ground.
Participants agreed that MINUSMA has an important role to play in Mali and that the mission’s mandated priorities still align with the areas where the UN can bring the most added value. But they also noted that MINUSMA alone cannot address all the critical challenges and that the mission is already spread thin across a dangerous operating environment. Given the rapidly changing dynamics in the country and throughout the Sahel region, some participants saw this as an opportunity for the UN Security Council to engage in strategic reflection about MINUSMA’s future. Participants raised several points for consideration during the upcoming negotiations on MINUSMA’s mandate renewal.