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HMA JO ADAMSON OBE at OECD Conference on Mali

Read Ambassador's speech at the OECD conference on the economic recovery and development of Mali.


Building an emerging Mali - 22 October 2015, OECD, Paris

HMA to Mali’s speech

After the signing of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, the OECD in co-operation with partners of Mali, organised a conference on the economic recovery and development of Mali for donors to discuss the evolution of the Malian context and their financial support for the implementation of the Agreement.

Read British Ambassador to Mali, Joanne ADAMSON OBE’s speech at the OECD conference:

“The best thing about this meeting is the chance to hear from Malians. UK approach has been consistent since 2012 that we are here to support but that the future of Mali is in the hands of the Malians – taking advantage of all the opportunities but also tackling head-on some of the most difficult issues which come with governing a nation. It is good to see how Anefis has gone from being a source of concern to a symbol of reconciliation. Bravo (for the reconciliation not the fighting which preceded it).

Associate with the EU and PTF (donors) papers, and their key messages. Some of those messages are directed at us, for example on better donor coordination. We are not in a competition or a beauty contest. The UK will continue to provide most of its development assistance to Mali through our core contributions to multilateral organisations – we provided around £54 million to multilateral organisations in 2013 for example.

Commend the MIEC* for the work which they have done on the ground to identify the most pressing needs in Northern Mali. Ordinary people have spoken. Let’s listen to them.

Ordinary Malians want security. The UN Security Council has already listened, sending one of the largest peacekeeping forces in Africa to operate in a difficult environment. I join others in condemning attacks against MINUSMA and the Malian Armed Forces. I also condemn malicious attacks in the press against MINUSMA and was glad to hear President Keita’s support for MINUSMA this morning. We can only overcome common threats by working together.

It is understandable that local communities express frustration that security isn’t coming fast enough to their area. International peacekeepers and the Malian armed forces are working hard to confront a range of threats to the population of Mali. UK soldiers are working at the heart of the EU Training Mission to develop a new generation of Malian armed forces, and we support the EU’s mission to train the gendarmerie and police.

But a military response alone is not the answer. That is why the implementation in good faith of the Algiers peace process is so important. Not just for the citizens of Mali, but for her neighbours and the region as a whole.

The Malians who spoke to the MIEC also want better basic services, especially water and sanitation. Food insecurity is a daily reality for many Malians. Since March 2012, almost 5 million Malians – that’s 32% of the population - have been in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. The UK’s Department of International Development will provide around US$10 million in humanitarian assistance to Mali in 2015 and some US$30 million in 2014-17 to build resilience and adaptation to climate change.

We support greater decentralisation alongside other government reforms such as greater efforts to tackle corruption and increase transparency and accountability.

Ordinary Malians want jobs, especially young people and women. International development assistance can only go so far, but as the PTF has so rightly highlighted, it is stimulus of the private sector and investment, coupled with a prudent approach to tackling demographic pressures, which will enable Mali to respond to the needs of the vast majority of its young and female population.

Urge Mali to play their full part in discussions at the Valetta Summit to find solutions to drivers of migration and the criminal networks that profit from people’s desperation.

Ordinary Malians want justice, not just for the war crimes committed in the north, but access to the everyday justice which is the expectation of every citizen of a modern society. We welcome the appointment of a new Justice and Reconciliation Commission as a symbol of the intention of the Government of Mali, and the different parties in northern Mali, collectively to address the wrongs of the past. The UK expects that crimes of sexual violence against women in conflict will be tackled as part of this process, allowing women access to justice but also taking measures to ensure that sexual violence in conflict is never again used as a weapon of war.”

*MIEC: Mission d’Évaluation Conjointe des besoins au Nord

Read more about the OECD conference on the economic recovery and development of Mali

Published 6 November 2015