Thank you Mr. Vice President,
The UK thanks the Independent Expert, Mr Suliman Baldo, for his work, and welcomes his report to the HRC.
We note with concern the deterioration of the human rights situation in Mali, particularly in the north, during the period covered in Mr Baldo’s report. This deterioration comes as a result of the fighting that began in May 2014 and the continued unrest since. We urge all parties to continue working for an inclusive and sustainable peace agreement, with the active participation of women.
We urge Mali to step up efforts to end the impunity for human rights violations and abuses. There should be no inference of amnesty for such acts, since justice for the victims and their families is essential. The UK supports MINUSMA’s important work in this regard. Its hearings of testimonies of victims will provide evidence for future trials.
The UK is concerned at the high number of incidents of sexual violence. We urge Mali to strengthen the codes of practice against sexual violence within the armed forces. To help deal with this issue, the UK continues supporting the EU military training mission to provide international humanitarian law training in Mali. But this can only be effective if improved command structures are in place.
Mali has a good record of ratifying international human rights treaties, but to implement these, its institutional capacity needs strengthening. We encourage the Independent Expert to continue working with the Government of Mali and other actors to help build institutional capacity, in particular in the judiciary and in the internal security forces.
The security situation in northern Mali remains serious. In your view, how can the international community, with its significant presence in Mali, use its resources most effectively to help safeguard human rights in the north of the country?
Your report rightly focuses on the dire human rights situation in the north of Mali. Could you give more details about the human rights situation in other parts of the country?
Thank you Mr Vice President.