UN Mission in Mali: Armed Forces Deployment - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:03 pm on 14th December 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence 9:03 pm, 14th December 2020

That was indeed a very sad outcome. It is one we remain mindful of, and that we cannot and will not forget. The answer to the noble Lord’s question is probably best explained by returning to the role of the United Nations, because this is what we are part of. The United Kingdom believes in peacekeeping as a way to stabilise and contain conflict. Our contribution to MINUSMA, alongside our enduring commitment to the United Nations’ peacekeeping operation in, for example, Cyprus, and the staff officers we have employed in other operations, is the UK playing its part in a multinational effort to contain the worst consequences of violent conflict and to help build confidence in the political processes.

As I said, we constantly assess and after 18 months we will review this mission. We will analyse what has been happening and assess our role as a contributor to the mission. The noble Lord is right to be alert to what we must always be on our guard against. We want to be very sure that our presence is positive and that the contribution we make makes a difference to providing a more positive future for Mali. That is something we will constantly keep under consideration.