Secretary-General Deeply Regrets Malian Government’s Declaration of United Nations Human Rights, Peacekeeping Official as Persona Non Grata

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General deeply regrets that, on 5 February, the transitional Government of Mali declared the Director of the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as persona non grata.

In the context of the political transition towards a return to constitutional order in Mali, the Secretary-General underscores the critical need for the Malian authorities to protect human rights, including in particular freedom of expression, which is crucial for the functioning of a democratic society.

The Secretary-General has full confidence in MINUSMA and the commitment and professionalism of its personnel to implement the Mission’s mandate to support Mali and its people, including in the promotion and protection of human rights.  He notes that the doctrine of “persona non grata” is not applicable to United Nations personnel and is contrary to the legal framework applicable to the United Nations, including with respect to obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and those concerning the privileges and immunities of the United Nations and its personnel.

For information media. Not an official record.