Denmark has a broad based and longstanding partnership with Mali drawing on a wide range of instruments – spanning from active diplomatic and political efforts, military contributions, long-term development cooperation, regional stabilisation efforts to humanitarian assistance (cf. box 1). Denmark’s active engagement in Mali’s neighbouring countries Burkina Faso and Niger as well as Danish activities in North Africa (in particular Libya) also have an important impact on the situation in Mali and the Sahel.
Denmark’s efforts are part of a comprehensive international engagement in Mali. A key partner in this regard is the UN´s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) established in April 2013. With UNSCR 2227 (2015) MINUSMA is mandated to i.a. protect civilians; monitor and supervise ceasefire arrangements; and support the implementation of the peace accord between the Malian parties. Another key partner is the EU which is the largest donor and provider of training to the Malian security forces. A number of EU Member States are strongly engaged in Mali, particularly France. Denmark will cooperate and align with other international partners in Mali and seek synergies where possible. Denmark will seek to influence multilateral partners, such as the EU, World Bank and UN organisations in line with the principles of this paper and pursue continued partnerships with Danish NGOs. Danish partnerships will be in keeping with Goal 17 “Revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development” of the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Denmark had been engaged in Mali for decades when Mali in 2006 became a priority country for Danish long term development assistance. Denmark has been a frontrunner in private sector development and is considered a reliable, innovative and flexible partner, a strong advocate for human rights (including for women), and an active player in the peace and reconciliation process.
Despite a difficult context, Denmark’s partnership with Mali has provided good results with its effective use of a broad range of instruments (cf. box 2). Both during and following the state coup, Denmark successfully managed to rapidly adapt the development cooperation to the changing conditions by restructuring the Danish development engagements from direct relations with the state to collaboration with parastatal organisations, international and Malian civil society organisations. The reorganisation enabled Denmark to remain in Mali throughout the crisis as one of few active development partners, playing its part in re-installing security and constitutional democracy. The future Danish-Malian partnership will build on lessons learned and results achieved since 2010.