The G5 Sahel and the international community unite against crime and terrorism
From 18 to 20 November 2015, a high-level G5 Sahel Summit was held in N'Djamena, Chad. Bringing together Heads of State of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger, along with a large number of ministers of Planning, Justice, and Foreign Affairs of the region, this high-level meeting gave various technical and financial partners the opportunity to reiterate their support towards this young Sahelian institution.
The G5 Heads of States adopted the legal framework of their Security Cooperation Platform at the end of the summit. This document was developed with the continuous support of UNODC experts. The Platform facilitates regional cooperation between law enforcement agencies on issues related to terrorism and transnational organized crime.
During the ministerial meeting of 19 November, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for the Sahel, Ms. Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, reaffirmed the importance of ensuring national and regional ownership of United Nations initiatives, so as to "incorporate the Sahel into a dynamic of change."
The various partners also signed a declaration highlighting, among others, the need to "strengthen the political and strategic dialogue with the G5 Sahel" and to "promote cooperation with the G5 Sahel in the areas of security, governance, resilience and infrastructure, with particular emphasis on regional integration, local development, border management, the root causes of irregular migration, the various forms of illicit trafficking, and the creation of better opportunities for women and young people."
During this session, the partners had the opportunity to share their results. As pointed out by the UNODC Regional Representative for West and Central Africa, Mr. Pierre Lapaque, through its Sahel Programme, UNODC contributed to enhanced capacities against terrorism, illegal trafficking (drugs, humans, firearms) and better access to justice for citizens of the region through the establishment of regional judicial cooperation platforms, such as WACAP.
Finally, during the closing ceremony of the G5 Sahel's Ordinary Summit, held on November 20 at the "Palais du 15 janvier" in the presence of the five heads of state of the G5S, and among others, H.E. the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security policy, Ms. Federica Mogherini, stakeholders adopted a final communiqué. The commitments stipulated therein include, inter alia, "the creation of a Regional Military Academy for the G5 Sahel in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, which will be launched in 2016" and "the creation of a joint force of the G5 Sahel" to intensify efforts against the armed groups that destabilize the region, such as Boko Haram, AQIM, and Al-Mourabitoun among others.
Established in 2014 to meet the security challenges affecting the Sahel, the G5S has since been recognized as a key partner in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime that undermine governments' development efforts in the region.
During the summit, the European Union, the United Nations ( OSES, UNDP, IOM, UNICEF, UNFPA, OCHA, WHO and UNODC among others), and many other PTFs such as the World Bank, IMF and the African Development Bank were able to take stock of the region's priorities and define an action plan and roadmap to address them in a coherent, effective and integrated fashion. Several national delegations, including Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, and the Netherlands, among others, took this opportunity to acknowledge cooperation and development efforts in the region during the summit's various sessions.