G5 Sahel security needs and priorities: Extension of the UNODC Sahel Programme to 2023
The UNODC Sahel Programme, developed in 2014 as UNODC's contribution to the UN Regional Integrated Strategy for the Sahel launched by the UN Secretary-General in June 2013, has now been extended to 2023.
Over the past four years, the Sahel Programme has developed strong and fruitful partnerships both at the national and regional level, to support the development of accessible, efficient, and accountable criminal justice systems to combat illicit trafficking, drug trafficking, organized crime, terrorism, and corruption. These partners, including the G5 Sahel, have expressed their desire to continue working with UNODC on these matters, beyond the initial duration of the programme (due to end in 2019).
With over 600 activities and 13,700 beneficiaries, the Sahel Programme was considered one of UNODC's flagship programmes by the mid-term evaluation report published in August 2017 by a team of independent evaluators. The Programme integrates almost all UNODC mandates, which is demonstrated by the concrete results that the region's governments have achieved following Sahel Programme assistance over the past four years.
The extension of the Sahel Programme will notably enable UNODC to continue and strengthen its historic partnership with the G5 Sahel, both regarding its Security Cooperation Platform and the police component of its Joint Force.
It will also allow the Sahel Programme coordination team to implement the recommendations expressed during its third steering committee meeting held in Dakar in March 2018. These recommendations include providing assistance to the Joint Force's police component but also strengthening cooperation between Sahel and Maghreb countries and providing training on cryptocurrencies and their use by criminal networks.
Lastly, one of the objectives of the Sahel Programme was to grow and develop a presence in all five G5 Sahel states, in order to maintain an open and regular dialogue with partner countries, and continuously ensure that its activities match the needs and priorities expressed by G5 Sahel member states themselves. The extension of the Sahel Programme has already enabled the coordination team to dispatch experts to Nouakchott in Mauritania, effectively ensuring its presence in four of the five G5 Sahel states. Recruitment is also ongoing to recruit staff in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
UNODC activity implementation through the Sahel Programme is coordinated with the other UN agencies participating in the implementation of the UN Integrated Strategy and its subsequent support plan, most notably with the Office of the Secretary-General's Special Adviser for the Sahel (OSAS), the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the Department of Peacekeeping Operation (DPKO) and UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of Mission of MINUSMA.
The Sahel Programme is supported by contributions from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the United States.