26 June 2013
Security Council

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6988th Meeting (PM)

Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Sahel Briefs Security Council on New

‘Four-By-Four Strategy’ to Combat Extremism, Arms Proliferation, Crime


The senior United Nations official in the Sahel today unveiled an integrated strategy for combating extremists and terrorists in the region and beyond, as well as arms proliferation and transnational organized crime.

“This four-by-four strategy should be the foundation of a collective response to the challenges of the region,” said Romano Prodi, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel, during a briefing to the Security Council.

He said that the strategy — intended to achieve long-term peace and security in the strife-torn region — would focus on strengthening national and regional security mechanisms, ensuring inclusive and effective governance, and bolstering humanitarian and development plans in Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger and Chad.  It had been developed following consultations with regional Government leaders, United Nations officials and key international partners, as well as religious, tribal and female leaders.  Full details of the much-anticipated strategy were set forth in an annex to the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in the Sahel (document S/2013/354).

Amid mounting global concern that the crisis in Mali would cause extremism and terrorism to spread to other parts of the Sahel, the international community must act now, he said, warning that neglecting the challenges facing the region would “create more Malis”.  As the new United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) addressed the country’s needs, the integrated strategy would focus on the other four, he said.

The first order of business would be to create short-term regional development priorities in close collaboration with Governments in the region, while laying the foundation for sustainable development, he said, adding that his office was doing its part, devising concrete regional projects, formed on the basis of inputs from regional experts and academics studying the Sahel.  Following consultations with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other relevant actors, it would present the projects to the region’s Governments for their consideration and implementation.

Next, resources beyond the existing humanitarian and development aid must be mobilized, and a mechanism created to enable donors to pay in cash or in kind, he continued.  The strategy also envisaged the creation of a Sahel action fund, he said, adding that he had consulted with the African Development Bank and the World Bank about co-managing the fund, with the support of the Islamic Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and other global financial institutions.

A coordination mechanism should be created to monitor progress and ensure that resources were used in a cost-effective way, he said.  In addition, he called for the creation of a Sahel research institute, to be funded by the Sahel action fund, which would be a training facility to generate local expertise on issues confronting the Sahel.  “I appeal to the international community to be as generous to the Sahel as it was towards Mali,” he said, calling on donors to support those initiatives.

The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:21 p.m.

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For information media • not an official record