Africa at the UN General Assembly 2017

Mauritanian minister highlights country’s successful efforts to combat terrorism

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania addresses the General Assembly’s annual general debate. UN Photo/Cia Pak
President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania addresses the General Assembly’s annual general debate. UN Photo/Cia Pak

19 September 2017 – In his address to the United Nations General Assembly, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mauritania, Isselkou Ould Ahmed Izid Bih, welcomed the progress made in the fight against terrorism and migration through an approach based on dialogue and openness.

After heavy fighting in 2010 and 2011, and despite a complex regional situation, Mauritania has faced the threat of terrorism successfully. “We have strengthened our defensive capacities while respecting human rights and putting in place a policy of sustainable development,” he explained. In addition, Mauritania has succeeded in building a constructive dialogue with the opposition and civil society, improving governance and reforming institutions, particularly with regard to women’s rights.

Mauritania, he continued, has reformed its legal frameworks on the basis of international agreements, in particular, to better combat terrorism. To this end, he noted the conclusion of agreements with some groups in order to allow their members to reintegrate into society in a productive way.

Mauritania, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has eradicated illegal migration from its territory, the Minister continued. “We also set out a roadmap on the fight against terrorism, including through a social assistance program,” he said, adding that repatriation programmes have also been implemented for migrants, in order to enable them to return to the country under favourable conditions.

The Minister also spoke about the problems caused by climate change in the Sahel region. In this regard, he encouraged all parties to the Paris Agreement on climate change to honour their commitments in order to limit the impacts of the phenomenon.