|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Chairman’s Summary of High-level Meeting on Sahel at United Nations
Headquarters, New York, 26 September 2013
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations convened a High-level Meeting on the Sahel in New York on 26 September. Participants included Member States of the United Nations and representatives of regional and international organizations.
2. Participants welcomed the United Nations Integrated Regional Strategy for the Sahel and urged the United Nations to ensure its effective and sustained implementation, in close consultation with the countries of the region, as well as with relevant regional and sub-regional organizations.
3. Participants were encouraged by the positive developments in Mali since the intervention by French, Chadian and Malian forces in January 2013 and the subsequent deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), as well as by the successful election in August 2013, which paved the way for a more inclusive political process in the country. President Boubacar Keita was supported in his intent to start a broad-based national dialogue to foster reconciliation and other announced initiatives, including on good governance, to address the root causes of instability in the country.
4. The speakers expressedconcern over the remaining challenges to stability in the Sahel, including the surge in terrorist acts, arms and drugs trafficking, as well as other transnational forms of organized crime, the spread of violent ideology across the region, particularly amongst the youth.
5. The speakers emphasized the need to intensify efforts to tackle the structural causes of instability and fragility in the Sahel and increase resilience to recurring shocks by the peoples, communities and States in the region. They acknowledged the need to better integrate emergency responses with longer-term development planning and to pursue a regional approach to development, targeting the most vulnerable sections of the populations and the structural causes of vulnerability. While working to address the root causes of insecurity, participants also acknowledged the need to build confidence among the States of the Sahel and enhance border communities’ engagement in early warning tasks.
6. Participants reaffirmed their commitment to address the interconnected challenges facing the region. The meeting welcomed the closer coordination of the United Nations with the international financial institutions in carrying their Sahel strategies forward, including through a coordination platform, as well as the proposed action fund for purposes of urgency and efficacy. In this regard, participants welcomed the planned visit of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Presidents of the World Bank and the African Development Bank, and the African Union to the region as a step forward in ensuring closer coordination and cooperation among the countries of the Sahel and partners. They were encouraged by plans to meet with officials from Sahel countries, to listen to their agreed priorities for the implementation of the strategy, and welcomed proposals from the region that this meeting should be at the highest level.
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