Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Latest Statements

New York, 26 September 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at High Level Meeting on the Sahel [scroll down for English version]

L’an passé, nous nous sommes rencontrés ici même pour parler de la situation au Sahel.

Depuis, grâce à nos efforts collectifs, la situation politique et les conditions de sécurité se sont améliorées au Mali et des progrès ont été faits face à certains des grands problèmes du Sahel.

Nous avons commencé à trouver un meilleur équilibre entre opérations d’urgence et planification du développement à long terme.

Nous combinons mieux la lutte contre la malnutrition et les interventions en faveur de l’accès à l’eau, de l’assainissement et de la santé.

Les populations et les familles sont plus résilientes.

Mais les obstacles restent nombreux.

Political instability, unconstitutional changes of government and State fragility have significant economic and social consequences.

Authorities have limited capacity to deliver basic services and foster dialogue and citizen participation.

Education, agriculture, health, justice and protection services are underfunded.

Eleven million people are food insecure.

Five million children under-five are at risk of acute malnutrition.

Terrorist acts, and transnational organized crime, including arms and drug trafficking, threaten stability.

We must particularly beware the evolution of appeal of radicalism and violent ideology among the region’s youth.

These challenges are interconnected.

We need to commit to the region through a holistic and unifying framework, capable of addressing humanitarian imperatives and long-term structural needs.

The UN Integrated Strategy, developed under the leadership of my Special Envoy for the Sahel, Mr. Romano Prodi, who is here with me, prioritizes governance, security and resilience.

It also focuses on collaboration with international financial institutions to promote regional initiatives that fall beyond the realm of traditional UN engagement.

The Strategy recognizes the importance of human rights and efforts to combat impunity and corruption in securing sustainable security and development.

It focuses on building confidence among Sahel States and enhancing the engagement of border communities.

It underscores the need for accountability and the participation of the most vulnerable people and communities.

Partner support is indispensable to help people through the transition from relief to early recovery and on to development.

The strategy needs adequate resources and the engagement of the whole UN system.

My Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, has established coordination mechanisms with all UN entities operating in the region. 

We will also work to coordinate efforts with other development actors, including by reinforcing our partnership with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and regional institutions.

We have a proposal for an Action Fund, managed by the African Development Bank, designed primarily for non-traditional donors.

Our strategic priority is to link interventions to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach that is closely aligned with national and regional strategies and programmes.

Il est impératif que les États fassent preuve d’initiative et prennent les choses en main.

C’est pourquoi je compte me rendre dans le Sahel avec le Président de la Banque mondiale, le Président de la Banque africaine de développement et la Présidente de la Commission de l’Union africaine.

Nous y rencontrerons des représentants de tous les pays de la sous-région, qui nous feront part de leurs préoccupations et de leurs priorités.

Cette visite pourra servir à mettre en place un mécanisme de coordination de l’action menée au Sahel.

Il faut faire vite.

Il faut lancer des projets et aider ceux qui en ont le plus besoin.

Il faut que la communauté internationale continue d’œuvrer en faveur de la paix et de la sécurité, des droits de l’homme et du développement pour tous dans la région.

Je vous souhaite une réunion fructueuse.

Je vous remercie.

******

Last year we met here to discuss the situation in the Sahel.

Since then, our collective efforts have helped improve the political and security situation in Mali and address some of the broader challenges in the Sahel.

We have begun to better balance emergency response with longer-term development planning.

We are better linking measures to relieve malnutrition with interventions on water, sanitation and health.

Communities and households are becoming more resilient.

But many obstacles remain.

Political instability, unconstitutional changes of government and State fragility have significant economic and social consequences.

Authorities have limited capacity to deliver basic services and foster dialogue and citizen participation.

Education, agriculture, health, justice and protection services are underfunded.

Eleven million people are food insecure.

Five million children under-five are at risk of acute malnutrition.

Terrorist acts, and transnational organized crime, including arms and drug trafficking, threaten stability.

We must particularly beware the evolution of appeal of radicalism and violent ideology among the region’s youth.

These challenges are interconnected.

We need to commit to the region through a holistic and unifying framework, capable of addressing humanitarian imperatives and long-term structural needs.

The UN Integrated Strategy, developed under the leadership of my Special Envoy for the Sahel, Mr. Romano Prodi, who is here with me, prioritizes governance, security and resilience.

It also focuses on collaboration with international financial institutions to promote regional initiatives that fall beyond the realm of traditional UN engagement.

The Strategy recognizes the importance of human rights and efforts to combat impunity and corruption in securing sustainable security and development.

It focuses on building confidence among Sahel States and enhancing the engagement of border communities.

It underscores the need for accountability and the participation of the most vulnerable people and communities.

Partner support is indispensable to help people through the transition from relief to early recovery and on to development. .

The strategy needs adequate resources and the engagement of the whole UN system.

My Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit, has established coordination mechanisms with all UN entities operating in the region. 

We will also work to coordinate efforts with other development actors, including by reinforcing our partnership with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and regional institutions.

We have a proposal for an Action Fund, managed by the African Development Bank, designed primarily for non-traditional donors.

Our strategic priority is to link interventions to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach that is closely aligned with national and regional strategies and programmes.

National leadership and ownership are paramount.

To that end, I plan to visit the Sahel region with the Presidents of the World Bank and the African Development Bank, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

We will meet with officials from all the countries of the sub-region to hear their concerns and priorities.

The visit can be a way forward in establishing a platform for coordinating our efforts in the Sahel.

Speed is of the essence.

We need to get projects up and running and get help to where it is most needed.

We must maintain international focus to enable peace and security, human rights and development for all the people of the region.

I wish you a fruitful discussion.

Thank you.


Statements on 26 September 2013