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SG/SM/17346-AFR/3267
20 November 2015

In Message to Summit Leaders, Secretary-General Calls for G5 Sahel Countries ‘to Continue to Consolidate Regional Cooperation’

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, to the Summit of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel), in N’Djamena today:

I am honoured to be invited to the G5 Sahel Summit, an initiative that shows the strong engagement of the five countries to work together to address the common challenges of the region.  I believe the meeting is timely.  It comes on the heels of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, which adopted Agenda 2030, with an inclusive and sustainable course for many of the challenges we collectively face in the Sahel.

I welcome the determination of the G5 Sahel leaders to continue to hone their common strategic priorities for the region.  That degree of national and regional ownership is necessary in order to bring sustainable development and prosperity into the Sahel region.

I am encouraged by the quality and extent of collaboration between the United Nations and the G5 Sahel.  The launch of several joint projects within the framework of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, and the support provided by the UN to the G5’s efforts in various areas such as the prevention of radicalization and violent extremism, are proof of the commitment of the two organizations to work in synergy to bring needed solutions to the challenges facing the Sahel.

The last two G5 Sahel Summits and recent high-level meetings with other partners have highlighted the challenges that continue to affect the region, such as radicalization and violent extremism, illicit trafficking, youth unemployment, weak participation of women in socioeconomic development, increase in migration flows and forced displacement of people.

I call on the G5 Sahel countries to continue to consolidate regional cooperation in order to face these challenges together.  The United Nations and other international partners must remain firmly engaged alongside Sahel countries to support their efforts in these areas.

The United Nations will continue to be guided by the priorities of the countries of the region in their support for the promotion of peace, security, good governance, development and human rights for the people of the Sahel.

For information media. Not an official record.