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Security Council Presidential Statement Expresses Serious Concern over Security Situation in West Africa, Sahel

The Security Council today adopted a presidential statement that welcomed positive developments in several West African countries, but expressed its serious concern over the challenging security situation in the region and the Sahel.

On the security situation in West Africa and the Sahel, it noted the threats posed by asymmetric terrorist attacks, maritime piracy and transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons, arms, drugs and natural resources, which could be interlinked.

It recognized the adverse effects of climate change on regional stability, while calling for significant humanitarian and development action.  It also encouraged the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) to consider work that would help counter the threat posed by small arms and light weapons, as well as further cooperation and clear division of tasks between that Office and the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).

Expressing its intention to monitor progress in West Africa and the Sahel, it requested the Secretary-General to continue to provide information on efforts being made by UNOWAS.  It also called for assessment of the implementation of Council resolution 2349 (2017) to be integrated into its regular reporting.

From the Presidential statement:

“The Security Council recognizes the adverse effects of climate change and ecological changes among other factors on the stability of West Africa and the Sahel region, including through drought, desertification, land degradation and food insecurity, and emphasizes the need for adequate risk assessments and risk management strategies by Governments and the United Nations relating to these factors.

The Security Council recognizes the importance of complementing the security response to the Sahel crisis with a comprehensive and coordinated approach to address root causes of crises, prevent further tensions and violence, tackle exclusion and poverty, strengthen resilience of institutions and communities, promote good governance and build peaceful, just and inclusive societies, and, in this regard, looks forward to receiving further details on recent efforts towards recalibrating the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel and enhance its implementation through a more integrated, cross-pillar approach across the development-humanitarian-peace nexus.  The Security Council further emphasizes the importance of the convening role of the Peacebuilding Commission in sustaining peace and peacebuilding efforts, and, in collaboration with UNOWAS, in mobilizing deeper commitment and partnership between the UN system, the countries of the Sahel and other regional and international partners, including International Financial Institutions.

Read the whole statement