Insecurity in the Sahel: Meeting on the Margins of the General Assembly, Leaders Will Discuss Tackling the Root Causes

António Guterres will be joined by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the President of the Economic Community of West African States Commission and the Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel on 22 September at UN Headquarters in New York.

The situation in the Sahel is deteriorating at an alarming rate. The region is affected by state fragility, a sharp rise in Islamist extremism, terrorism, weak economies, climate change, pandemic recovery and the global impact of the war in Ukraine, as well as many complex political transitions.

With that in mind, on 2 May 2022, the Secretary-General and the African Union Commission Chairperson established the Independent High-level Panel on Security, Governance and Development in the Sahel. The Panel’s mandate is to take stock of the ongoing security, governance, and development efforts underway, as well as to make recommendations for strengthening international coordination in the region. At the side event, the Chairman of the Panel and former President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, will provide an update on its progress.

In an interview with France 24/Radio France Internationale on 18 September, the Secretary-General underscored that

“We have to acknowledge that the situation in the Sahel today is a very difficult situation. We have terrorist groups everywhere; we have the disastrous impact of climate change; we have governance challenges as you know, and we have a terrible economic situation. In this regard, we have appointed a panel, chaired by former President Issoufou, to come up with a new Sahel strategy for the international community because what we are doing now is not sufficient. We have to recognize our collective failure and find another approach because this situation is worsening in the region.”

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, who will moderate the event, said:

“The challenges the Sahel is facing point to the urgent need to do much more to tackle growing insecurity, while addressing the structural causes of the instability and vulnerability. The High-Level meeting aims to do just that, marshaling the political and material resources to make a real difference in the region.”

The event presents an opportunity to highlight what is at stake in the Sahel, and the urgent need for a rethink of international engagement. The opening remarks will be streamed live on UN Web TV.




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