IPI HomeEventsPanel DiscussionsSecurity and Development in the Sahel-Sahara: Insights from the Niamey Seminar

 

print print  |  share share back back


Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, President of Centre 4S, at IPI's policy forum.

Panel Discussions - Friday, March 22, 2013

Security and Development in the Sahel-Sahara: Insights from the Niamey Seminar

The impact of the current crisis in the Sahel-Sahara region has wider regional implications for the Maghreb and Gulf of Guinea. Security and development solutions must be sought across all three regions if sustainable peace and stability is to be achieved. This was the main recommendation of a policy forum convened by IPI and the Mauritania-based Centre for Strategies and Security for the Sahel Sahara (Centre 4S) on March 22nd in New York. The forum was held to share the substantive results of an international seminar held in Niamey, Niger on February 15th–16th to discuss the security and development challenges facing the Sahel-Sahara region and review the various strategies being devised to address those challenges.

The key messages were:

1. Any viable strategy for the Sahel-Sahara region must be anchored in a robust, dispassionate analysis of the context, based on the views and experiences of those affected by the conflict.

2. The multifaceted peace and security challenges facing the Sahel region impact the North African countries of the Maghreb, West African states, and the Gulf of Guinea. Virtually all of the issues are cross-border in origin and effect; lasting solutions will only be achieved through dialogue and more effective cooperation across all affected regions and their respective coordination mechanisms.

3. Issues cannot be compartmentalized and dealt with in isolation or in a sequential manner as each is equally critical. Drug trafficking, illegal trade, radicalization, resource allocation, economic development and responsible governance are interlinked. It is impossible to prioritize one over the other. As many of the current and planned international strategies have highlighted, a holistic and comprehensive approach is required to address these challenges.

4. Elections are necessary but not sufficient for gaining, restoring and maintaining legitimacy. Providing basic services to citizens and integrating permanent dialogue as a governance function are equally important.

5. The Niamey seminar provided the opportunity for solutions-driven representatives of women, youth and local private sector associations to recommend innovative security and development strategies that must be taken into account when devising an integrated security and development strategy for the region.

A full meeting note and report of the Niamey seminar is forthcoming.

 Download this text as a meeting brief

Watch event:

The Global Observatory

Key Global Events to Watch in September
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

August 25, 2014
High-Level Forum Examines Lessons of 1814 and 1914 for Today
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the bicentenary of the opening of the Congress of Vienna–two dates that profoundly shaped the course of history.

August 05, 2014
Accra Meeting Examines Effective Governance in Challenging Environments
Despite undeniable progress, the continuous peace and security reverses witnessed across Africa illustrate the persistent gap that exists between aspirational good governance norms and principles and their actual implementation.

July 17, 2014
EU and UN Seek Ways to Improve Cooperation in Peacekeeping
The European Union is among the strongest supporters of UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, but the growing challenges faced by UN-led operations have raised the need for better EU-UN cooperation, both on the ground and at the planning level.

View More