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Presentation of the United Nations Support Plan for the Sahel

On the margins of the 31st Summit of the Africa Union in Nouakchott, Mauritania, the government of Mauritania is hosting a High-Level Meeting on the Sahel, cochaired by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed. The meeting is used to present the United Nations Support Plan for the Sahel titled: “Sahel, Land of Opportunities”. The launch will be followed by a press briefing by the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Amina J Mohammed.

WHEN: Saturday, 30 June 2018:
8.30 a.m. – 9.30 p.m. (High Level Meeting on the Sahel)
9.30 am – 10.00 a.m. (press briefing)

WHO: Event is chaired by:
Mr. Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic
Republic of Mauritania

Remarks by:
Ms. Amina Mohammed, The Deputy Secretary-General of the United
Nations
Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission
(to be confirmed)
Mr. Kalla Ankouraou, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Niger,
Presidency of the G5 Sahel

Venue: Ancien Palais des Congrès, Avenue du palais des Congrès, Nouakchott

Background information: Why the Sahel Support Plan?

The Sahel, the vast semi-arid region of Africa separating the Sahara Desert to the north and tropical savannas to the south, is as much a land of opportunities as it is of challenges. Although it has abundant human and natural resources, offering tremendous potential for rapid growth, there are deep-rooted challenges—environmental, political and security— that may affect the prosperity and peace of the Sahel.

For this reason, the United Nations has come up with a unique support plan targeting 10 countries namely Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Cameroon, to scale up efforts to accelerate prosperity and sustainable peace in the region.

The support plan highlights the enormous opportunities in the Sahel and its vast assets in natural resources, energy, tourism and culture; and is aimed at mobilizing public resources and triggering private investments in the 10 countries in support of ongoing efforts and initiatives by governments, international and regional organizations, and other partners, is built around the following six priority areas:

i. Cross-border cooperation
ii. Prevention and sustaining peace
iii. Inclusive growth
iv. Climate action
v. Renewable energy
vi. Women and youth empowerment

It will bring coherence, improve coordination and strengthen collaboration with all partners in the region, including national and regional institutions, bilateral and multilateral organizations, the private sector and civil society organizations, to work towards operationalizing and implementing the Security Council resolutions on the Sahel.

Women, youth and job creation will cut across all priority areas and interventions, aiming at strengthening governance, improving security and building resilience, as well as promoting a more integrated approach to address the humanitarian-security-development nexus as a strategy to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With 64.5% of the population being below 25 years, the Sahel is one of the world’s most youthful regions. Therefore, investments in education and vocational training could yield huge demographic dividends. The Sahel is also endowed with enormous renewable energy potential; it has more solar energy production capacity than other regions of the world.

The launch

The launch of the UN Support Plan for the Sahel will take place during a high-level-meeting on the Sahel on the margins of the 31st Summit of the Africa Union in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott.
Countries in the region are encouraged to adopt, with support from international partners, the necessary measures to fully implement the support plan.

The meeting will be attended by, among other dignitaries, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (to be confirmed), Mr. Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa; Mr. Kalla Ankouraou, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Niger, Presidency of the G5 Sahel, Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor for the Sahel; as well as several ministers from the countries in the region.
———

For more information, please contact:
- Ms Yasmine Chaitou, United Nations Mauritania, Tel: +222 49 00 03 67 email: Yasmine.chaitou@one.un.org
- Ms Edda Mekuria, United Nations Office to the African Union, Email zekarias2@un.org
- Ms. Aude Rossignol, Office of the UN Special Advisor on the Sahel , Tel: +222 47 00 12 67 Email: rossigno@unhcr. org
- Mr. Franck Kuwonu, UN’s Department of Public Information, Tel: + 1 917 383 7733; Email: kuwonu@un.org

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