Twenty-seventh High-Level meeting of Heads of UN peacekeeping missions in West Africa
At the invitation of Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), the heads of UN peacekeeping missions in West Africa held its Twenty- seventh consultation meeting of high-level on the 8th of May in Dakar.
The purpose of this regular meeting is to review progress in the implementation of its UN mandate in the region, strengthen coordination in order to address common challenges, including challenges in the areas of elections, Ebola, security, organized crime, terrorism, and examine the prospects of democratic transition processes in the West African region.
The heads of peace missions welcomed the election process in Nigeria held in a peaceful, transparent and free and underlined the critical need for promoting reconciliation and political dialogue in several countries in the region, including Burkina Faso, Cote ivory and Guinea. The heads of UN peacekeeping missions, proved to be hopeful that the forthcoming elections in these three countries to consolidate reconciliation and strengthen the peace process.
Participants recognized with satisfaction the progress made in the fight against the disease Ebola virus and called for it to continue to give attention to the most affected countries. The heads of peace missions welcomed the efforts made by national, regional and international partners in this regard. Also mentioned the need to give special attention to ensure that political developments, especially in Guinea, not jeopardize the progress already made.
Participants at the meeting expressed concern about the security situation in northern Mali and called on all parties to comply with the ceasefire agreement and the statements on the cessation of hostilities signed in Algiers. The leaders called on all parties to remain engaged in the peace process and to work together to ensure the signing of the peace agreement on 15 May in Bamako.
As regards the situation in the Sahel, the participants recognized that the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel creates opportunities for criminal networks thrive and called for greater cooperation between UN missions and other entities as well as enhanced regional cooperation.
The heads of peace missions noted the progress made since the return to constitutional order, after the 2014 elections, and called on partners to honor the promises made during the round table of donors for Guinea-Bissau held in Brussels.
Participants also noted the peaceful transition of UNMIL to the Government of Liberia in the field of security and welcomed national efforts in the area of decentralization.
Leaders of peace missions in West Africa have expressed serious concerns about the tragedy of migrants from sub-region and recommended that national governments in the region and the international community to cooperate to solve this problem.