Ban underscores the need for strengthened international cooperation to confront the challenges facing the Sahel

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A farmer in Niger.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reaffirmed his solidarity with the people and Government of Mali and the Sahel and underscored the need for strengthened international cooperation to confront the challenges facing the region.

During a meeting with the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, on the margins of the Regional Ministerial Meeting on the Sahel taking place in Bamako, the Secretary-General welcomed the Ministerial Meeting hosted by the Government of Mali as an opportunity to listen to the concerns and priorities of the countries of the region and enhance coordination among international partners.

Secretary-General Ban and the President of Mali also discussed the situation in the country. The Secretary-General welcomed the important progress made in the last year with the signature of the Ouagadougou Preliminary Agreement and the successful holding of presidential elections.

He noted that these were the first steps on the long road to peace and stability. He underlined the importance of addressing the root causes of the crisis through improved governance, the protection of human rights and the extension of state authority throughout the country.

He underscored the need for an inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation and an inclusive approach to the upcoming legislative elections. The Secretary-General reassured the President of his commitment to reinforce the capacity of the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in order for the Mission to fulfill its mandate.

The Secretary-General was accompanied by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the President of the World Bank, the President of the African Development Bank, the Commissioner for Development of the European Union and the Representative of the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’31″

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