UN / WEST AFRICA AND THE SAHEL

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25-Jul-2023 00:04:02
The head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simão, said, “The crisis in the Sahel is the sum of complex circumstances, and its resolution requires concrete, realistic and long-term support from the region and beyond, in order to achieve lasting peace.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / WEST AFRICA AND THE SAHEL
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 25 JULY 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

25 JULY 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, Security Council
3.SOUNDBITE (French) Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“The crisis in the Sahel is the sum of complex circumstances, and its resolution requires concrete, realistic and long-term support from the region and beyond, in order to achieve lasting peace. The populations of the region constantly remind us of our collective obligation to support the efforts of their countries in the resolution of these crises, to put an end to the scourge of terrorism that has punctuated their daily lives for too long.”
4. Wide shot, Security Council
5.SOUNDBITE (English) Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“I call upon all stakeholders, in particular Governments and political parties, to promote legislation and ensure the effective application of existing instruments on women’s empowerment and gender equality.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7.SOUNDBITE (French) Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“In Mali, we are facing major challenges of a difficult transition being given the imminent departure of MINUSMA. I intend to pay a visit as soon as possible in Bamako in order to discuss with the authorities, the partners and United Nations colleagues.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9.SOUNDBITE (French) Leonardo Santos Simão, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS):
“The 6.3 million people displaced across the Sahel constitute another gravely worrying humanitarian consequence. A number increasing numbers of these forced-to-move populations find refuge in coastal countries, including Ivory Coast and Ghana. I make a call to all stakeholders for pooling our efforts to preserve the dignity of refugees and the security of host countries or transit.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission:
“The region is worried about the resurgence of the military in the political space. The fact that three out of the 15 countries of the region are under military rule is indicative of the reversal of the region's democratic gains. For ECOWAS, this is unacceptable, and all the countries must return to constitutional order within the specified timeframe. Your support to the transition to constitutional order in all three countries is not only crucial. It is also in our collective interest.”
12.Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission:
“Food security situation in the region suggests that insecurity does not only affect our present, it also threatens our future. Our assessment has indicated that nearly 30 million people are in need of food assistance. In the absence of adequate response, the number of people need him food assistance will increase from 30 million to 42 million by the end of next month.”
14.Wide shot, Security Council
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission:
“I urge the Security Council to signal its clear support for providing African Union peace support operations with access to United Nations assess contribution. This would represent a concrete demonstration that the Council stands ready to break new grounds and address a critical gap in the international peace and security architecture, as well as a strongly affirmation of the willingness of the Council to stem the scourge of armed conflict on the African continent.”
16. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

The head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simão, said, “The crisis in the Sahel is the sum of complex circumstances, and its resolution requires concrete, realistic and long-term support from the region and beyond, in order to achieve lasting peace.”

Simão briefed the Council today (25 Jul) in New York on the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in West Africa and the Sahel and the activities of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) for the first time since assuming office.

He started by welcoming the holding of elections in several countries in West Africa and the Sahel, namely in Benin, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Despite the encouraging steps towards democratic consolidation, the continued underrepresentation of women across the region in political processes and decision-making not only deprives half of the population of essential rights but is also a massive impediment to development, the Special Representative stated.

He called upon all stakeholders, in particular Governments and political parties, to “promote legislation and ensure the effective application of existing instruments on women’s empowerment and gender equality.”

As part of his introductory visits to the region, the UNOWAS chief was received by the authorities of Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria (by the ECOWAS Commission), Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Niger, Cabo Verde, and Guinea. These visits, Simão said, allowed him to discuss with the authorities on the transitions in progress and to understand the extent of the crisis that the Sahel is going through.

He also said, “In Mali, we are facing major challenges of a difficult transition being given the imminent departure of MINUSMA,” adding that his intend to pay a visit as soon as possible in Bamako in order to discuss with the authorities, the partners and United Nations colleagues.

Simão said that the security situation in the Central Sahel has deteriorated further, with multiple attacks against civilians and defense and security forces, especially in the Liptako Gourma area.

He emphasized the humanitarian impact of the crisis to which the region faces. The food insecurity rate is alarming, especially in areas where instability has interrupted production agricultural.

The Special Representative said, “The 6.3 million people displaced across the Sahel constitute another gravely worrying humanitarian consequence. A number increasing numbers of these forced-to-move populations find refuge in coastal countries, including Ivory Coast and Ghana.”

Simão made a call to all stakeholders for “pooling our efforts to preserve the dignity of refugees and the security of host countries or transit.”

Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission also briefed the Council.

He said, “The region is worried about the resurgence of the military in the political space.”

Touray further explained, “The fact that three out of the 15 countries of the region are under military rule is indicative of the reversal of the region's democratic gains,” reiterating that “for ECOWAS, this is unacceptable, and all the countries must return to constitutional order within the specified timeframe.”

He told the Council, “Your support to the transition to constitutional order in all three countries is not only crucial. It is also in our collective interest.”

The President of the ECOWAS Commission also highlighted, “Food security situation in the region suggests that insecurity does not only affect our present, it also threatens our future.”

He said, “Our assessment has indicated that nearly 30 million people are in need of food assistance. In the absence of adequate response, the number of people need him food assistance will increase from 30 million to 42 million by the end of next month.”

Touray also urged the Security Council to “signal its clear support for providing African Union peace support operations with access to United Nations assess contribution.”

He reiterated, “This would represent a concrete demonstration that the Council stands ready to break new grounds and address a critical gap in the international peace and security architecture, as well as a strongly affirmation of the willingness of the Council to stem the scourge of armed conflict on the African continent.”
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