UN / G5 SAHEL JOINT FORCE

05-Jun-2020 00:01:46
UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council that the the G5-Sahel Joint Force “is on the right track, but there is still a long way to go,” adding that strengthening the Force is “only one strand in a comprehensive international approach required to tackle the root causes of instability in Mali and the Sahel region.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / G5 SAHEL JOINT FORCE
TRT: 1:46
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 05 JUNE 2020, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, United Nations headquarters exterior

05 JUNE 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2. Multiple screens, participants
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, United Nations:
“Mr. President, the G5-Sahel Joint Force is on the right track, but there is still a long way to go. Strengthening the Joint Force is only one strand in a comprehensive international approach required to tackle the root causes of instability in Mali and the Sahel region. Improving governance, eradicating poverty and protecting the human rights of all citizens, including the most disenfranchised, remain critical and more needs to be done to ensure that such efforts are given the same weight as military operations.”
4. Multiple screens, participants
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, United Nations:
“Mr. President, the last six months have been particularly challenging. The COVID-19 outbreak has added another layer of complexity to the already highly complex and challenging security situation in the Sahel. We are seeing attempts by terrorist and other groups in the region to capitalize on the pandemic to undermine State authority and destabilize Governments. Attacks on national and international forces continue unabated as well as the civilian population who continues to bear the brunt of the instability. Innocent lives are lost every day. Schools remain closed and many are denied access to the most basic social services. It will take years to rebuild affected communities in the Sahel, even under the best circumstances, and sustained efforts to ensure that nobody is left behind. In the face of such loss and devastation, we cannot be passive. The international community can only be successful in the fight against terrorism if we stand united and follow a comprehensive, joint approach.”

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

6. Wide shot, United Nations headquarters exterior
STORYLINE
UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council that the the G5-Sahel Joint Force “is on the right track, but there is still a long way to go,” adding that strengthening the Force is “only one strand in a comprehensive international approach required to tackle the root causes of instability in Mali and the Sahel region.”

Addressing a virtual meeting of the Security Council, Lacroix said there had been tangible and encouraging progress in the operationalization and strengthening of the G5-Sahel force since last year. He said the establishment of a joint command mechanism in Niamey has strengthened coordination with other international forces, adding that the Joint Force’s operation “Sama” was currently underway and progressing well.

The Lacroix said the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA) has been providing critical support to the Joint Force, however the limitations of the current support model present significant obstacles. He said an assessment carried out by the UN Secretariat concluded that international support to the Joint Force remained crucial but that the current support model was not suited to address the Force’s transport and equipment shortages.

The peacekeeping chief reiterated the Secretary-General’s call for a comprehensive support package, funded by assessed contributions. This would allow for predictable and sustainable support while making it easier to pursue a long-term strategy to phase out this support and to render the Joint Force autonomous.

Lacroix also stressed that “improving governance, eradicating poverty and protecting the human rights of all citizens, including the most disenfranchised, remain critical and more needs to be done to ensure that such efforts are given the same weight as military operations.”

The Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations said the last six months have been “particularly challenging.” He said, “The COVID-19 outbreak has added another layer of complexity to the already highly complex and challenging security situation in the Sahel. We are seeing attempts by terrorist and other groups in the region to capitalize on the pandemic to undermine State authority and destabilize Governments. Attacks on national and international forces continue unabated as well as the civilian population who continues to bear the brunt of the instability. Innocent lives are lost every day. Schools remain closed and many are denied access to the most basic social services.”

Lacroix said it will take “years” to rebuild affected communities in the Sahel, “even under the best circumstances, and sustained efforts to ensure that nobody is left behind.” He added that in the face of “such loss and devastation, we cannot be passive. The international community can only be successful in the fight against terrorism if we stand united and follow a comprehensive, joint approach.”

Lacroix reaffirmed that the international community has a shared responsibility for the Sahel and must provide much-needed relief and empowerment to the populations across the region who need it most.
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