The Special Envoy for the Sahel concludes her official tour in Europe
DAKAR, Sénégal, July 26, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Sahel, Mrs. Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, concluded today her first official tour in Europe. From 15 to 25 July 2014, the Special Envoy visited Brussels, London and Paris and met with officials of UK and France governments, as well as with high level representatives of the European Union and the Organisation for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Mrs. Guebre Sellassie conferred with European leaders on issues pertaining to the situation in the Sahel region. She took this opportunity to brief her interlocutors on the existing initiatives in the Sahel and ways of enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and European and regional partners.
The Special Envoy commended partners’ efforts to help the region in addressing the challenges that hinder stability and development in the Sahelian countries and urged them to act collectively and in close collaboration with Governments of the region, in order to implement a common vision for Sahelian and international stakeholders. All agreed on the need to strengthen mechanisms and tools for coordination of the existing initiatives for the Sahel, especially under the Ministerial Coordination Platform.
Concluding today her tour in Paris, the UN Envoy met with representatives of the French government, to discuss the threat of terrorism that is facing the Sahel and beyond, and the importance of a coordinated approach between all stakeholders, in order to support Sahel efforts to address the insecurity.
Ms. Guebre Sellassie welcomed France efforts to stop this threat and called for more regional cooperation, as the risk of new connections between terrorist groups operating in the regions of the Sahel / Sahara and the Horn of Africa is growing.
« We shall act together for the Sahel. We have to do more, better and faster, in order to translate strategies into tangible reality for the peoples of the Sahel”, stated the Special Envoy
During her 10-day visit, the Special Envoy also met with the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Action, Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva ; the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. Mark Simmonds ; the United Kingdom Special Representative for the Sahel, Rt Hon Stephen O’Brien ; and the French Minister for Development, Mrs. Annick Girardin; as well as the Secretary-General of the Organisation for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), M. Angel Gurria.
Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the Sahel (OSES)