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By Godfrey Olukya  6-2-2014

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Mr. Said Djinnit, was received yesterday in Niamey by President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Africa press has reported.

Djinnit informed the President of Niger about the ongoing
consultations with countries and relevant international and regional
organizations regarding the implementation of the United Nations
Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, including on the elaboration of
regional and national projects in the three areas defined in the
Integrated Strategy namely: the Resilience, Governance and Security.

The SRSG informed the President that these projects will be part of
the implementation program of the United Nations Integrated Strategy
for the Sahel during the period 2014-2016. The projects will be
submitted for the consideration of a ministerial consultation meeting
to be held in Nouakchott in the coming weeks.

The President Issoufou welcomed the adoption of the United Nations
Integrated strategy for the Sahel: “The United Nations Integrated
Strategy is an appropriate framework to aggregate all initiatives for
the Sahel.” he said.

The President evoked the G5 summit which was held in Nouakchott on 16
February and expressed hope that the G5 countries are actively
involved in the planning of the forthcoming meeting in Nouakchott.

The President Issoufou and Said Djinnit stressed the importance of the
Ministerial Coordination Platform on the Sahel which was established
last year in November 5 in Bamako during the high-level visit headed
by the Secretary-General.

The Special Representative also informed the President of the ongoing
efforts towards the implementation of the Technical Coordination
Platform on the Sahel whose co-chairmanship was entrusted to the
United Nations and the African Union Secretariat. The Ministerial
Coordination Platform on the Sahel chaired by Mali will meet in Bamako
in April.

The President Issoufou and the Special Representative stressed the
need of strengthening the capacities of States in the region and
regional cooperation to promote sustainable development and security
in the region.

SRSG Said Djinnit took the opportunity to commend the commitment and
the active role played by Niger for the development and stability in
the Sahel. He, in particular, welcomed the initiative “the Nigerian
Nourish the Nigerian” promoted by the Government of Niger that he
regarded “as a healthy and hopeful for the people of Niger that the
international Community should support strongly and other countries
can learn from”.

The Special Representative reiterated the United Nations commitment to
work closely with the Sahel countries and relevant international and
regional organizations to act together for the Sahel.



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