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Open debate of the Security Council on the impact of transnational organized crime on peace, security and stability in West Africa and the Sahel region

Published Tuesday February 21 2012

In her intervention at the open debate of the Security Council, the Permanent Representative of Luxembourg recalled that the countries of the Sahel region are facing a situation of chronic poverty, an imminent humanitarian crisis, as well as serious security problems which predated the Libyan crisis, but were exacerbated by it. The acts of terrorist groups, other armed groups and transnational criminal organisations have a destabilising potential on a regional and even international level: to counter them, a considerable effort will be required with regards to the exchange of intelligence, updating of legal frameworks, capacity building necessary to allow the State to fulfil its sovereign functions and in the fight against bad governance and corruption.

Ambassador Lucas underlined that if part of the solution was in the realm of security, a sustainable stabilisation of the region would need to be based on the socio-economic development of the countries of the region, with a particular emphasis on education and vocational training and job creation for young people, to which Luxembourg has been committed for many years, notably in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Cape Verde.

The Permanent Representative also called for greater coherence and a better coordination of efforts, for instance through the strategy for the Sahel of the European Union. In the same vein, she congratulated the new leadership of ECOWAS, exhorting them to renew their Regional Action Plan on Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organised Crime, which had expired at the end of 2011. The countries of the region, including the Republic of Guinea, should have the opportunity to cooperate in the context of the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI), implemented in partnership with the United Nations System (DPKO, UNOWA/DPA, UNODC) and Interpol.