UN envoy for West Africa stresses cooperation to address regional threats

8 March 2012

The United Nations envoy for West African today underlined the Organization’s determination to strengthen partnership with countries in the region to effectively combat threats to stability, including piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, drug trafficking and organized crime, as well as the food crisis and insecurity in the Sahel belt.

Said Djinnit, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), said during a meeting in Abidjan with Côte d’Ivoire’s President, Alassane Ouattara, that the region faces challenges on two fronts.

“Its northern borders are affected by the Sahel crisis whose effects are keenly felt on Mali. Its southern borders, along the Atlantic coast, undergo the phenomenon of rampant piracy and organized crime, which ultimately threaten economic development of the entire sub-region.”

Mr. Djinnit and Mr. Ouattara, the current chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), also discussed the holding of a regional summit to develop a comprehensive strategy against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Earlier in the week, Mr. Djinnit attended a high-level meeting of the UN country teams and peacekeeping missions in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, during which the missions adopted a “roadmap” specifying how to enhance cooperation to improve security along their common border.


♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Organized crime in West Africa the focus of talks between UN envoy, Interpol

Transnational organized crime in West Africa, including illicit drug trafficking and the proliferation of illegal arms, as well as maritime piracy, dominated discussions today between a senior United Nations envoy and the head of the international police organization, Interpol.