The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, on Tuesday 20th October 2020 addressed Ministerial roundtable on Central Sahel.
Below is the full text of his speech.
INTERVENTION BY H.E. DR. MAMADOU TANGARA MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND GAMBIANS ABROAD OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA AT THE MINISTERIAL ROUNDTABLE FOR THE CENTRAL SAHEL 20TH OCTOBER 2020.
UN USG for Humanitarian Affairs
Representatives of Civil Society
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
At the onset, I would like to thank the Governments of Denmark and Germany, the EU, UN and all others for partnering with our neighbours in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to organise this important Ministerial Roundtable on Central Sahel.
I thank all the speakers for their extensive briefings which have given all of us a clearer picture of the humanitarian, security and other dimensions of the situation in the sub-region of Central Sahel.
The whole question of achieving peace, security and addressing humanitarian and development challenges in the Sahel remains a pertinent issue for The Gambia. The Gambia remains strongly committed to peace, security and development in the Central Sahel and the whole Sahel, in general.
The Central Sahel continues to face mounting insecurity, severe climate change conditions, food crisis, growing IDP population of 1.6million and now the socio-economic, health and humanitarian impacts of COVID-19. The effects of these combined factors is leaving the sub-region of Central Sahel with a population of 13.4m people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Consequently, as a way forward, my delegation is calling for the formulation of smarter and sustainable measures to address the challenges faced by the countries in the Central Sahel with a view to assisting them in restoring the trust and confidence of the ordinary people in the various interventions while addressing their needs.
In this regard, addressing funding gaps of humanitarian organisations, including issues relating to governance and access to resources, youth unemployment and most importantly recognising the linkages between peace, security, human rights and development in the region, will go a long way to stabilise the Central Sahel.
The question of fulfilling international commitments in addressing development gaps and creating opportunities for the people should remain a central pillar in our search for stability in the region.
Furthermore, to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of the interventions in the Central Sahel sub-region, the international community must ensure that sustained political and peacebuilding processes are pursued to address the root causes of conflict through active, inclusive and cohesive political dialogue in order to build the foundations for sustainable peace and conflict resolution in the sub-region.
In addition, the importance of supporting national governments and institutions to take charge of the security and development programmes and projects of their countries is very crucial. Wide consultations and creating appropriate conditions for national and local ownership of the processes would remain very important.
My delegation is also of the strong opinion that, increased international solidarity, partnership, cooperation, while ensuring complementarity and coherence in approaches within the international community and on the ground, will remain key ingredients for achieving success in the Central Sahel.
Therefore, while emphasizing the primacy of the UN’s coordinating role, we encourage partners for increased collaboration and partnership with the African Union and ECOWAS who, to a large extent, would have a better understanding of the local context.
In conclusion, I once again seize this opportunity to thank the organisers and all the donors who pledged today and in the past. We appreciate your support and kind assistance towards addressing the challenges of the Central Sahel and the whole Sahel region, in general.
I thank you all.
Issued by the Communication Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad