Dinard declaration on the partnership for a comprehensive and sustainable strategy to combat illicit trafficking in the Sahel region
Discussing the situation in the Sahel region, we have agreed on the urgent need to address the illicit trafficking in drugs, small arms and light weapons (SALW), trafficking in persons, and smuggling of migrants, especially as these criminal activities fuel instability and corruption, jeopardize rule of law and peace efforts, create a breeding ground for terrorist organizations, and contribute to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation. The influence of criminal groups undermines national and international efforts to create better opportunities for the people in the licit economy.
The fight against illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and SALW is a challenge linked to the fight against terrorism and its financing, as well as the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Mali. Additionally, migrants in the Sahel and North Africa can be vulnerable to various forms of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and forced labor.
Several cooperation programs are in place, but results are so far too limited, due to the scale of the challenge, the lack of capabilities, the limited presence of state authorities in vulnerable areas, and the need for reinforced coordination and sustained monitoring of international support.
The multidimensional aspect of the fight against trafficking calls for an integrated regional development and security response taking into account the intraregional dynamics in West Africa.
We have therefore decided to launch an Initiative for a new political Partnership for a comprehensive and sustainable strategy to combat the illicit trafficking in drugs and SALW, trafficking in persons, and smuggling of migrants in the Sahel region.
As participants of the joint Partnership we commit to:
- Further engaging with G5 Sahel countries in order to foster our bilateral and multilateral cooperation (both operational and capacity-building) in the fight against transnational criminal networks involved in the illicit trade in narcotic drugs, SALW, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in the wider Sahel region, in accordance with internationally recognized standards and principles.
- Reinforcing a comprehensive security and development partnership, whereby G5 countries take ownership of national and regional action plans focused on law enforcement and ensuring an effective criminal justice response, including protection and assistance to victims. Meanwhile, international and regional stakeholders and donors commit to continue exploring ways to provide resources to support this effort, notably through better coordination.
- Assisting in the establishment of a roadmap for the G5 Sahel, containing a timetable, objectives and performance indicators, with the association of willing ECOWAS member states and all relevant international stakeholders, in particular UN, AU and EU, to continue to strengthen law enforcement and judiciary systems (“penal chain”), supporting integrated border controls, intelligence-led policing (including criminal analysis capacities), anti-money laundering and anti-corruption mechanisms and legal and operational tools to detect and seize illicit funds in the course of investigations, while integrating gender considerations throughout.
- Commending G5 Sahel peace and security initiatives – in particular the G5 Regional Security Cooperation Platform in the Sahel (PCMS), the Sahel Security College, the G5 Sahel Defense College - to enhance the G5’s role and capacities to pool and multiply national efforts in the fight against common security threats, particularly illicit trafficking.
- Encouraging the implementation of the African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by 2020 in the framework of the G7-AU Initiative on SALW control in the wider Sahel region.
- Promoting enhanced coordination between the EU, including through its civilian crisis management missions (EUCAP Sahel Mali and EUCAP Sahel Niger), INTERPOL and the UN (including UNODC) to help build up more efficient G5 Sahel police and defense capabilities, especially in the context of the G5 Regional Security Cooperation Platform in the Sahel, as well as within the framework of the operationalization of the G5 Sahel Joint Force and of its police component.
- Highlighting the overarching importance of justice as the cornerstone of security, governance and development efforts, with the objective of strengthening national institutions as well as regional cooperation, in particular through revitalizing the West African Network of Central Authorities and Prosecutors (WACAP).
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