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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:

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