For the last two weeks, Clingendael served as a dialogue platform on regional cooperation, security and stability in West-Africa and the Sahel region. Eight senior diplomats from the region and the Permanent Secretary of the G5 Sahel gathered at our institute to discuss pressing issues that affect the region and how they can tackle them through regional cooperation.
Goal of the training
This programme was designed in order to give high-level officials from West-Africa and the Sahel region the opportunity to exchange expertise, experience and ideas amongst themselves, with (invited) experts and officials from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Criminal Court.
The participants came from Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast and Benin. The themes that were discussed focused specifically on West-Africa and the Sahel region. The following subjects were dealt with:
- security and the role of regional organisations in the field
- combatting terrorism and extremism
- natural resource management
- good governance and democracy
- the role of children and young adults
Part of the training was a visit to the International Criminal Court were the participants had the opportunity to attend a hearing and to meet several high officials. In addition they went to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have “speed date sessions” with Dutch diplomats that deal with their countries and/or important issues for the region, such as migration.
Hope for the future
Even though the challenges that the region faces are complex, the participants focused on the great potential of the region. Throughout the different sessions, the participants emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and regional organisations to tackle the current issues and what lies ahead.
For more information on this specific programme please do not hesitate to contact the course coordinators.