Training diplomats from West Africa and the Sahel
07 Oct 2016 - 10:04
Source: Malian diplomats conversing with their Dutch counterpart from the Netherlands MFA

The Clingendael Institute is currently hosting the third edition of the training programme “Regional Cooperation, Peace and Stability” for mid-career diplomats from West-Africa and the Sahel. The programme was developed to foster regional cooperation, as well as relations between the Netherlands and the countries (organisations) involved. It also aims to strengthen the knowledge and professional skills of the participants.

Training in The Hague

For this training programme, Clingendael Academy welcomes fifteen participants from West-Afrika and the Sahel, coming from seven countries in the region and three representatives of regional organisations (ECOWAS and G5 Sahel) .

The four-week program focusses on discussions on importance of regional cooperation to address sources of instability in the Sahel and West Africa and identify strategies to promote peace and prosperity. Bringing participants to The Hague to do so allows for participants to benefit from a neutral environment to foster exchanges and discussions. Moreover, participants are in direct vicinity of international organisations in the international city of law and justice, as well as the proximity of EU and other institutions sieged in Brussels.

Working visits West Africa and Sahel group

Meetings with regional cooperation experts and lectures on the associated topics are complemented by working visits to the many (international) organisations hosted in The Hague or nearby Brussels.

For instance, the group visited :

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the group could gain knowledge of the Netherlands’ policies towards the region and meet their Dutch counterparts.
  • The European Commission: participants gained a better understanding of how the European Union (an example of a high degree of regional cooperation) works and what its policies are towards the region
  • the ACP secretariat in Brussels: participants were briefed and could discuss the relationship between the EU and  ACP countries;
  • The ICC, where participants learned that the ICC is not part of the United Nations system and that an important part of the work of the ICC is the protection of the victims. The recurring question why Africa seems to be targeted by the ICC was addressed, and participants heard that African citizens are prosecuted mostly upon request of states party to the Rome Statute. The situation of Gabon, where the government asked last week the ICC to start a preliminary investigation is an illustration of that fact.

Further advantages of in-house trainings

On top of the wide variety of possible relevant working visits in the vicinity of Clingendael, in-house trainings benefit participants with the possibility to network with diplomats participating in other training courses at the Institute and familiarize themselves with the Dutch culture.

More information?

To find out more about this training course, click here for information about the first and the second editions. For more specific information about this training programme or the added value of in-house trainings, please do not hesitate to contact the course coordinators Ms. Lot Schuringa or Mr. Jan-Willem Pot.