UNODC Deputy Executive Director visits Dakar to discuss security challenges in the region

For his first mission to Senegal, on 27 and 28 March 2017, Mr. Aldo Lale-Demoz, UNODC Deputy Executive Director (DED) and Director of the Division for Operations met with Ministers and UNODC's main international partners to discuss security challenges, and review UNODC's contribution to enhance Senegal's and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Member States' capacities to counter transnational organized crime and terrorism.

West Africa is still extremely vulnerable to specific security challenges, in particular because of its geographical location, halfway between South America and Europe, as well as the length of its coastline and the high porosity of its States' borders.

The main current threats include the use of the region as an origin, transit and destination area for drug trafficking and consumption; the rise of terrorist groups (notably Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb); the trafficking in persons, firearms, cigarettes and counterfeit medicines; the smuggling of migrants and finally maritime crime and piracy. Senegal is one of the countries which is particularly confronted to drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants, corruption and trafficking in persons, notably on the issue of "talibés".

H.E. Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo, Minister of the Interior and of Public Safety shaking hands with UNODC DED M. Aldo Lale-Demoz

In this context, M. Aldo Lale-Demoz met the Ministers of Interior and Health as well as the Chief of Cabinet of the Minister of Justice of Senegal to discuss the current situation and Senegal's efforts regarding these issues.

The DED congratulated Senegal for its position as an exemplary and leading country in the region, particularly for the improvement of the protection of its frontiers and capacities to prevent drug trafficking and for the development of drug dependence treatment services, inexistent in West Africa until then. He also praised the numerous actions taken by the Government in order to avoid terrorist attacks, including by acting on the prevention of radicalization as well as de-radicalization in prisons.

Furthermore, the DED met major international stakeholders such as Ms. Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, and Representatives of the United States, of Japan and of the Netherlands. He reminded them of the compelling need for and importance of their support to implement UNODC's activities in the region under the aegis of the UNODC Regional Office for West and Central Africa (ROSEN).

ROSEN continues to respond to the challenges in the region, and particularly to the call for support from the ECOWAS through its Regional Programme for West Africa (2016-2020). Its overall objective is to contribute to and support the efforts of West African States, as well as those of regional organizations and civil society, to respond to evolving human security threats and promote the rule of law and good governance.


H.E. Dr Awa Marie Colle Seck, Minister of Health and UNODC DED M. Aldo Lale-Demoz
holding a copy of UNODC's Regional Programme for West Africa (2016-2020)

For more information:

UNODC Regional Programme for West Africa (2016-2020) -( French ;  Portuguese)

Executive Director remarks at the launch of the Regional Programme for West Africa

ECOWAS Support Project

The Sahel Programme