The G5 Sahel strengthens information exchange in the region

This activity was financed by Denmark and the Netherlands

The resurgence of terrorist attacks in the Sahel reflects the intensification of this threat in the region. The exchange of information between the  G5 Sahel countries is therefore essential to combat this scourge and support the implementation of new national and regional security measures.

As part of its mandate and in collaboration with the G5 Sahel, the European Union and the German agency GIZ, UNODC organized a meeting on mechanisms and norms for information exchange within the Security Cooperation Platform (PCMS) of the G5 Sahel, in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on 24 and 25 October 2017.

The main objective of this meeting was to define and organize an institutional mechanism for information exchange within the G5 Sahel and to adopt a number of norms guaranteeing both security and confidentiality.

The second objective of this meeting was the validation of a proposal drafted with the support of UNODC, on the institutionalization of the national platforms of the PCMS within the administrative orders and legal frameworks of each G5 Sahel country. Participants discussed and agreed on each article, so the text would reflect the visions and concerns of the five countries. It is expected that this text will then be adapted by each country to its own legal architecture, to enable it to be adopted as soon as possible.

Group photo taken during the meeting in Nouakchott

During the opening ceremony, the G5 Sahel Defense and Security expert, General Mohamed Znagui, welcomed the presence in a same room of representatives of each PCMS, as well as the G5 Sahel focal points in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The PCMS regional coordinator, Commissioner Denna, also present during the two days of meetings as moderator, led the discussions and enabled the meeting to achieve its objectives.

This meeting was an opportunity for UNODC to present a secured communication software to its G5 Sahel partners and other international actors, and to train the PCMS staff present on its use. It was agreed that this secured communication system should coexist with Interpol's I-24/7 system, to which the PCMS is currently being connected. Thus, the G5 Sahel PCMS can be fully operational and effective.

On the second day of the meeting, with the help of representatives of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Mauritania, of the G5S EU project for security in the Sahel (CIVIPOL), as well as of the German Police Cooperation Project (GIZ) agreed on recommendations issued to the G5 Sahel's home Ministries and other relevant Ministries, the G5 Sahel Permanent Secretariat, as well as the national platforms themselves.

A second follow-up meeting is scheduled to take place in the coming months, so that G5 Sahel PCMS staff can agree on the best ways to standardize information exchange, while respecting the norms approved during the first meeting.

Established in February 2014 by the Heads of State of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad, the G5 Sahel's main objective is to coordinate the development and security policies and strategies of the five States. UNODC has established a close partnership with this institution to support the design and operationalization of its security architecture.

This meeting is a concrete example of this partnership, delivered through the UNODC Sahel Programme, which aims to promote capacity building in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime by the authorities of the region through accessible, effective and accountable criminal justice systems. This partnership between UNODC and the G5 Sahel is made possible thanks to the support of Denmark and the Netherlands.

For more information:

The G5 Sahel

UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

Contribution of UNODC to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

UNODC Sahel Programme