International Conference on the Accra Initiative
We "need to ensure a consistent response that combines the military approach with long term interventions aiming to address the governance deficits noted in affected communities" says DSRSG BIHA at the International Conference on the Accra Initiative
During the International Conference on the Accra Initiative, held in Accra, Ghana from the 21-22 November under the theme, “Accra Initiative: Towards a Credible, Preventative and Coordinated Response to Challenges Facing the Coastal and Sahelian States”, Deputy Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Giovanie BIHA, stressed the importance of continued cooperation to combat terrorism and transnational organized crime, and reiterated UNOWAS support.
Under the chairmanship of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana, the International Conference on the Accra Initiative took place to draw the attention of the international community to the security challenges facing the region, showcase the Accra Initiative as a responsive mechanism to such challenges and to share lessons learned from previous interventions in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in the sub-region. Two meetings were planned. The ministerial meeting on 21 November, focused on a report developed in the technical meeting a few days prior, on the 17 and 18 of November. The report considered current security challenges facing the region, how to build coordinated resilience, the need for partnerships with border communities, how to combat terrorism financing and opportunities and achievements made so far – all within the context of the fight against violent extremism, terrorism and transnational organized crime in West Africa and the Sahel. During the ministerial meeting these issues were presented and deliberated on, which was followed by the adoption of the technical report.
During the meeting, Ms. Giovanie BIHA underlined the need for, "continued cooperation and collaboration between member states" to combat violent extremism, terrorism and transnational organized crime. She further emphasized the "need to ensure a consistent response that combines the military approach with long term interventions aiming to address the governance deficits noted in affected communities" and reiterated "the support of the United Nations to the Accra Initiative".
The Conference of Heads of State and Member State Governments occurred the following day on 22 November and featured a report of the previous day’s proceedings along with successive interventions and solidarity messages from key stakeholders and strategic partners of the Initiative. Representing UN Secretary General Guterres, Mr. Parfait Onanga, SRSG to the United Nations Office of the African Union, contributed towards the interventions, reaffirming the Secretary General’s support for the Accra Initiative.
The summit concluded with the Heads of State and Governments, recommending that within the Framework of the Accra Initiative, concrete actions, specifically fundraising-related, be taken to support the countries severely affected by terrorism while commitments were reaffirmed to mobilize the necessary indigenous resources to operationalize within a month, the Multinational Joint Task Force of the Accra Initiative (MNJTF/AI).
UNOWAS, in coordination with its partners, will continue to support the Accra Initiative as an African-led, regional effort towards long-term stability and reaffirms its commitment to strengthening security and improving cooperation across West Africa and the Sahel.