The International Peace Institute (IPI), the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs co-organized a regional seminar in Dakar, Senegal, on June 27 and 28, 2016. This meeting brought together sixty participants from fourteen countries, including political leaders, members of civil society, and religious and traditional authorities, as well as representatives of the media, the private sector, governments, and regional and international organizations, to explore alternative measures to address the violent extremism affecting the region.
This paper outlines the recommendations agreed upon by the participants with regards to how the UN and its partners could more effectively prevent violent extremism in West Africa and the Sahel-Sahara subregions, in support of national governments and local authorities and communities and with the active participation of citizens. These recommendations include the need to focus on political participation, improved state-citizen relations, and inclusive dialogue as the primary mechanisms for prevention. They also agreed on the importance of local and regional preventive initiatives, and the need for institutional initiatives to prevent violent extremism to build on existing ones at the regional level, while recognizing the central role and responsibility of states in prevention.
To access Investing in Peace and the Prevention of Violence in West Africa and the Sahel-Sahara: Conversations on the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action study kindly follow the link.