In an area vulnerable to terrorism and violent extremism, the IPU, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in partnership with the National Assembly of Niger, organized a conference for parliamentarians from the region in Niamey from 12 to 14 June 2019.
Sahel countries are increasingly exposed to insecurity resulting from armed conflict, terrorist activities, illicit trafficking and related crime. Terrorist radicalization and recruitment, especially among youth, are of particular concern in a region where two thirds of the population are under the age of 25.
The conference was the second in a series of capacity-building activities organized by the IPU-UNODC-UNOCT Joint Programme on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism. Since 2017, the programme has been helping parliaments implement IPU resolutions, international conventions, protocols and UN Security Council resolutions related to terrorism.
The Conference was attended by parliamentarians from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Mali, Morocco, Niger and Senegal. Austria, Italy and Kenya participated in the the IPU High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism. Parliamentarians from the ECOWAS Inter-Parliamentary Commission and the African Parliamentary Union, as well as the High Representative of the African Union on Mali and the Sahel, the Special Representative for Counter-Terrorism Cooperation of the African Union, and representatives from the Lake Chad Basin Commission, civil society and victims of terrorism organizations were also present.