At the joint invitation of the Mauritanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, for the sitting Presidency of the G5 Sahel, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell Fontelles, and the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, a ministerial meeting of the International Coalition for the Sahel was held in plenary format by videoconference on Friday, 12 June 2020.
This first meeting of the Coalition, in response to the call from the G5 Sahel countries, brought together around 60 representatives of States and international institutions. The first engagement of the Coalition thus took place in an expanded format, as advocated by the European Union and the G5 Sahel Heads of State during the videoconference of 28 April 2020, which confirmed the joint creation of the International Coalition for the Sahel and the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S).
The participants affirmed their commitment to support the action of the G5 Sahel. Their contribution will be made within the four pillars of the Coalition: counter-terrorism, building the military capabilities of G5 Sahel States, supporting the return of the State and administrations to the territory, and development assistance.
They noted the progress that has been made and ongoing initiatives. These include the implementation of the Priority Investment Program (PIP), the scaling up of the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the launch of the Takuba Task Force, the African union military contribution in the process of being set-up, progress in the peace process in Mali, strengthening of the mandate and geographical scope of the European training mission EUTM Mali, the EU commitment to the redeployment of the State under the P3S, and discussions within the Sahel Alliance on a more integrated territorial approach.
The participants affirmed their shared determination to support the efforts of the G5 Sahel to face persistent challenges and address the root causes of instability: poverty, fragile growth and development and climate change impacts, while respecting human rights and international humanitarian law and protecting the most vulnerable populations.
The general principles of the Coalition were recalled: mobilization and solidarity with the Sahel, mutual accountability, representativeness of each participant, a common and balanced integrated approach across the four pillars, and subsidiarity and complementarity – meaning no duplication or authority over existing initiatives.
As such, the partners agreed that a meeting should be held in a small format in July to prepare for the next ministerial meeting after the summer. Based on the progress of work, the G5 Sahel will, in liaison with the Coalition’s partners, hold an extraordinary summit of Heads of State in 2021.