Special Rep. of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa confers with President Mahama

Accra, 6 May 2014 – The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for West Africa, Mr. Said Djinnit was received in audience by HE Mr. John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government. On this occasion, the Special Representative congratulated the President on his election as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to continue to support ECOWAS in its efforts to lay a solid foundation for durable peace, security, development and stability in the region. The Special Representative informed President John Dramani Mahama of the excellent working relationship between the ECOWAS Commission and the United Nations.

Mr. Said Djinnit renewed his commitment to continue to partner with ECOWAS on the implementation of the Cross-border Security Strategy for the Mano River region; the inter-regional initiative against piracy and crimes at sea in the Gulf of Guinea; and in the ongoing process of the implementation of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.

The Special Representative and President Mahama also discussed cross-cutting issues such as transnational organized crime, including illicit drug trafficking, violent extremism and terrorism. They exchanged views on the political, social and security situations in the region as a number of countries in West Africa are expected to hold crucial elections in 2015 and beyond. Both President Mahama and SRSG Djinnit stressed the need to ensure that these elections are held in a peaceful environment, while underlining the necessity to consolidate transitional processes and democratic achievements in the region.

The SRSG expressed his outrage on the kidnapping of the more than 200 school girls in Northern Nigeria and the subsequent reported heinous statement of the leader of Boko Haram on the fate of the kidnapped girls. SRSG Djinnit expressed his solidarity with the affected families and with the people and Government of Nigeria. He underlined the importance of regional and international cooperation to fight terrorism.

This press release was issued by the United Nations Office for West Africa.