West Africa: Investing in peace

The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the International Peace Institute (IPI) and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of the Swiss Confederation, organised a high-level meeting on the theme "Investing in peace and the prevention of violence in West Africa and the Sahel-Sahara" from 27 to 28 June in Dakar. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the causes of violence in West African societies and to identify ways to address them. About 50 experts, representatives of international and regional organisations, government officials and members of civil society from West Africa, the Sahel and North Africa took part in the discussions. Sharing testimonials of their experiences on the ground in the Sahel-Sahara, the participants stressed the need to create alternatives to violent extremism by focusing on responses that promote political, economic and social inclusion, in accordance with the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General's Action Plan for the prevention of violent extremism.