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Logo of the 2019 Biarritz Summit

Sahel Partnership Action Plan

Biarritz, France, August 26, 2019

1. With considerable human, cultural and natural resources, tremendous opportunities exist in the Sahel. However, the region currently faces acute risks of destabilization, with security crises fuelled by multiple factors of fragility. These fragilities weaken institutions, weigh heavily on the budgets of Sahel States and are reinforced by inequality, extreme poverty and lack of access to basic social services and economic opportunities, especially for young people and women. In addition, long-term trends, including demographic pressure, food insecurity and environmental degradation, aggravate the complexity of the challenges.

2. We recall the primary responsibility of the Sahel States in addressing the most urgent security and development challenges. We commend the efforts of the G5 Sahel States in improving regional cooperation to advance regional peace and security and development and the creation of the Sahel Alliance in 2017. We recognize the need for strong and coordinated support from the international community.

3. We are firmly committed to taking our partnership with the Sahel States one step further. We welcome the fact that all G7 members are now part of this alliance, as either members or observers. We also call upon the rest of the international community, including financial institutions, to intensify their efforts in support of the region. We recall the need for all stakeholders to enhance, coordinate and align their action with the priorities of the G5 Sahel, as appropriate, in its strategy for security and development, keeping in mind the necessary humanitarian-development-peace nexus.

Peace and security

4. We are alarmed by the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation, and in particular by the spread of inter-community violence, in the Sahel region, which has been compounded by growing instability in the Lake Chad Basin. We support the efforts of countries in the region, notably those in the G5, in coming together to address these security and development challenges and remain committed to working with them to improve and better coordinate efforts to enhance their defence and internal security capabilities, including through support for structural reforms of their security apparatus.

5. In this context, we welcome the establishment of a Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel. In a spirit of shared responsibility, this partnership will bring together countries in the region and their international partners. It will aim to identify security needs and increase the effectiveness of domestic defence and internal security efforts, including by improving international coordination, supporting security sector reform and strengthening security forces while enhancing their accountability. Its work will build on the current efforts of international partners and supplement the efforts deployed within the framework of the Sahel Alliance, based on an understanding that both long-term development measures and effective security measures are part of the solution to instability in the region.

6. France and Germany are planning to launch this initiative through an inaugural conference in Autumn 2019.

7. We commend the support provided by international forces such as MINUSMA, European security and defence missions and Operation Barkhane. We welcome a stronger presence of MINUSMA in central Mali in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2480, in support of Malian authorities' efforts to protect civilians, reduce violence, and re-establish State presence and basic social services. We call for the full and effective implementation of the Algiers Accord. We commend the regional peace and security initiatives of the G5 Sahel and we call for the fulfilment of the pledges announced at the International High-level Conference on the Sahel in Brussels on 23 February 2018 regarding continued logistical and financial support to the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

8. We support the implementation of the Dinard Declaration on the Partnership for a Comprehensive and Sustainable Strategy to Combat Illicit Trafficking in the Sahel Region adopted by the G7 Foreign Ministers. We acknowledge the Dinard Declaration on Women, Peace and Security, and in particular women's full and meaningful participation at all stages of peace processes, notably as negotiators, mediators and peace-builders.

9. We stand ready to assist G5 Sahel countries in their work to establish a Strategic Integrated Framework to reinforce the presence of State authorities and access to social services in vulnerable areas, while being fully sensitive to gender and other factors of exclusion and inequality. We encourage the implementation of the African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silence Guns in Africa by 2020, including through appropriate funding by its Member States. As the G7, we will work with the United Nations and INTERPOL in order to provide appropriate support to G5 countries in building more efficient G5 Sahel police and defence capabilities. We highlight the overarching importance of the respect of human rights and the rule of law. Recognizing the terrorist threat in the region, we welcome the G7 Roma Lyon Counter-Terrorism and Anti-Crime Group's focus on these threats and challenges.

Long term development challenges

10. We support the Paris Joint G7 + G5 Sahel Communiqué adopted by the G7 Development Ministers and their G5 Sahel counterparts.

11. We call upon international organizations and financial institutions to intensify their efforts in tackling the root causes of instability in the Sahel. We look forward to a successful Nineteenth Replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA) and Fifteenth Replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF-15), noting with appreciation the enhanced focus on addressing fragility.

12. We recognize the need for more investment in human development in the Sahel with a strong focus on empowering women and girls and targeting the most vulnerable areas. We commend the effort of the World Bank in favour of human development. We welcome the will of G5 members to join the World Bank's Human Capital Project.

13. We acknowledge that the Nutrition for Growth Summit in Tokyo next year will be a crucial moment for identifying key actions to speed up progress against malnutrition. We welcome the adoption of the G7 Framework on Decent Job Creation for Rural Youth in the Sahel. We support facilitating increased access of G5 countries to all available public and private finance.

14. We recognize the importance of innovative financing and we express our support for mobilizing additional resources for development and help increase the impact of existing resources. We encourage the design of a results-based partnership structure in the field of health and human development in pilot countries in sub-Saharan Africa, such as a Development Impact Bond for the management of menstrual hygiene in schools.

15. We welcome the outcomes of the G7 Education and Development Ministers' Meeting. We recognize that improving gender equality in education remains an overarching need. We recall that 3 million children are still deprived of access to primary school in the Sahel region, due in particular to the closure of schools in conflict-affected areas, and that the quality of teaching remains a significant issue. We will continue our engagement in support of education and will encourage partner countries' governments and other donors to join a collective effort in strengthening education systems, thus increasing our coordination and our political and financial support to education, including basic education. We encourage the commitment of G5 Sahel countries for improved education systems and policies, with an emphasis on gender equality, which remains an overarching need.

16. We commit to pursuing our efforts to strengthen quality primary health care in Sahel countries, with a specific focus on gender equality and women's empowerment. We welcome the G7 Primary Health Care (PHC) Universal Knowledge Initiative adopted by the G7 Health Ministers. We reaffirm our commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and look forward to the success of the Sixth Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. We recall our commitment to moving towards achieving universal health coverage according to national contexts and priorities, building resilient and sustainable health systems, in order to be able to reach the most affected communities.

17. We recognize that Sahel countries are particularly vulnerable to shocks, especially with regard to security threats. We underline the importance of strengthening domestic resource mobilization in Sahel countries, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of public spending and public financial management. We intend to continue to work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on how IMF-supported programmes can support this continuum of policy actions in low-income countries and in particular in Sahel countries. We also reiterate our support for the further implementation of the IMF-World Bank Group multi-pronged approach to addressing emerging debt vulnerabilities.

Source: Official website of the French G7 Presidency

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