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Final Communique: Twenty-sixth High-Level Meeting of Heads of UN Peace Missions in West Africa

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At the invitation of Mr. Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), the Heads of the United Nations Peace Missions in West Africa held their Twenty-sixth high-level consultation meeting on 9 May 2014 in Dakar.

The objective of this regular meeting is to review progress in the implementation of the respective UN mandates in the region, to strengthen coordination in order to address common challenges in the areas of governance, decentralization, organized crime, and to examine the prospects of democratic transitions in the West Africa region.

The Heads of peace missions noted the paramount importance of investing in youth, respect for human rights, and fostering a culture of tolerance, inclusion and confidence-building mechanisms for political reconciliation and dialogue, and reiterated the need for respect of constitutional arrangements and the conduct of free and fair elections.

The meeting also emphasized the necessary role of the UN in support of peacebuilding, including through effective security sector reforms. On reforms in Guinea-Bissau, as an example, partners support should focus on integrating aspects that would ensure national stakeholders buy-in, including through incentive packages for reformed military and a transversal reform aimed at state-building. With regard to Cote d’Ivoire, the participants appealed to the international community for financial support to the existing Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration plan.