On 2 June, Niger, together with the African Union and the European Union, have launched the United Nations Group of Friends of Women of the Sahel on the occasion of an Arria-Formula meeting of the United Nations Security Council.
The goal of the UN Group of Friends of Women in the Sahel is to inform the discourse, policy, and practice on and in the Sahel by furthering the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in development and peace building.
This Group of Friends intends to:
- Provide a space for discussion to address/examine peace, security and development issues pertaining to the Sahel.
- Provide a space to critically address issues pertaining to the Sahel from the perspective of policymakers, civil society actors, scholars, and human rights defenders from the region, particularly women.
- Create an avenue to foster exchange between women of the Sahel and other regions on issues of development, peace and security.
- Ensure that women participate meaningfully, and a gender perspective is included in ongoing national, regional and international initiatives in and on the Sahel.
- Lead and support targeted advocacy on issues pertaining to the Sahel, including by facilitating exchange between women of the Sahel and other regions.
- Support and amplify the work of women from the Sahel in their efforts to build a better present and future for their communities.
- Support resources mobilization efforts for the implementation of national, regional and international initiatives to accelerate gender equality and women and girls empowerment in the Sahel.
- Canvass for international support participation of Sahelian Women and girls in the context of SDGs implementation for the region.
- Advocate for regional and international strategies to cater for the special needs of women and girls as a critical actor in peace consolidation efforts in the region.
Membership to the Group of Friends of Women in the Sahel is open to all UN Member States and Observers. More than 40 countries registered to be members of the Group. The Group also welcomes relevant UN Agencies, regional entities, and other stakeholders of crucial interest including women’s organizations, particularly from the Sahel.
Please see here a press briefing by the Permanent Representative of Niger to the United Nations and the United Nations Special Coordinator for Development in the Sahel on the launch of the UN Group of Friends of Women of the Sahel