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DAKAR, Senegal, March 5, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Mr. Said Djinnit, was received on Tuesday, February 4 in Niamey by President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger.

Mr. Djinnit informed the President of Niger about the ongoing consultations with countries and relevant international and regional organizations regarding the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, including on the elaboration of regional and national projects in the three areas defined in the Integrated Strategy namely: the Resilience, Governance and Security.

The SRSG informed the President that these projects will be part of the implementation program of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel during the period 2014-2016. The projects will be submitted for the consideration of a ministerial consultation meeting to be held in Nouakchott in the coming weeks.

The President Issoufou welcomed the adoption of the United Nations Integrated strategy for the Sahel: “The United Nations Integrated Strategy is an appropriate framework to aggregate all initiatives for the Sahel." he said.

The President evoked the G5 summit which was held in Nouakchott on 16 February and expressed hope that the G5 countries are actively involved in the planning of the forthcoming meeting in Nouakchott.

The President Issoufou and Said Djinnit stressed the importance of the Ministerial Coordination Platform on the Sahel which was established last year in November 5 in Bamako during the high-level visit headed by the Secretary-General.

The Special Representative also informed the President of the ongoing efforts towards the implementation of the Technical Coordination Platform on the Sahel whose co-chairmanship was entrusted to the United Nations and the African Union Secretariat. The Ministerial Coordination Platform on the Sahel chaired by Mali will meet in Bamako in April.

The President Issoufou and the Special Representative stressed the need of strengthening the capacities of States in the region and regional cooperation to promote sustainable development and security in the region.

SRSG Said Djinnit took the opportunity to commend the commitment and the active role played by Niger for the development and stability in the Sahel. He, in particular, welcomed the initiative "the Nigerian Nourish the Nigerian" promoted by the Government of Niger that he regarded "as a healthy and hopeful for the people of Niger that the international Community should support strongly and other countries can learn from".

The Special Representative reiterated the United Nations commitment to work closely with the Sahel countries and relevant international and regional organizations to act together for the Sahel.