Mission News

The Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations delivered a statement during the joint meeting of the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission

The Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations, Ambassador Ion I. Jinga,   delivered a statement on Tuesday, 3 December 2019, during the joint meeting of the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding Commission on “The Impact of Cross-border Transhumance on Sustainable Peace and Development in West Africa and the Sahel”.

Pointing out that the linkage between climate change and peacebuilding in the Sahel region was also included in the agenda of the Romanian Presidency of the Commission for Peacebuilding, in 2018, the Permanent Representative of Romania to the UN expressed concern that the relations between pastoralists/herders and farmers – which, in spite of traditional antagonisms, had generally allowed for relatively peaceful transhumance – have deteriorated in recent years, resulting in tensions and violent conflicts.

In this context, he mentioned that these tensions are caused by a convergence of socio-economic factors, such as competition for natural resources, further aggravated by the negative effects of climate change, coupled with triggers of conflict that belong to the security and political dimension, such as increase use of firearms and the presence of armed and violent groups in the region. Accordingly, addressing causes of conflict generated by transhumance requires action on different levels.

First, in order to solve the challenges associated with the security dimension, it is necessary to strengthen national capacities, through the development of mediation structures at the community level and the promotion of conflict resolution mechanisms between groups most affected by conflict, with the full participation of women and young people.

Second, at the regional level, action should be taken regarding the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol on Transhumance, as well as the exchange of good practices and lessons learned between countries in the West Africa and the Sahel.

Furthermore, Ambassador Jinga emphasized that, at the level of the United Nations, coherence and cooperation should be ensured between the Peacebuilding Commission, the Economic and Social Council, the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, but also with international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank. He recalled that this was also one of Romania’s priorities during its Chairmanship of the Peacebuilding Commission in 2018.

Last but not least, for the long term, the Romanian diplomat underlined the importance of formulating and implementing development strategies that address the effects of climate change on the peaceful coexistence of pastoralists and farmers in West Africa and the Sahel.

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