The United Nations and INTERPOL to strengthen collaboration in West Africa

13 February 2012

LYON, France - The Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for West Africa, Said Djinnit today met with Ronald K. Noble, the Secretary General of International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to discuss issues of common concern in West Africa.

The discussion covered a range of cross-border issues such as transnational organised crime including illicit drug trafficking and the proliferation of weapons in West Africa and in the Sahel Region as well as piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Meeting at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France the two Officials stressed the importance of joining efforts to efficiently address the increasing complexity of transnational organized crime which seriously threatens the stability of the sub-region and is an impediment to its development.

They also highlighted the key role of INTERPOL’s expertise in information sharing through high-tech infrastructure to enable national police services to work together.

In this regard, they reviewed the latest achievements and challenges of the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) aimed at combatting illicit trafficking and organized crime in the sub-region. This joint UN/INTERPOL project was launched in 2009 to support the Regional Action Plan of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to address the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa.

The two Officials reiterated their commitment to strengthen their collaboration in support to ECOWAS efforts to make West Africa a safer place.