Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you, Assistant Secretary-General Wane, for this important update.
Countering violent extremism and terror across the globe is hugely important for us all. As others have noted this morning, the recent attacks in Burkina Faso and Mali clearly serve to drive this point home. The United States understands the seriousness of the threats in the Sahel region, and we were proud to extend a strong message of support from the Security Council to the G5 Sahel Joint Force, a noble and important regional effort, in UN Security Council Resolution 2359 in June. We also recognize the fundamental importance of achieving political solutions to long-lasting conflicts to better guarantee peace and security in the region, especially in Mali, where signatory parties are not keeping their end of the bargain.
We commend the G5 countries for their sacrifices in countering terrorism in the Sahel, and we thank France for its continued leadership on this vital work and for its own sacrifices. We believe that deepened cooperation among the G5 countries has the potential to improve their security and complement the efforts of the peacekeeping mission in Mali. Toward that end, the United States will continue its longstanding bilateral support to develop and build the capacity of G5 members’ security forces. We will work closely with our partners to find ways to help the G5 force be effective, well-coordinated with other counterterror efforts in the region, and ultimately sustainable.
The United States is eager for opportunities to further coordinate with other donors and the Sahel countries. We look forward to the organization of a donors’ planning conference, where we hope to identify, coordinate, and synchronize assistance to operationalize the force. We believe this approach will achieve greater security – and ultimately the freedom from terror – that the people of the region seek. The United States will continue to work closely with regional stakeholders and partners to make sure the combined international response to this threat is the right response.
In closing, let me reiterate our strong support for the undertaking of the G5 countries. We will continue to stand with you.
Thank you, Mr. President.