Franco-Finnish Seminar on Sahel

By invitation only
Pekka Haavisto / Photo: Juho Hynynen Pekka Haavisto / Photo: Juho Hynynen
Oumar Dauo / Photo: Juho Hynynen Oumar Dauo / Photo: Juho Hynynen
Ambassador Jacques Maillard / Photo: Juho Hynynen Ambassador Jacques Maillard / Photo: Juho Hynynen
Pekka Haavisto & Manuel López Blanco / Photo: Juho Hynynen Pekka Haavisto & Manuel López Blanco / Photo: Juho Hynynen
Ambassador Eric Lebédel / Photo: Juho Hynynen Ambassador Eric Lebédel / Photo: Juho Hynynen
Audience / Photo: Juho Hynynen Audience / Photo: Juho Hynynen
Kirsti Kauppi / Photo: Juho Hynynen Kirsti Kauppi / Photo: Juho Hynynen

Tue 29.11.2011 at 9:30-12:00
Auditorium of the Finnish Parliament (main building)
Mannerheimintie 30, Helsinki

Destabilising factors in the Sahel-Sahara region impact widely on the situation throughout Northern and Western Africa. This region forms the southern neighbourhood of Europe. Social, political and geographical characteristics of the Sahel have enabled the Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to gain a foothold and become stronger. The recent developments in Libya have increased the urgency to counter the proliferation of arms and explosives. Threats faced by the Sahel call for a reconsideration of the approach by the EU and other international partners to the region, particularly in the areas of development cooperation, support to democracy and human rights, and combating terrorism. The focus has been especially on the most affected states of Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Algeria.

Among the key questions are:

How to ensure that the challenges in the areas of security, development and human rights are addressed in a coherent manner?

How to assist the governments of fragile states to exercise their sovereignty effectively so that they can counter extremist groups whose financial resources are increasing considerably?

How can Europeans best facilitate effective regional cooperation?

Eminent experts from EEAS, France and Finland will provide their answer to these questions.

9.30-9.45
Introduction
Mrs Kirsti Kauppi, Director General, Department for Africa and the Middle East, Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Mr Eric Lebédel, Ambassador, Embassy of France in Finland
Mrs Teija Tiilikainen, Director, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs

9.45-10.15
EU strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel: introduction, implementation, current situation in the Sahel region
Mr Manuel López Blanco, Senior Sahel Coordinator, Director for West and Central Africa, European External Action Service

10.15-10.45
A French View on Security and Development issues in the Sahel: how France has been deeply concerned by the situation
Mr Jacques Maillard, Ambassador for Sahel

10.45-11.15
A Finnish Perspective to the Security and Development issues in the Sahel
Mr Pekka Haavisto, Member of the Parliament, Special Representative of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland in African crises specializing in Sudan and Somalia

11.15-12.00
Panel discussion
Special remarks by Mr Oumar Daou, Permanent Representative to the United Nations of Mali

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact:
Annina Aalto, tel. +358 9 432 7710, annina.aaltofiia.fi or
Iina Peltonen, tel. +358 9 160 56645, iina.peltonenformin.fi