The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El-Ghazouani, current Chair of the G5 Sahel, co-chaired the high-level video conference on 30 November 2020. The Secretary General of the United Nations and the African Union Commission Chairperson also participated.
The video conference is a follow-up to the one held on 28 April 2020. Participants took stock of the implementation of the commitments adopted on that occasion, on the fight against terrorism, in strengthening security and defence capabilities in the G5 Sahel countries, in restoring state presence and basic services in fragile areas throughout the territory, and in increasing development efforts.
The video conference also addressed the issue of COVID-related debt relief, in particular following the European Council's commitment at its 15-16 October 2020 meeting to further international debt relief for African countries within the relevant multilateral frameworks.
During the video conference, President Michel said: "Debt relief is part of the response to the COVID-19 crisis. I have referred the matter to the members of the European Council, which has committed itself to advancing, in a coordinated manner in the relevant multilateral fora, international efforts to relieve the debt of African countries".
The video conference was also an occasion to hear G5 Sahel Leaders' views and input in the context of the forthcoming revised EU Strategy on the Sahel. Participants marked their ongoing commitment to continue working together to address the challenges facing the region.
The European Union remains a major partner of the Sahel countries.
This follow-up video conference demonstrated the continued importance that the European Union attaches to this partnership.