The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Mohamed Ibn Chambas has welcomed the signing by stakeholders of a joint declaration for the successful holding of presidential, legislative and local elections in Niger on December 27, 2020.“Stressing the importance of the role to be played by all stakeholders to maintain a peaceful atmosphere and make these elections a national success, the Special Representative congratulated the stakeholders for adopting the joint declaration, as well as the signing of the code of good conduct for the media,” UNOWAS reported.
Mr. Ibn Chambas said “our concerns must also include the fate of the communities, whose democratic aspirations are also combined with the very concrete difficulties currently encountered: insecurity, population displacement, crop hazards, bad weather and floods.”
During his statement at the opening of the forum organized with the support of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union (EU), the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) and the Hans Seidl Foundation, Ibn Chambas said that “despite the significant security, humanitarian and health challenges facing Niger, the country has the opportunity to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, a democratic handover that will consolidate the gains achieved in recent years.”
To this end, the forum aimed to facilitate dialogue between political parties, heads of national institutions, opinion leaders (religious, traditional and customary leaders), independent personalities, leaders of civil society organizations, leaders of women’s and youth associations, and professional media organizations.
It was also intended to sensitize them on the challenges of organizing credible, inclusive and peaceful elections, with a view to consolidating democracy and contributing to peace, security and stability in the country.