In final stop on Sahel visit Ban pledges ongoing UN support for

During a meeting yesterday in the capital, N’djamena, with President Idriss Déby Itno, the UN chief welcomed Chad’s contribution to United Nations peacekeeping operations, including in Mali.Mr. Ban also hailed the determination of Chad to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers in its armed forces. The two leaders also discussed the worrying security and humanitarian situation in Central African Republic, stressing the need for more international attention to that crisis. They also discussed the implementation of the UN integrated strategy for the Sahel and the assistance which the countries of the region will need to lay the foundations for stability and sustainable development. They agreed on the importance of strengthening cooperation between regional and international partners to meet the common challenges of the Sahel.At this meeting, as he has been the case on other stops during the visit, the Secretary-General was accompanied by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and top officials from the African Union (AU), African Development Bank (ADB) and European Union (EU).“I am pleased to be in Chad, while our visit to the Sahel draws to a close, and to be there in the company of so distinguished a delegation,” said Mr. Ban, adding: “We came to the region to demonstrate our solidarity with the Chadian people and the people of the Sahel and to continue and amplify our joint action.”The Secretary-General also stressed that the United Nations stood ready to support Chad for the preparation of local, legislative and presidential, elections that will be held next year. “I hope that the Independent Electoral Commission will be established as soon as possible to prepare the elections looming. The United Nations is ready to assist Chad in this area and in this area and in any action promoting democracy, development and respect for human rights.”

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