Wednesday, 21.06.2023 - Thursday, 22.06.2023 - Dakar – SENEGAL

FOURTH EDITION WEST AFRICA DIALOGUE "Nexus of democracy, security, and climate change in West Africa: A plea for inclusive and holistic approaches."

From 21 to 22 June 2023, the fourth annual regional West Africa Dialogue conference was held in Dakar (SENEGAL) under the theme "Nexus democracy, security and climate change in West Africa: advocating inclusive and holistic approaches", organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Peace and Security Competence Centre for Sub-Saharan Africa.

This annual regional meeting of the FES PSCC office brought together experts from various West African countries. In his opening address, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, HEM Sonke SIMON, drew attention to the urgency of the climate situation in relation to security challenges. The workshop provided an opportunity for in-depth reflection on the relationship between democracy, security and climate change, through the various panel presentations and, above all, the ensuing exchanges and discussions. The aim was to come up with concrete answers and solutions to achieve peace and collective security in West Africa, but also to advocate inclusive and holistic approaches to the diverse issues surrounding the nexus of democracy, human security and climate change. To achieve this objective, this 3rd edition saw the participation of researchers, academics, civil society players, of the SDF, mainly from West African countries.

Through the various presentations on five panels and the discussions that followed, this third edition clarified the interactions between climate change, security and democracy, and attempted to provide concrete responses and proposals for strengthening the link between these three themes. This reflects the importance of a holistic approach and the increasingly obvious irrelevance of taking an isolated or fragmented view of the security challenges facing the region. So the central issue was to shed light on the link or 'nexus' between democracy, security and climate change. This is an issue of vital importance, but it is also a complex one, requiring a multi-sectoral approach. Three major constants emerge from the summary of the work. This nexus must be assessed from the strategic point of view, the political point of view and the point of view of the players on the ground. On the first level, the nexus refers to sustainability (sustainable development requirements), on the second level, it refers to the concept of governance and on the third level to the notion of green or ecological citizenship. The experts were unanimous on the fact that, from a strategic point of view, the crux of the problem is the failure to take sufficient account of sustainable development, which constitutes the essential link in addressing the relationship between democracy, security and climate change. Defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs", sustainable development places the relationship between democracy, security and climate change in a forward-looking perspective by emphasising its social and economic dimensions.

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