The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Leonardo Santos Simão, yesterday concluded a two-day visit to Cabo Verde. The visit undertakes from 12 to 14 July 2023, was part of his regional familiarization tour following his appointment as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel.
During his visit, Mr. Simão was received in audience by the President of the Republic of Cabo Verde, His Excellency, José Maria Neves. He also met the Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, with whom he co-chaired the opening of the 3rd Annual West Africa and Sahel Youth Forum, organized in partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the government of the Republic of Cabo Verde from 13 to 15 July 2023, in Mindelo, São Vicente Island. The Special Representative also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration, Rui Alberto de Figueiredo Soares. He also had a meeting with the United Nations country team.
The various meetings with the Cabo Verdean authorities enabled the Special Representative to take stock of the political and socio-economic situation, and of the means to be put in place to further support development and democracy in Cabo Verde. The meeting with the UN Country Team focused on the Cooperation Framework with the Cape Verdean government.
Mr. Simão praised the Cabo Verdean authorities and people for the progress made in strengthening democracy and good governance, which constitute a solid foundation for lasting peace. He stressed the need to safeguard democratic gains and to act together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He reaffirmed the continued commitment of the United Nations to support Cabo Verde’s efforts towards democracy and sustainable development, and to play a more active role in the sub-region.
Speaking at the 3rd Annual West Africa and Sahel Youth Forum, the Special Representative applauded the mobilization of young women and men and encouraged them to continue their advocacy for a responsible youth involvement in peacebuilding, democracy and development processes in West Africa and the Sahel.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).