CLOSING SPEECH BY HE PROF. ROBERT DUSSEY, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, REGIONAL INTEGRATION AND TOGOLESE ABROAD
Lome, March 06, 2022
Honorable Minister of Primary, Secondary, Technical and Crafts Education, President of the University of Lomé,
Mr. Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme,
Mr. Director General of the National School of Administration,
Ladies and gentlemen representatives of international organizations,
Ladies and gentlemen experts, in your respective ranks and titles,
Ladies and gentlemen,
“It is by delaying his conclusions, even when they seem obvious to him, that a thinker progresses”, writes Albert CAMUS in Carnets II . If Albert CAMUS is right, it is also true that everything has an end in the spatio-temporal framework. The work of the symposium on “the management of political transitions and the strengthening of resilience in the face of violent extremism – the case of West Africa” that we started yesterday ends today.
This symposium requested by the President of the Republic and organized by my department was intended to encourage exchanges between high-level experts on issues as essential as the management of political transitions and the worrying question of violent extremism which, more than ever, threatens our populations and the stability of the States of the Sahel and the whole of West Africa.
The news of recent days confirms, with Cartesian certainty, the extreme fragility of international peace and security and the urgent need to anticipate their breakdown through preventive and more active diplomacy which draws its resources in this kind of meetings where experts, on specific issues, give their opinions and views of informed actors without passion, but with reason, realism and pragmatism.
The quality of the experts who took part in this symposium, the diversity of their fields of research and intervention as well as the richness of the debates enabled us to approach the various themes proposed, in a holistic and complementary way, with a view to better understanding the root and multidimensional causes of the fragility of political systems in West Africa with, as a corollary, the spread of extremist discourse within our populations whose ancestral culture has always been characterized by tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
Allow me, in this respect, to thank you very sincerely for agreeing to arrange your agendas, despite the health crisis, with a view to responding to our call for contributions, thanks to your experiences, to building more peace and better thought out, participatory and shared political governance in the service of the general interest in West Africa. By taking part in this work, you have taken sides for the stability of our region and agreed to make your contribution to the effort to preserve and build peace in West Africa. Peace in Africa depends on the pacification of our regions and you have all understood this well.
This symposium, whose work was organized around three main Panels, enabled us to understand and grasp all the possible connections between violent extremism and political transitions, the evolution of security dynamics and the issues of building peace. State and integration processes in Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The conclusions of our work rightly highlight, in addition to the need to give greater credibility to our political institutions, the essential role of religious and opinion leaders, civil society and other components of society, in particular young people in the debates on the major issues concerning our States and the strengthening of the West African security system.
I would like, in this logic, to welcome the relevant recommendations that have been formulated following the analyzes and constructive debates that have taken place since yesterday. Without enumerating them all, I particularly welcome proposals aimed at consolidating States, taking into account endogenous and cultural realities in the transition process, or even the establishment within decision-making bodies of centers of intelligence and strategic thinking
All these recommendations, each salutary and timely, constitute valuable contributions which will serve as the basis for the work of the next international conference in Lomé on “Political transitions and the fight against terrorism in the Sahel and West Africa planned for April 21, 2022. In times of turmoil and uncertainty like the one our West African region finds itself in today, there is urgency of thought and you have helped meet this challenge during our two days of work.
I would like, in conclusion, to renew the deep gratitude of the highest Togolese authorities to all the participants in this symposium and to express the wish that the important recommendations resulting from our work will be used to find appropriate solutions for lasting peace and stable institutions. in the countries of the West African region and beyond.
I declare the work of this symposium closed, wishing you a good return to your respective countries, waiting to meet again very soon.