The PCJS meets with G5 Sahel experts and Mauritanian national stakeholders in CT in Nouakchott (March 2019)

Following the 8th Annual meeting of the focal points of the Sahel Judicial Cooperation Platform (PCJS) in September 2018, in Dakar, Senegal, the PCJS focal points and their substitutes met again from 26 to 28 March 2019, in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

The objectives of the meeting were to exchange on recent cases of cooperation between the member countries of the PCJS; to review the constitutive charter and the rules of procedure for possible amendments; to sensitize the Mauritanian magistrates on the usefulness of the PCJS and the importance of international judicial cooperation when dealing with transnational crime cases and to discuss partnership opportunities between the PCJS and the G5 Sahel.

The PCJS focal points took the opportunity to be in Nouakchott, headquarters of the G5 Sahel’s Permanent Secretariat, to meet the Permanent Secretary and experts of the organization, to present the PCJS to highlight the benefits that this Platform, created in 2010, can bring to the G5 Sahel, particularly on issues of judicial cooperation, the conduct of joint investigations and the execution of mutual legal assistance and extradition requests in the Sahel. As a result of this meeting, it was agreed that a technical committee composed of the PCJS focal points and G5 Sahel experts would be set up and explore ways to materialize this cooperation between the regional organization and judicial cooperation mechanism.

A meeting was also organized between the PCJS focal points and prosecutors and investigating judges from Mauritania to promote the use and benefits of the PCJS in handling judicial cooperation requests and discuss pending requests between Mauritania and other Sahel countries. The focal points visited Mauritania’s Specialized Counter-Terrorism Judicial Unit to share experiences and good practices related to the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of terrorism cases.

Mauritania’s focal point expressed its gratitude stating that “thanks to UNODC support, this important meeting confirms the commitment of the countries of the sub-region to fight by all legal means terrorism and organized crime.”

Senegal’s newly appointed focal point stressed the fact that the good professional relationships between the members of the PCJS constitutes an added value to the monitoring of judicial cooperation files and to the spontaneity of the exchanges between the focal points.”

The successful conduct of these two meetings in Nouakchott illustrates the importance of regional judicial cooperation in criminal matters in order to combat terrorism and transnational organized crime and demonstrates UNODC’s willingness to support Member States in achieving the SDG16.

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