The Kingdom of Belgium and the United States hosted a meeting of senior diplomatic representatives from the Small Group of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS on December 2nd in Brussels. Belgian Deputy Prime-Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sophie Wilmès, and U.S. Acting Special Envoy for the Global Coalition, John Godfrey, opened the meeting by updating partners on the continued progress against Daesh in Iraq and Syria, as well as Daesh affiliates and branches around the globe. They also both welcomed Burkina Faso as the 84th member of the Coalition. Special Envoy John Godfrey noted the Coalition’s focus on preventing a resurgence of ISIS Daesh in Iraq and Syria and expressed continued support for leveraging the Coalition’s efforts against growing Daesh threats elsewhere, with a focus on Daesh affiliates in sub-Saharan Africa and in Afghanistan. Italian Senior Deputy Political Director, Luca Franchetti Pardo and Special Envoy Godfrey and announced the establishment of the Coalition’s Africa Focus Group, with Morocco and Niger joining the United States and Italy as the inaugural co-chairs of the group. The Africa Focus Group will enable the Coalition to undertake civilian capacity-building programs to help address the Daesh threat across Africa, and to synchronise those efforts with existing initiatives on the ground. Read the State Department’s Media Note here.