UN chief calls for ‘collective, comprehensive, coordinated’ response to African woes

news-image

Addis Ababa - The challenges facing African nations are “complex, multi-faceted and far-reaching" but a “collective, comprehensive and coordinated” response by the global community will build on the momentum that already exists to help the continent thrive, the UN chief told the African Union Summit on Sunday. 

Secretary-General António Guterres told the annual gathering of 55 African nations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, that the strategic partnership between the UN and AU is “of paramount importance” and he was deeply committed to the principle that Africa’s challenges can only be solved through African leadership. 

Three urgent challenges 

There are three main challenges “of particular urgency” facing the continent, said the UN chief, highlighting first, making inroads against poverty through the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which dovetails with the AU’s own drive towards Africa’s Agenda 2063. 

The drive for sustainable development has yielded significant improvements, with rising living standards, better access to quality education, healthcare and services, “but progress remains slow and uneven when it comes to ending poverty and ending exclusion”, said Guterres. 

Fair globalisation 

Calling for fairer globalisation, he said African nations were working to eliminate corruption, reform taxation systems, governance and institutions, but it was up to the international community to “complement these efforts with much stronger determination", including fighting illicit flows of capital. 

Gender equality and gender parity are also key, he added, noting that “peace, social cohesion and sustainable development require women’s contribution and leadership”. 

Engaging and empowering youths is also necessary, he said. “I am inspired by young people across Africa who have become advocates for peace through dialogue and addressing the root causes of conflict.” 

Climate crisis 

Turning to the climate crisis, he said Africa was the least responsible for accelerated global warming, but “among the first and worst to suffer”. 

The Secretary-General commended Africa’s “longstanding moral and political leadership on the climate emergency.” 

“I’m proud to see that stronger ties between the AU and the UN are delivering positive results.
I’m committed to continue strengthening our partnership – based on shared values and mutual respect.

 “Last year was devastating, along with the destruction of cyclones Idai and Kenneth, there are numerous under-reported climate-linked crises from the Sahel to Zambia, from Kenya to Madagascar,” he added. 

A climate-related locust infestation is causing misery across vast swathes of East Africa and addressing climate-related security risks in the Horn of Africa, Central Africa and the Sahel, must be a priority. 

“We need more ambition on mitigation and, especially for Africa’s sake, more ambition on adaptation and financing to build resilience of African countries and communities and allow for effective recovery and reconstruction.” 

‘Silencing the Guns’, beating terrorism together 

Heralding the successes of UN-AU partnership through the Union’s “Silencing the Guns” initiative, the UN chief said joint efforts had advanced peace, most notably in the past few months in the transition to democratic governance in Sudan. 

At the core of the third urgent challenge facing African countries and the UN together, he said that continuing with the UN’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative (A4P) was essential, given the limitation of traditional peacekeeping “particularly where there is no peace to keep, as we see in the Sahel.” 

He reiterated his view that “we increasingly need peace enforcement and counter-terrorism operation implemented by the African Union and supported by the UN.” 

“It is obvious for the G5 Sahel today, but also for the larger coalition, that we will have to build to beat terrorism in Africa. The lack of support of the international community is clear today in the Sahel and Lake Chad. 

“The whole region has been imperiled by terrorism,” said Guterres, against the backdrop of rising extremist violence and transnational crime across the vast, porous borders of the Sahel region. 

“Thousands have been killed and countless more continue to suffer. In Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, the increasing number and complexity of terrorist attacks on both civilian and military targets demonstrate the need for a more robust and integrated response with a focus on cross-border issues.” 

‘The Africa we want’ 

Collective action is required at the borders of those Sahelian countries where the state needs to be strengthened, he added, and where public social services “are cruelly lacking”. 

“Through combined efforts, coordinated approaches and renewed commitment to multilateralism,” said the Secretary-General, “we can continue Africa’s undoubted upward momentum. 

“I reiterate my full commitment to continue working closely with you to ensure we achieve the Africa we want as set out by Agenda 2063 and truly silence the guns forever.”  - UN News.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Comments

image

Poachers have broken into Botswana’s p Read more...

10 Aug, 2018 at 01:58 PM

image

In a sign that Botswana is likely to cli Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 09:26 AM

image

DAR ES SALAAM - DIRECTIVES on online for Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 01:24 PM

image

Gaborone - Poachers have broken into Bot Read more...

04 Feb, 2019 at 07:35 AM

image

SADC leaders meeting in Tanzania this we Read more...

19 Aug, 2019 at 01:51 PM

image

Breaking News!! Harare - Zimbabwe will g Read more...

27 Mar, 2020 at 08:14 PM

image

Windhoek - The aviation and tourism indu Read more...

27 Mar, 2020 at 12:55 AM

image

Gaborone - Hundreds of jobs are at risk Read more...

27 Mar, 2020 at 12:51 AM

image

Maputo – The Mozambican Defence and In Read more...

27 Mar, 2020 at 12:43 AM

image

Windhoek - The relationship between Sout Read more...

27 Mar, 2020 at 12:39 AM

image

Lusaka - Amid myriad criticisms from soc Read more...

14 Dec, 2018 at 06:28 AM

image

Ntcheu - Malawi’s king, Paramount Chie Read more...

08 Nov, 2019 at 09:15 AM

image

South Africa’s ruling African National Read more...

20 May, 2019 at 03:25 PM

image

Heads of state and ministers who travell Read more...

30 Jul, 2018 at 02:01 PM

image

Windhoek - The European Union National I Read more...

01 Apr, 2019 at 12:33 PM