UN’s deputy secretary-general emphasised the “critical importance” of peace and security in Africa, thanking ambassadors in the Security Council for helping the UN raise awareness about the issue and how all Member States can work with the African Union and other regional and sub-regional organisations to make lives safer across the continent.
Amina Mohammed, speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General, drew the Council’s attention to “a number of worrying trends” that Africans face today.
COVID-19, according to the Deputy Secretary-General, has not only hampered the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across Africa, but has also increased poverty, inequalities, and all other drivers of violence. It has delayed peace agreements and conflict settlement by undermining public services, disrupting supply lines, slowing economic activity, and disrupting supply chains.
There has been a rise in power seizures by force and a proliferation of militias across Africa, from a military coup in Sudan earlier this week to the ongoing war in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray area, as well as constant threats of terrorism and violent extremism.
Despite these threatening developments Africans continue to work tirelessly for a prosperous, sustainable, and peaceful continent based on universal human rights principles, as evidenced by growing cooperation between the United Nations, African Union, and sub-regional organizations on sustainable development, elections, and peace processes.
Ms. Mohammed used Libya as an example, where the UN, African Union, League of Arab States, and European Union are all working together to support the ceasefire deal and prepare for the approaching elections.
Other peace initiatives and political transitions in Africa continue to be supported by UN special political missions, peacekeeping missions, and country teams, such as Cameroon, Mali, Somalia, and South Sudan.
All Member States must support the UN’s strong collaboration with the African Union and sub-regional organizations.
She cited Common Agendas to emphasize the importance of rekindling global solidarity in order to create new methods to collaborate for the common welfare of all people in all countries.
She began by stressing the importance of addressing the COVID-19 response in Africa by accelerating vaccine distribution, improving national health systems, and investing in much-needed preparedness.
The deputy UN head underlined the UN’s commitment to sustainable development, highlighting the significance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in their joint efforts.
The deputy UN chief’s final remark was to maintain securing adequate, predictable, and sustainable resources that would bring development, peace, and security missions across Africa to life.
In this context, she emphasised the importance of establishing a single vision, guaranteeing complementarity, and safeguarding investments across the continent through coordinated action across peace, development, and humanitarian approaches.
The UN would “spare no effort to make their relationships more successful to help all Africans build a more inclusive, wealthy, integrated, and peaceful continent” under the direction of Member States.