Africa is “on the move and on the rise” with communities coming together to resolve their problems and offer mutual support, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said.
Guterres, while addressing the inaugural Africa Dialogue Series at the UN Headquarters, in New York, urged collaboration among African countries for better future.
The UN chief urged everyone with a stake in Africa’s success to seize the new opportunities and work together with people on the continent for the common good.
He, however, said alongside the progress and resilience, on the back of stability and improved governance, parts of Africa remained fragile with challenges to overcome.
The two-day series focused on the nexus between peace, security, human rights, humanitarian and development in the continent, and replaced Africa Week, which was launched in 2010.
Guterres said: “The volatility of financial markets, the looming trade conflicts, and high levels of debt in some countries are causing concern over economies that may be vulnerable to shocks.
“The widening impacts of climate change will create additional strains in the years ahead.
“Inclusive, sustainable development in Africa is a goal unto itself. It is also a leading tool to prevent conflict and crises.”
On sustainable development, the Secretary-General noted the synergies between the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AU’s Agenda 2063.
On the UN-AU partnership on peace and security, Guterres cited examples from the Central African Republic and South Sudan where UN is working closely with African-led initiatives.
He said: “I will continue to advocate strongly for predictable, sustained and flexible financing for AU-led peace support operations authorised by the Security Council.
“These operations are contributing to global security and deserve multilateral support.”
Briefing on the theme of the dialogue and expected outcomes, Bience Gawanas, the UN Special Adviser on Africa, said the Dialogue “bears testimony of the desire to engage with the UN to realise a prosperous and peaceful Africa”.
“Africa is changing and it is seeking to achieve peace, prosperity and socio-economic transformation,” Gawanas said.
María Espinosa, the President of the 73rd Session of the General Assembly, highlighted the central role of Africa in the multilateral system.
Espinosa highlighted the importance of stronger and more collaborative efforts between the AU and the UN, saying such efforts will strengthen multilateralism.
She also noted the revitalisation processes at the two institutions and expressed hope that the end result will allow them to “work together on behalf of all people”.
Similarly, Inga King, the President of the Economic and Social Council, underlined the importance of synergies between UN’s 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 of the AU.
“The Economic and Social Council has an important role to play in sustaining peace and promoting sustainable development in Africa,” she said.
King noted the body’s collaboration with other entities of the UN system and beyond.
Also speaking at the Dialogue, Sacha Llorenty, the Permanent Representative of Bolivia and the President of the Security Council for the month of October, spoke of the link between peace, security and development.
Llorenty also said that partnerships were critical to overcome challenges in the continent, as illustrated by the G5 Sahel Joint Task Force and the UN-AU Mission in Darfur.