Africa is ‘on the rise’, says UN chief Guterres

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

AFRICA is ‘on the move and on the rise’ with communities coming together to resolve their problems and offer mutual support, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted on Wednesday.

He 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.

However, alongside the progress and resilience, on the back of stability and improved governance, parts of Africa remain fragile with challenges to overcome, said Guterres, addressing the inaugural Africa Dialogue Series at the UN Headquarters, in New York.

The two-day series focuses on the nexus between peace, security, human rights, humanitarian and development in the continent. It replaces Africa Week, which was launched in 2010.

‘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,’ he said.

‘Inclusive, sustainable development in Africa is a goal unto itself.  It is also a leading tool to prevent conflict and crises,’ added the UN chief.

On sustainable development, the Secretary-General noted the synergies between the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the AU’s Agenda 2063, and said that the policies and approaches two organizations ‘are more closely aligned [today] than ever before.’

Turning to 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.

‘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,’ he said.

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