|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Climate Change, Conflict, Poverty Threaten Millions of Africans from Atlantic
to Red Sea, Secretary-General Tells ‘Plenary Session on Peace and Stability’
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) plenary session on peace and stability, in Yokohama, Japan, on 2 June:
Peace and development are mutually reinforcing. This was the message I took to Africa’s Great Lakes region last week with the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim. It was the first-ever joint visit by a United Nations Secretary-General and World Bank President. We were joined by my Special Representative, Mary Robinson.
We went to support the Peace, Security and Cooperation framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region. Dr. Kim and I called for new approaches to break old cycles of violence that have brought terrible suffering to the people of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region.
This means investing in economic development while pursuing peace, human rights and the rule of law. Across Africa we see the same story: sustained peace and good governance bring economic growth and prosperity. I commend Japan for pledging $550 million to promote peace and security across Africa. I encourage other donors to follow this remarkable example.
Today there are fewer conflicts in Africa than in the past. But new threats are emerging. Transnational crime, piracy, terrorism and radicalization are on the rise.
Au Mali, 5 millions de personnes ont été touchées par les combats au nord du pays. Plus de 400,000 ont dû fuir. Le Conseil de sécurité a réagi en créant une nouvelle mission, la MINUSMA, chargée de favoriser un dialogue politique ouvert à tous, de promouvoir la réconciliation nationale, de faciliter l’acheminement de l’assistance humanitaire, de contribuer à la préservation du patrimoine culturel et à la reconstruction et d’appuyer le processus électoral. Nous sommes déterminés à aider le peuple malien à régler les problèmes de sécurité et à instaurer une paix durable.
Nowhere is the nexus between governance, security and development more clear than in the Sahel. Climate change, conflict and poverty threaten millions of people, from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. More than a million children suffer from acute malnutrition. This is a heartbreaking tragedy.
We are doing everything possible to save lives now and to address future needs. We are developing an integrated strategy that deals with all the complex aspects of the Sahel crisis. My Special Envoy, Romano Prodi, is leading these efforts.
The goal is to build resilience, a key theme of this Conference.
Progress in Somalia shows what African partners and the international community can accomplish together. Somalia has now a new, inclusive Parliament and Government, and security is improving. The United Nations will soon launch a new Assistance Mission, UNSOM, to support peacebuilding in Somalia. I hope partners will continue supporting Somalia as it works to consolidate progress and build a federal State.
Africa has valuable security tools, including the African Peer Review Mechanism and the African Peace and Security Architecture.
Regional approaches are essential to stop the spread of insecurity. This is true for the Central African Republic. I am deeply concerned about violence and human rights abuses there.
I welcome the plans of the Economic Community of Central African States to deploy additional forces in the Central African Republic.
And I have called on the Security Council and the international community to help restore security and protect the country’s people.
The threat extends beyond the Central African Republic’s borders. The de facto authorities are struggling to re-establish order and security. Increasingly, the country is an ideal rear base for armed groups.
The situation shows again how the international community must take an integrated approach to security and development — to address the underlying causes of conflict.
Across Africa, we must advance development as the foundation for peace.
I hope our session can look at how to build relationships with the private sector and civil society in Japan to partner with Africa.
For those with vision and courage, the rewards can be extraordinary — especially for the people of Africa.
I count on your strong engagement and leadership.
* *** *For information media • not an official record