2 April 2014
Secretary-General
SG/SM/15743

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Solidarity Must Guide Actions in Tackling Humanity’s Common Challenges,


Secretary-General Tells European Union-AfRica Summit


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the opening of the fourth European Union-Africa Summit in Brussels today:


Je suis heureux de voir qu’un si grand nombre de dirigeants de toute l’Europe et l’Afrique sont parmi nous aujourd’hui.


Ensemble, vous représentez près de la moitié des Membres de l’Organisation des Nations Unies, et une grande force pour notre progrès commun.


Je vous remercie de vous unir autour du thème de l’investissement dans le capital humain pour la prospérité et la paix.


Plus que jamais, les défis auxquels nous sommes confrontés dépassent les frontières des pays, voire des continents.


Nous avons enregistré de grands progrès et des résultats concrets, obtenus grâce aux partenariats de l’ONU avec l’Union européenne et l’Union africaine. Des millions de personnes sont en meilleure santé, vivent dans un environnement plus sûr et connaissent davantage de prospérité.


Cela étant, celles qui demeurent dans le besoin ou sont laissées pour compte sont encore trop nombreuses.


Au cours de notre première séance de travail, un peu plus tard dans la journée, je m’intéresserai plus particulièrement aux problèmes de paix et de sécurité.


As we advance on peace and security, we also face a crucial moment in our pursuit of economic and social development.  We must accelerate progress while crafting a new sustainable, inclusive agenda for the years ahead.  Both Africa and Europe have shown leadership — including through the European Union’s Council Conclusions on Post-2015 and the African Union’s Common African Position on Post-2015.


We must focus on the vital need to empower women and gender equality, and ensure that the voices of young people are heard.  We must advance on food and nutrition security and ensure that we leave no one behind.  I know these are key elements in your post-2015 work as well as the African Union Agenda 2063.


Of course, we must also address climate challenge, the defining issue of our time.  Raising ambition in 2014 is crucial for arriving at a meaningful climate agreement in 2015.  I invite you all to bring bold announcements and actions to the Climate Summit I will host on 23 September in New York.


I urge European leaders to continue showing the way and agree on a climate package at this June’s Council meeting that confirms a 40 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 and fulfils the European Union’s climate finance commitment to developing countries.  I urge African leaders to reach a common position at the June African Union Summit that shows leadership commensurate with Africa’s growing economic power.


Europe and Africa share proximity and history, ideas and ideals, trade and technology.  You are tied together by the ebb and flow of people.  Migration presents policy challenges, but also represents an opportunity to enhance human development, promote decent work and strengthen collaboration.  Let us stay true to universal values and not succumb to opportunists who seek to divide societies and exploit fears for political gain.  Let us strive to protect the human rights of all migrants, regardless of status or circumstance.


Across the range of our common challenges, solidarity must be our guide.  Let us draw on the collective force of the people of Africa, Europe and around the world — and build a life of dignity for all.


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For information media • not an official record