United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

12 August 1998


                                                         Original: English
General Assembly
Fifty-third session

      Request for the inclusion of an additional item in the agenda
                      of the fifty-third session

         Causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and
                   sustainable development in Africa

     Letter dated 11 August 1998 from the Permanent Representative of
     Namibia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

     Pursuant to rule 15 of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly,
and in my capacity as Chairman of the Group of African States for the month of
August, I have the honour to request the inclusion in the agenda of the
fifty-third session of the General Assembly of an additional item of
particular importance to African countries, entitled "Causes of conflict and
the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa". It is
proposed that this additional item be considered directly in plenary meetings.

     Should the General Assembly decide to include this important item in its
agenda, and to consider it directly in plenary meetings, it would be desirable
for it to be considered as close as possible to the end of the general debate
of the General Assembly. This is to facilitate participation at a higher level
in the consideration of this item.

     Pursuant to rule 20 of the rules of procedures of the General Assembly,
this request is accompanied by an explanatory memorandum.

                                  (Signed)  Martin Andjaba
                                       Permanent Representative


                          Explanatory memorandum

    Causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable
                          development in Africa

            The Security Council convened at the level of Foreign Ministers on
25 September 1997 to consider the need for a concerted international effort
for the promotion of peace and security in Africa. Among other things, the
Council requested the Secretary-General to submit a report regarding the
sources of conflict in Africa, ways to prevent and address them, and how to
lay the foundation for durable peace and economic growth.

            On 13 April 1998, the Secretary-General issued a report
(A/52/871-S/1998/318) on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable
peace and sustainable development in Africa. This report was subsequently
considered by the Security Council on 28 May 1998, followed by the adoption of
resolution 1170 (1998).

            Furthermore, the above-mentioned report, owing to the fact that it
addresses challenges which exceed the purview of the Security Council, was
submitted among others to the General Assembly for consideration.

            Today parts of the African continent are mired in conflict, which
is hampering development and thus causing immense social strife. Despite the
various efforts put in place by African Governments, the socio-economic
situation in Africa remains precarious owing to a combination of factors,
including unfavourable external economic conditions.

            In addition, a number of international commitments and
undertakings aimed at addressing the root causes of conflict in Africa so as
to ensure long-term stability, peace and sustained economic growth and
development are to a large extent not fully implemented.

            Good governance, which is an important prerequisite for sustained
socio-economic development, is undermined through lost economic productivity,
the destruction of physical and social infrastructure, refugees, environmental
degradation and human suffering.

            Humanitarian assistance is not sufficiently tailored to the
multi-dimensional needs of refugees, especially women and children.

            All these factors, among others, need to be comprehensively
addressed by the international community in order to enhance development in



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Date last posted: 10 January 2000 10:05:30
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