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Video Message to Mark the 20th Anniversary of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa

New York, 6 December 2012

Esteemed Ministers,
Excellencies,
My Dear Friends,

I am very sorry that I can’t be with you in person today to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa.

At the onset of my remarks, I would like to thank the Republic of the Congo for its leadership, and for hosting the ministerial meeting that has brought you together today in Brazzaville.

I hold Africa very close to my heart. In my previous capacity, I was privileged to travel to the Continent on close to 40 different occasions for bilateral visits or to attend summits of the African Union.

As President of the UN General Assembly, I look forward to returning soon. I hope to visit a number of countries belonging to the Economic Community of Central African States before the completion of my term of office.

For me, Africa is a place of enormous potential and a grand symbol of endurance. It has shown great determination to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, including centuries of exploitation unique in the annals of human history.

I am proud to acknowledge the role of the General Assembly in the establishment of UNSAC a body which has over the years helped to develop a number of initiatives that have now come to be an integral part of the peace and security architecture of Central Africa.

The United Nations in large part thanks to the hard work of the Secretary-General and his Special Adviser on Africa has become a key partner in working to achieve security across the continent.

With all due respect to existing efforts to ameliorate the multiple crises in the region, I do not think that we are devoting enough resources to address the complex challenges facing your part of the world.

I believe that ensuring Africa’s security should be a strategic task for the entire United Nations System.

The UN’s agencies, programs and entities need to become engaged as never before in supporting African nations to unlock their full potential.

Excellencies,

I have chosen “bringing about adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means” as the overarching theme for the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I believe your invaluable efforts to promote peace and stability in the region resonate fully with this premise.

Indeed, UNSAC is an excellent platform for moving forward together the UN and the Economic Community of Central African States.

The Community has established itself as a credible partner by providing a realistic vision and policy framework for your region’s security.

As President of the General Assembly, I attach great importance to efforts of regional and sub-regional organisations such as yours in the maintenance of peace and security in their respective regions.

These efforts are consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, which recognizes the importance of forging partnerships and cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations.

Excellencies,

I am hopeful that your ministerial meeting will give rise to concrete measures that will help to reduce violence and bring lasting peace and security to your nations.

I therefore encourage the countries of the Economic Community of Central African States to continue to use the Standing Advisory Committee as a mechanism for building confidence, and as a forum for exchanging views on various issues. The General Assembly will continue to support your endeavors.

I wish you every success in your deliberations, and look forward to working closely with you in the time ahead.

Thank you very much for your attention.


 

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