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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Statement

Secretary-General’s remarks at 26th African Union Summit, “2016: African Year of Human Rights”

Addis Ababa, 30 January 2016

Je suis très honoré de participer une nouvelle fois au sommet annuel de l’Union africaine à Addis-Abeba. Comme c’est la dernière que je le ferai en tant que Secrétaire général de l’ONU, l’occasion est d’autant plus importante pour moi.

Ces dix dernières années, l’Union africaine a fait de grands progrès dans la concrétisation de sa vision de paix et de prospérité. L’ONU est fière de vous avoir accompagnés sur ce chemin.

Je me félicite que vous ayez décidé cette année de mettre l’accent sur les droits de l’homme, et en particulier sur les droits des femmes.

Les droits de l’homme sont déterminants pour le maintien de la paix et de la sécurité, la lutte contre l’extrémisme violent et la promotion du développement durable.

Les femmes doivent pouvoir participer pleinement à la vie de la société, notamment aux échelons les plus élevés des structures de l’État et dans le cadre des pourparlers de paix. L’ère de l’exclusion est terminée. Pour changer la dynamique, il faut investir résolument dans l’autonomisation des femmes et l’élargissement des perspectives qui leur sont ouvertes.

Votre Présidente de la Commission, Mme Zuma, incarne brillamment le leadership féminin.

The African Union has made a number of vital commitments on human rights and women’s rights, including the Maputo Protocol on the Rights of Women, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, and the protocol creating the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.

I encourage you to make these real by ratifying them where necessary.

I urge you to move on from setting standards to what I call ‘the three Is’: Implementation, Institution-building and Investment – I repeat again; Implementation, Institution-building and Investment in real change.

This would be a fitting legacy of the African Year of Human Rights. 

The AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan was a particularly significant step. I urge all parties to act on its recommendations and to make greater use of these inquiries to address abuses.

The trial of Hissène Habré in Senegal is a landmark for African justice.

African governments were instrumental in establishing the International Criminal Court—the ultimate guarantor of accountability for the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The ICC is an ally for African victims of these most heinous crimes. I commend those nations that are actively supporting the Court’s vital work and urge all to maintain their commitment to the Rome Statute. Strengthening the court will ensure accountability for victims, in Africa and around the world.

Leaders who stand by while civilians are slaughtered in their name must be held responsible. I am particularly concerned that leaders in South Sudan have again failed to meet the deadline to form a transitional government. Instead of enjoying the fruits of independence, their people have endured more than two years of unimaginable suffering.

In Burundi, I welcome your proposal to deploy human rights observers and to establish a prevention and protection mission. This crisis requires the most serious and urgent commitment from all of us. I applaud you for taking collective responsibility and acting decisively. The United Nations stands ready to support your efforts.

As the Universal Declaration says: everyone, without distinction of any kind, is entitled to human rights.

Peace and security, development, and human rights are won only when we commit to protecting the rights of others, regardless of their colour, religion, ethnicity, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, age, disability, or other distinctions.

This continent has endured discrimination of the worst kind. My dream is that Africa will provide a shining example to the world of tolerance, understanding, and respect for human rights.

Les accords historiques conclus l’an dernier, portant sur le programme de développement durable et les changements climatiques à Paris, représentent une victoire pour tous les habitants de la planète et pour la planète elle-même.

Ils n’auraient pas pu être conclus sans la participation constructive des États d’Afrique. L’engagement de limiter la hausse de la température planétaire est de la plus haute importance pour l’Afrique, le continent qui a le moins contribué aux changements climatiques mais risque d’en pâtir le plus.

Les 17 objectifs de développement durable cadrent parfaitement avec vos propres ambitions, telles qu’énoncées dans l’Agenda 2063.

Mais le plus dur reste à faire: donner effet aux décisions prises. Il faut pour cela que les pays riches s’acquittent de leurs engagements en mettant en œuvre le dispositif de financement du développement adopté ici, à Addis-Abeba. Il faut qu’ils partagent les connaissances et transfèrent les technologies voulues.

Il faut aussi qu’un engagement fondamental soit pris en faveur de la bonne gouvernance et du respect des droits de l’homme.
Cet engagement, nous l’avons vu se manifester lorsqu’il a fallu endiguer l’épidémie d’Ebola l’an dernier.

Les peuples et les pouvoirs publics des pays touchés ont su faire ce qu’il fallait. Les Présidents Condé, Koroma et Johnson Sirleaf ont fait preuve d’une remarquable sagesse politique. Merci beaucoup.

La clef du succès a été la coopération entre le personnel de santé et les populations locales, fondée sur une confiance mutuelle. La sécurité sanitaire repose nécessairement sur des systèmes de santé locaux vigoureux, qui soient capables de résister à des épidémies de maladies mortelles et d’empêcher qu’elles se propagent.

Nous devons rester vigilants et apprendre de cette expérience.

Participation is also crucial, and elections are another test of good governance. Seventeen African countries will go to the ballot box this year in 2016.

Leaders should never use undemocratic constitutional changes and legal loopholes to cling to power. We have all seen the tragic consequences when they do.

Leaders must protect their people, not themselves.

I commend those leaders who committed to stepping aside and respect constitutional term limits. I call on all to follow their example.

The 2030 Agenda promises to leave no one behind, and to help those farthest behind first.

Who are those farthest behind? There are more than 100 million people who are displaced, dispossessed, and in humanitarian crisis. Many live here on the African continent, struggling to survive without the most basic necessities.

The World Humanitarian Summit meeting that will be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 May aims to restore hope and dignity for the most vulnerable. It will address issues from the protection of civilians to humanitarian financing. Please engage with the summit process; your voices need to be heard.

Ultimately, ending these humanitarian needs means preventing and ending conflicts.

The United Nations highly values your greater involvement in mediation and conflict resolution.

In Somalia, I applaud the efforts of AMISOM to stabilize the country and support peaceful elections. In the Lake Chad Basin, I welcome your support for the collaboration between countries affected by Boko Haram’s campaign of terror.

Here and elsewhere, we count on our strong rights-based partnership with African governments to tackle the spread of violent extremism.

Counter-terrorism strategies that lack due process and respect for the rule of law will be counter-productive.

Extremism flourishes when rights are violated, political space shrinks, and people are marginalized and excluded.

Enfin et surtout, je voudrais vous remercier de votre appui inébranlable aux opérations de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies.

L’élaboration du Cadre commun ONU-Union africaine pour un partenariat renforcé en matière de paix et de sécurité sera achevée cette année. Par l’intermédiaire du Bureau des Nations Unies auprès de l’Union africaine, nous travaillons déjà en étroite collaboration avec vous dans les domaines de la prévention des conflits, de la médiation et des opérations de paix.

Nous sommes déterminés à renforcer ce partenariat, tandis que les États Membres étudient les moyens de financer les opérations d’appui à la paix menées par l’Union africaine sur autorisation du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU.

Les contingents africains sont l’épine dorsale de nos opérations de paix. Ils doivent être des modèles de respect des droits de l’homme.

Dialogue between our two Security Councils, our respective Secretariats and troop- and police-contributing countries is critical. There must be a common understanding of the human rights standards under which peace and security operations are carried out. I encourage everyone involved to build awareness and capacity from the start.

We are all deeply ashamed and horrified over the damage that has been done when peacekeepers exploit and abuse vulnerable people. The appalling acts of a few undermine the dedicated work of many. The UN has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse and exploitation. We must all work together to ensure accountability and transparency.

This is my last visit as Secretary-General of the United Nations to the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa. It is a very meaningful moment; and sentimental moment, for me.

Addis Ababa is one of the three cities I have visited most often as Secretary-General.

It has been an enormous privilege to work with the people, the governments and African leaders over the past nine years. I will continue until the end of my term in December. I have travelled to almost every country on the continent – some countries are left that I will try to visit - and met countless inspiring African leaders and citizens. There are too many to mention, but a few stand out in my memory.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I was moved by Denis Mukwege and his work at the Panzi hospital to rescue women victims of terrible sexual crimes.
When Ebola struck, I was impressed by the health workers who volunteered to risk their own lives for their communities. While the world was running away from the virus, they rushed in to help. I particularly appreciate the leadership of the African Union and your extraordinary efforts to mobilize in response to this threat.

I will always be proud of standing with Archbishop Desmond Tutu to denounce all forms of discrimination. And I will cherish in my heart the tributes the world paid to the late President Nelson Mandela.

Madiba left the world an eternal legacy of courage, humanity and mutual respect.

I have seen the wonders of Africa, natural and human, from the spectacular Victoria Falls in Zambia to the champions of democracy in Tunisia. I have seen the bravery of African peacekeepers and the success of democratically elected African leaders.

Thank you very much for your outstanding support to me and the United Nations as we strive together for a better future.

I will continue to give you my strongest support until I leave this privileged position and hand over to my successor.

Let us work together to make this world better for all, for our succeeding generations.
Thank you. Merci beaucoup:


Statements on 30 January 2016