Brussels, Belgium

02 April 2014

Secretary-General's remarks to Working Session on Peace and Security - Fourth EU-Africa Summit [as delivered]

Je vous remercie de me donner l’occasion d’ouvrir notre débat sur la paix et la sécurité.

Si les questions liées à la paix, à la prospérité et aux personnes sont examinées dans des séances de travail distinctes, ce sommet a pour objet de mettre en relief les liens qui existent entre ces questions et d’approfondir les liens entre nos travaux.

Cette première séance se fonde sur un principe fondamental, à savoir que la paix est au fondement du développement, et que l’insécurité compromet le développement.

La situation désespérée qui règne en République centrafricaine est la dernière crise en date à démontrer clairement cette vérité.

La crise a entraîné un recul tragique et grave du développement. Plus de la moitié de la population a besoin d’une assistance immédiate. Près d’un million de personnes ont été arrachées à leurs foyers.

La population a besoin de protection mais l'État ne dispose pas des infrastructures militaires, policières et sécuritaires nécessaires pour s'acquitter de ce rôle essentiel. Une partition de fait s’est subrepticement instaurée.

Il n’y a peut-être pas de défi aujourd’hui qui exige une plus grande coopération entre l’Union africaine, l’Union européenne et l’Organisation des Nations Unies.

Je remercie l’Union africaine et la France de s’employer à rétablir la paix par l’intermédiaire de leurs opérations, MISCA et Sangaris.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am encouraged by the European Union decision to deploy troops.  I urge concerted steps to get EUFOR CAR on the ground as soon as possible

I am confident that the ongoing effort by MISCA will lay the groundwork for a smooth transition to a UN peacekeeping operation.  I count on your full support.

But achieving a sense of security can only be the first step. We must work with all our strength on justice and reconciliation, on creating economic opportunities, and on building lasting, inclusive institutions.


The nexus of peace and development is also at the heart of our cooperation in the Sahel. 

Last November, I travelled there with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the EU Development Commissioner, and the Presidents of the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Peace and development go hand in hand.

Under the leadership of the countries of the region, we have established a novel coordination platform to ensure an integrated response to transnational challenges including organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism.

In the Horn of Africa, co-operation between the European Union, the African Union and the United Nations in Somalia shows how our strategic partnership can pave the way for political, security and development progress.

This is a critical year for Somalia.  I count on your continued support to help the Somali authorities improve security and advance state formation through the constitutional review processes. 

In the Great Lakes region, lack of security sector reform, weak state authority, the presence of armed groups, and interference from neighbouring states are all part of the root causes of the conflict that must be addressed to stop the recurring cycles of violence.

Our combined efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region will be crucial in finding a comprehensive political solution through implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework.

And in South Sudan, I welcome the support of the European Union and the African Union for the people of South Sudan, including through the recent establishment of the AU Commission of Inquiry. 

Turning to Sudan, civilians displaced in the Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile regions are in urgent need of international assistance.  In Darfur, we must intensify cooperation to support the UN-AU Hybrid Mission (UNAMID).  We also must address multiple challenges identified in the recent strategic review of UNAMID – and in the Sudan, we must sustain our political commitment to ensure a constructive dialogue for lasting peace.


Let me conclude with three forward-looking areas of focus for our peace and security work.

First, in a world where we increasingly need to do more with less, we must further explore how we can optimize our cooperation, while always safeguarding the principle of African ownership.

Second, let us focus on early warning and prevention. 

In these efforts, let us keep pushing for the equal and full participation of women to build and maintain African peace and security.

Third, let us strengthen our partnership for the full implementation of the African Peace and Security Architecture.  The United Nations stands ready to provide advice and support to the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for the Immediate Response to Crisis.

As we do, let us keep human rights at the core and ensure that our collective actions are grounded in the principles of the UN Charter and the guidance provided by the UN Security Council and General Assembly.

In a rapidly changing world, there is a hunger for anchors in societies – the anchors of human rights and the rule of law; the assurance that people’s views can be aired openly without fear of reprisal and that government and business operate with integrity and transparency.

All of these are central to the work that brings us together.

So, too, is recognizing the crucial linkages between addressing climate change and building a more peaceful and secure planet.

Together, let us pledge to advance all these goals around the world for peace and security in your regions and our world.

Thank you.