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Guterres praises UN-AU cooperation; Calls it an ‘asset

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“The strategic cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations is a fundamental asset for the work of the United Nations in the world,” said António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG).

He made the remarks during a joint media stakeout with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Moussa Faki Mahamat, on the eve of the 32nd Ordinary Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa.

Mr. Guterres said a “wind of hope” was blowing across Africa and that “a combination of efforts” by the UN and AU had contributed to the Ethiopia-Eritrea reconciliation and peace agreements in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

This view was also echoed by Mr. Mahamat who said UN-AU relations were “going in the right direction” and that “the partnership is already bearing good fruits.” The AUC Chair added that the two organizations were working for peace and security in other countries like Lybia and Somalia.

Mr. Guterres cited Madagascar, DRC, and Mali where many had forecasted violence and grave tragedy over elections, noting that the post-election situation in those countries was different.” This, he said, makes him “believe Africa is becoming an example where it is possible to solve conflicts, and it is possible to prevent conflicts.”

The UN Chief urged the international community to be mindful of the need for more political will in development cooperation.

“There is no development without peace. More political will is needed to combat climate change. We are losing the race with climate change.”

The UNSG thanked AU for focusing the Summit theme on refugees and displaced persons, pointing out that “Africa is a continent where borders are open for refugees, where refugees are protected.” He highlighted this as “an example of solidarity that the richest countries of the world should follow.”

The SG also praised Africa for handling migration flows in a more humane way than the rest of the world. He said there are “more African migrants in other African countries than in Europe, contrary to what most people think.”

Mr. Guterres ended his remarks with a plea for nations to effectively implement what was agreed in the Global Compact on Migration, stating “we count a lot on African leadership in this regard.”

The two institutions are aligning their development agendas to promote peace and security for sustainable development in Africa.

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