Although some African countries are striving to overcome conflict and foster economic, social and infrastructural developments, the challenge of conflict still remains in most African countries, something that UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed on March 23, 2019, urged African leaders at the 20th Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism of Africa (RCM-Africa), and the Third Joint Meeting of the Regional United Nations Sustainable Development Group in Marrakesh, Morocco, to deal with by identifying the root causes, a recent dispatch from African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has said.
In her statement, Ms Mohammed noted, “it is crucial for Africa to turn the pages of conflict, where it remains on the continent, and start building peace that in turn can transition into sustainable development.
“We do go further when we join hands for a common cause, on common grounds and when we bring the best of our assets and leadership around the continent,” Ms. Mohammed said in the dispatch.
She used the occasion to remind Africans that “today offers the opportunity to recognize our common challenges and maximize the impact of our regional work. The RCMs can help to galvanize and accelerate progress towards the sustainable development goals in various areas, including integration across all dimensions of sustainable development, , humanitarian intervention and peace.”
“We cannot have sustainable development without sustaining peace, neither can we build a secure future for everyone without addressing the root causes of our vulnerabilities,” she said further.
At this forum where participants were gathered to discuss and generate solutions to the challenges faced by the continent’s refugee and internally displaced persons. Ms. Mohammed also raised concerns about climate change, rising inequality, persistent gender discrimination, lack of social cohesion, conflicts in many different forms, deteriorating political consensus and the mass movement of people across borders as signs of the hindrances Africans are facing.
She added that those challenges know no borders and cannot be resolved through solutions of the past, emphasizing that viable solutions were possible, especially as the United Nations and he African Union Commission (AUC) continue to work together.
Ms. Mohammed added, “the clocking is ticking on 2030 and 2063 Agendas, and we will only truly be successful in the reforms if we can accelerate our actions or scale up to the SGDs; it is a collective responsibility and we are engaging with a greater urgency to deliver.”
She also indicated that Africans have to find their courage, ingenuity and the means to rise to the ambition of their actions and move with far greater speed.
She spoke about the need for Africa to do what it can to ensure the potential of its youth is realized, adding that more is needed to close the gender gap.
She acknowledged that Africa hosts the largest number of displaced persons worldwide; with factors including political upheaval, food insecurity, and poverty, amongst, others are major driving forces.
“Whatever the cause or crises, Africa’s response has been admirable; countries have demonstrated remarkable solidarity, often despite the little means that we have,” Ms. Mohammed noted.
She said through its successive reform programs, the UN has been working to create a more coherent, effective and efficient support and delivery mechanism to guarantee a better life for all citizens of the world without leaving ‘no one behind.’
However, she said that emerging data suggests that Africans are not on track to meet the 2030 Agenda, which means that they need to accelerate to meet the ambitious we have set.
“In 2019, we will have a defining year to deliver on the promises we have made to humanity through Africa 2063 Agenda and the global 2030 Agenda,” she said.
The two-day meeting was organized by the Economic Commission for Africa and the AUC, and it was also aimed at deliberating on the functioning of the RCM-Africa and the Africa Regional United Nations Sustainable Development Group platforms.
The meeting also assessed achievements, challenges and way forward in strengthening the coherent and efficient delivery of support to the African Union and its organs in the context of the AU and the UN.