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General Assembly Calls for Intensified Effort towards Goal of ‘Conflict-Free Africa’, Continued Assistance to Address Challenges Hampering Peace, Sustainable Development

Sixty-fifth General Assembly


96th Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Calls for Intensified Effort towards Goal of ‘Conflict-Free Africa’,

Continued Assistance to Address Challenges Hampering Peace, Sustainable Development

Also Adopts Text Setting Durban Declaration Commemoration for 22 September,

Calls for Member States to Be Represented at ‘Highest Possible Political Level’

Welcoming the progress made in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict and in post-conflict peacebuilding in a number of African countries, the General Assembly today called for intensified, better coordinated efforts between national Governments, the African Union, subregional organizations, the United Nations system and partners “with a view to achieving further progress towards the goal of a conflict-free Africa”.

Unanimously adopting a resolution on implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary-General on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa (document A/65/L.62/Rev.1), the Assembly also reaffirmed the need to strengthen the synergy between Africa’s economic and social development programmes and its peace and security agenda.

The text also encouraged the United Nations system and Member States to assist African countries in effectively addressing the challenges that continued to hamper the achievement of peace, stability and sustainable development on the continent, including, among others, the effects of global warming and climate change, extremely high rates of youth unemployment, corruption, rapid urbanization and city slums, and increased activity of transnational organized crime, including drug trafficking.

Concerned that violence against women and children continued and often increased, even as armed conflicts drew to an end, the Assembly urged further progress in implementing policies and guidelines relating to the protection of and assistance to women and children in conflict and post-conflict situations.  It also welcomed the appointment of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and invited support for the implementation of her mandate in Africa.

Introducing the text on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, Diego Limeres (Argentina), stressed that, while African countries had the primary responsibility for maintaining peace and security on the continent, support from the United Nations and the wider international community was nevertheless necessary.  Despite positive trends and advances in obtaining durable peace, the conditions required for sustainable development in Africa had yet to be consolidated.  There was, therefore, an urgent need to continue developing African human and institutional capacities, particularly in post-conflict countries.

In other action today, the Assembly approved the arrangements for its high-level meeting to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the 2001 Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/65/L.76).  By that text, it reiterated its call “for States to be represented […] at the highest possible political level, including at the level of Heads of State”, and decided the meeting would be held on Thursday, 22 September 2011, consisting of an opening plenary meeting from 9 to 11 a.m., two consecutive round tables from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m., and a closing plenary meeting from 6 to 7 p.m.

It also decided that the morning meeting of the general debate on that day would be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and that that arrangement “does not constitute a precedent”.  It also decided that the closing plenary meeting would comprise the presentation of summaries of the discussions by the co-Chairs of the round tables — on the overall theme of “Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: recognition, justice and development” — and the adoption of “a short and concise political declaration aimed at mobilizing political will”.

The General Assembly will meet again at a date and time to be announced.

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For information media. Not an official record.