Activities of Secretary-General in Senegal, 30 April–1 May

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Dakar on Saturday, 30 April, where he began a Ramadan solidarity visit.

On 1 May, he joined President Macky Sall at UN House, an office building still under construction that is slated to host UN agencies and staff working in Dakar Mr. Guterres described the building as a new symbol of the partnership between Senegal and the United Nations.

Later in the day, the President and the Secretary-General visited the construction site of a vaccine manufacturing facility that would soon be equipped to produce COVID-19 shots, as well as other vaccines.

In remarks to the press at the Presidential Palace, the Secretary-General underlined Senegal’s efforts to recover from the impact of the pandemic and renewed his call for vaccine equity.

Turning to the impact of the war in Ukraine on the continent, Mr. Guterres said it is aggravating a triple crisis — food, energy and financial — for the region and well beyond.  He added that this is the reason he created the Global Food, Energy and Finance Crisis Response Group, which mobilizes UN agencies, development banks and other international organizations.  He thanked President Sall, who is co-chairing the Response Group, adding that they discussed urgent measures needed to alleviate the crisis.

The Secretary-General said that we must ensure a steady flow of food and energy in open markets, lifting all unnecessary export restrictions, allocating surpluses and reserves to those in need and controlling food prices to calm market volatility.  But, he added, there will be no real solution to global food insecurity without reintegrating the agricultural production of Ukraine and the food and fertilizer production of Russia and Belarus into world markets, despite the war.

The Secretary-General also reiterated his call to reform the global financial system, which he described as morally bankrupt.  We have to use every available mechanism to benefit developing and middle-income countries, especially in Africa, he said.

On the issue of insecurity in the Sahel, the Secretary-General said the upcoming joint assessment of challenges in the region by the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) and the G5 Sahel will present proposals on how to strengthen the overall international response and global advocacy to mobilize resources.

He also pledged to continue his advocacy to ensure predictable funding, guaranteed by assessed contributions, for African peace and counter-terrorism operations in the region.

Following his visit to Senegal, the Secretary-General travelled to Niger and Nigeria.

For information media. Not an official record.