9633rd Meeting (AM & PM)

Security Council Calls for Strengthening Africa’s Role in Addressing Global Security, Development Challenges, Adopting Presidential Statement ahead of Day-long Debate

The Security Council today unanimously adopted a presidential statement aimed at strengthening the role of African countries in addressing global security and development challenges, as speakers debated the intricate and complex dynamics between peace and development in those States and across their continent.

By the presidential statement (to be issued as S/PRST/2024/2), the Council reiterated its “support for the role of the African Union and sub-regional organizations in promoting peace and security on the continent” and its readiness to consider appropriate support, including to African Union-led peace support operations through the implementation of Council resolution 2719 (2023) on a case-by-case basis.

Through the text, the Council also expressed support for progress in enhancing the role and representation of African States in global governance and decision-making processes.  Furthermore, the 15-member organ called on the international community to honour their respective commitments regarding financing for development and support the strengthening of the capabilities of African States to seize the opportunities for a proactive engagement with the wider world and advance African ownership of international peace, security and development efforts.

“Africa is home to many examples of unity and solidarity in a fractured world,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, as he opened today’s debate, citing the region’s focus on supporting refugees fleeing across borders, and achieving sustainable development, such as poverty and hunger eradication and renewable energy transitions.

However, he pointed out, “all of these efforts require peace in Africa and beyond,” noting that “too many Africans are caught up in the hell of conflicts, or living with the relentless danger of terrorism and violent extremism in their communities.”

“The human cost of these conflicts is heartbreaking, and the cost to development is incalculable,” he said, asserting:  “Now is the time to unleash Africa’s peace power” and strengthen Africa’s peace leadership on the continent and the global stage. 

The African Union’s adequate representation and effective participation in international affairs will be a “public good”, said Bankole Adeoye, the bloc’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security. In that regard, the UN’s Security Council must be enlarged to be more inclusive, pro-Africa, democratic, responsive, legitimate, equitable and accountable.

Welcoming the 2023 decision to expand Group of 20 (G20) membership to include the African Union, he said this serves as a “viable model” and boosts realization of the African Continental Free Trade Area as well as the bloc’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s 2030 Agenda.

For its part, the Peacebuilding Commission “stands ready to offer its expertise in laying the groundwork for transitions and durable solutions, including through addressing root causes of conflict, and to engage with African countries on their path to stability and prosperity”, said its Chair Sérgio França Danese (Brazil).

In November 2023, the Commission and the African Union Peace and Security Council discussed ways to strengthen their cooperation.  It is “essential to ensure that African countries can build a foundation for sustainable peace according to their specific needs and priorities, based on national ownership”, he said, adding that the Commission can assist by connecting countries needing financial support with international financial institutions and other potential partners.

Nearly 50 delegations participated in the day-long discussion, with the Council hearing growing calls — loud and clear — for African representation in its permanent and non-permanent membership.  Speakers also highlighted the importance of bringing “African solutions to African problems”, and the timeliness of today’s debate as May 2024 marks 60 years since the African Union’s founding and 20 years since the launch of the bloc’s Peace and Security Council — the pillar of the African peace and security architecture.

The three African non-permanent members of the Council each called for reforming the 15-member organ to reflect their region’s growing importance in global affairs.  “Representational legitimacy is a necessary condition for good institutional performance,” said the representative of Sierra Leone, underscoring that African countries have little say in the Council’s decisions that affect them.  The speaker for Algeria also called on the international community to rectify historical injustices by enhancing the representation of Africa within the Council.

The representative of Mozambique, Council President for May and the architect of today’s debate, said that when united, African countries “form a powerful, unified bloc that serves the interests of the Global South”.  Africa should continue to advocate for addressing the structural deficiencies of the multilateral system, particularly at the Council and international financial institutions.  However, “visibility should be a means to an end — not a goal in itself,” he asserted.

The representatives of France and the United Kingdom joined others in expressing support for enlarging the Council’s membership, with the former proposing a membership of about 25 with an enhanced African presence, including in the permanent category.  The latter welcomed the African Union’s G20 membership as an important step in “ensuring that global governance represents the world of today”.  He stressed, however, that “we should go further”, expressing support for permanent African representation in the Council and a greater role for low-income, vulnerable African States on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) boards.

Guyana’s representative was among those spotlighting the historical legacy of colonialism on the continent.  “We see a familiar storyline across several conflicts in Africa where actors with commercial and other interests in several African countries in conflict situations manipulate those conflicts with the sole aim of preserving those interests,” she said, urging the Council to take a firm stance against this phenomenon, which can be deemed as “a new form of colonialism”.

On that, India’s delegate said that sustainable peace and security “is possible only if external forces do not intervene for vested interests”, calling for stronger African voices at multilateral organizations so they can argue their own case.  This conviction drove her country to successfully campaign for the admission of the African Union into G20 during its 2023 presidency, she added.

“No one knows Africa better than African States,” said China’s representative, stressing the importance of respecting their leadership in addressing their continent’s problems.  However, the delegate of Switzerland said the principle of “African solutions to African problems” does not relieve the international community of its responsibilities because solutions often contribute to a global common good, such as combating cross-border factors of instability and creating conditions conducive to growth, sustainable development and integration.

Several speakers highlighted dozens of elections in 2024 in Africa.  The representative of South Africa said that despite some incidents of unconstitutional changes of Governments and protracted armed conflicts in some States, “the holding of regular peaceful elections have become a norm rather than an exception”. His counterpart from Rwanda said that with 37 per cent of them electing their leaders in 2024, it is vital to “support each other’s democratization”.



ANTÓNIO GUTERRES, Secretary-General of the United Nations, acknowledged that “Africa is home to many examples of unity and solidarity in a fractured world,” citing the region’s focus on ending poverty and hunger, supporting refugees fleeing across borders, and achieving sustainable development.  Other examples include the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the African Continental Free Trade Area, the continent’s leadership in renewable energy transitions and potential to become a renewable energy powerhouse, and its bold advocacy for reforming the global financial architecture. However, “all of these efforts require peace in Africa and beyond,” he stressed, noting that “too many Africans are caught up in the hell of conflicts, or living with the relentless danger of terrorism and violent extremism in their communities”.

He said that the Sahel has been rocked by unconstitutional changes of Government.  Terrorism and violent extremism are spreading in the Lake Chad Basin, Somalia and elsewhere. Violence is continuing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Horn of Africa.  The humanitarian nightmare is deepening in Sudan.  Many African countries are still suffering the impact of the pandemic, higher rates of debt and escalating climate impacts. “The human cost of these conflicts is heartbreaking, and the cost to development is incalculable,” he said, asserting:  “Now is the time to unleash Africa’s peace power” and strengthen Africa’s peace leadership on the continent and the global stage. 

Partnerships between the United Nations and Africa are based on the principle of African-led solutions to African problems, he said, and expressed full support for the African Union’s flagship “Silencing the Guns” initiative.  The United Nations is working closely with the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and others to end the scourge of terrorism.  The Security Council adopted resolution 2719 (2023) to support African Union-led peace support operations, he said, adding that the two organizations will be developing a joint road map to take forward this important breakthrough.  These types of partnerships are central to his “A New Agenda for Peace” policy brief, which connects the dots between development and sustainable peace, the Secretary-General said, pledging:  “The African Union and the United Nations will continue working together to defuse conflicts before they escalate, manage them effectively when they occur, and build sustainable peace when they are resolved”.

African participation and leadership must be embedded across the global peace and security architecture, he stressed. Following the Second World War, the global governance mechanisms were designed by the most powerful countries at that time, as many African countries were still struggling to throw off the shackles of colonialism.  Since then, the world has changed, but African countries continue to be denied a seat at the negotiating table, including at the Security Council.  Despite these structural inequalities, African States are stepping up and contributing to peaceful solutions beyond the continent, he said.  For example, Kenya is leading the upcoming Multilateral Security Support Mission in Haiti, with other African countries offering to send troops, he added. 

“Africa deserves a voice in the global peace and security architecture” and their participation “as equals” must be ensured, he said, including correcting the lack of permanent African representation in the Council and reforming the global financial architecture.  September’s Summit of the Future will be an opportunity to push forward on all of these issues, he said, urging African Member States to put forward specific proposals aimed at enhancing Africa’s representation within all global governance structures.  “Peace is the key to unlocking Africa’s future,” he observed, also stressing:  “Peace depends on African leadership”. 

BANKOLE ADEOYE, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, said that Africa’s vast natural resources, strategic location and youth make it a significant, valued actor in the international system. “Its perspectives provide fresh insights for a changing world,” he added.  Further, addressing insecurity — particularly terrorism and violent extremism — as well as economic and governance challenges requires multi-dimensional and African-led structured solutions premised on global security. “At the very root of these challenges,” he stressed, is the “state of health” of individual African States and the quality of their engagement with the rest of the world.  For its part, the African Union is committed to build strong African States that will boost global security and development. Pointing out that African institutions are currently being tested by the combined weight of the impacts of climate change and other socioeconomic implications, he urged several actions to enhance African States’ ability to address multiple challenges.

First, he underlined the need to reconfigure the global peace and security architecture.  Renewed multilateralism for the sake of global stability is necessary, he stressed, adding:  “This is Africa’s right, and not just a demand.”  Additionally, the Security Council must be enlarged to be more inclusive, pro-Africa, democratic, responsive, legitimate, equitable and accountable.  Welcoming the 2023 decision to expand Group of 20 (G20) membership to include the African Union, he said this serves as a “viable model” and boosts realization of the African Continental Free Trade Area as well as the bloc’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s 2030 Agenda.  He also called for adequate, flexible, predictable and sustainable financing for African peace operations, which “will serve to promote peace enforcement in the era where peacekeeping is shrinking”.  The African Union stands ready to address the continent’s complex, intractable conflicts, and the implementation of resolution 2719 (2023) will be a litmus test for such financing.

He went on to state that the African Union works to promote effective preventive diplomacy, mediation and dialogue.  Underlining the importance of such measures, he spotlighted the Praetoria Peace Agreement on Tigray and expressed hope that Sudan will “change course through better mediation for a cessation of hostilities to be effected”.  Reforming the global financial architecture is another imperative, as the existing one is “plagued with inequities, gaps and inefficiencies” that must be addressed, he said.  Bridging technology gaps and developing innovative financing mechanisms are crucial, and he therefore called for creating a new architecture for global economic governance; addressing the cost of sovereign borrowing; improving access to Special Drawing Rights (SDR); and linking private-sector profitability with sustainable development.  He also urged the mainstreaming of women in governance, youth inclusion and child protection.

“It is also fundamental to promote a delicate balance between the classic first-generation political and civil rights and the economic, social and cultural rights premised on the right to peace and, most importantly, the right to development,” he said.  This will ensure an Africa where good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice for all and the rule of law thrive. Underscoring that the African Union’s adequate representation and effective participation in international affairs will be a “public good”, he also underlined the need to ensure complementarity between the bloc and the UN through regional economic mechanisms and commissions.  “Silencing the Guns remains on our agenda,” he said, also stressing the importance of “zero-tolerance” for all unconstitutional changes of Government as well as continued support for the nexus between peace, security and development.

SÉRGIO FRANÇA DANESE (Brazil), Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, underscored its commitment to partnering with Africa for sustained peace, by identifying and addressing context-specific root causes of conflict.  Investment in sustainable development is crucial to long-term social cohesion and stability, and must take place alongside other peacebuilding initiatives.  “There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development,” he stressed, noting Africa’s young population makes this even more important and provides a “wealth of opportunities” for inclusive growth.  He commended Africa’s progress to institutionalize regional policies through the African Union and subregional organizations.  During their sixth Informal Annual Joint Consultative Meeting in November 2023, the African Union Peace and Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission discussed ways to strengthen their cooperation to support national priorities and the activities of regional organizations, and African Union peacebuilding efforts such as implementation of the African Union Policy on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development.  Such support “is essential to ensure that African countries can build a foundation for sustainable peace according to their specific needs and priorities, based on national ownership”, he said. 

While underlining that African problems must be solved with African solutions, he said partnerships are fundamental and financial institutions should expand cooperation in peacebuilding and sustaining peace, including in conflict prevention.  The Commission hopes to assist by connecting countries needing financial support with international financial institutions and other potential partners. It hopes the implementation of General Assembly resolution 78/257 (2023) will expand the possibilities for supporting initiatives in Africa through the Peacebuilding Fund.  He called for coherence and complementarity between peacebuilding, peacekeeping missions and counter-terrorism operations, taking into account the proposals in A New Agenda for Peace.  The implementation of Council resolution 2719 (2023) to support African Union-led peace operations with UN-assessed contributions is an opportunity for closer cooperation between the UN and the African Union. 

The Commission “stands ready to offer its expertise in laying the groundwork for transitions and durable solutions, including through addressing root causes of conflict, and to engage with African countries on their path to stability and prosperity”, he underscored.   He also affirmed the importance of reinforced implementation of the Joint UN-African Union Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security, the African Union-UN framework for the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

The representative of Mozambique, Council President for May, speaking in his national capacity, observed that Africa is a mosaic of peoples, trends, challenges, opportunities and narratives that are deeply connected to internal and global events.  However, there are also enormous challenges Africa must face, including a high poverty rate, the rapid Africanization of terrorism, political instability and illiteracy.  To overcome these challenges, it is critical for Africa to emerge from its present status and become an important player on the global stage.  “When united, our 55 countries form a powerful, unified bloc that serves the interests of the Global South,” he stated, adding that Africa shall continue to advocate for addressing the structural deficiencies of the multilateral system, particularly the reform of the Security Council and international financial institutions.  Further, he underlined the importance of representation at multilateral fora, stressing that “visibility should be a means to an end — not a goal in itself”. 

The representative of Sierra Leone, citing World Bank statistics, noted that his continent remains the least economically competitive region in the world, with one third of its population characterized as living in extreme poverty below the $2.15-a-day threshold.  Calling for adequate support for the African Union Agenda 2063 as well as the Silencing the Guns initiative, he also underscored the need to address the structural imbalance in the Council.  “Representational legitimacy is a necessary condition for good institutional performance, particularly when the objects of an institution’s decisions have little say in the decision-making process itself,” he stressed.  Also welcoming the African Union’s membership in the Group of Twenty, he said this will afford the continent an opportunity to shape the policies that impact its economic development.

The representative of Guyana said that “peace and security issues cannot be divorced from development issues,” urging the Council to take a holistic approach to peace and security matters in Africa by incorporating a development dimension.  Stressing the importance of addressing the historical injustice against Africa in its exclusion from this Council’s permanent membership, she said that correcting this wrong is critical to the full involvement of Africa in the global peace and security regime.  She warned of interference by external actors.  “We see a familiar storyline across several conflicts in Africa where actors with commercial and other interests in several African countries in conflict situations manipulate those conflicts with the sole aim of preserving those interests,” she said, calling on the Council to take a firm stance against this phenomenon, which can be deemed as “a new form of colonialism”.

The representative of Malta, noting Africa’s young population and diverse culture and geography, said:  “Africa is the continent of the future.”  She expressed concern, however, over instances of terrorism, violent extremism and unconstitutional changes of Government — particularly in West Africa — which steal civilians’ futures and “squander entire generations”.  She then spotlighted the “remarkable work” carried out by several UN peace-support missions and the African Union.  In South Sudan, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has strengthened accountability for intercommunal, sexual and gender-based violence.  In Somalia, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) has supported alternative dispute-resolution mechanisms, while the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has supported national forces in combating al-Shabaab.  Additionally, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has strengthened complementarity and coordination between formal and informal justice actors in that country.  Against that backdrop, she spotlighted resolution 2719 (2023) and the Council’s support for regional security configurations.

The representative of Switzerland underlined Africa’s potential to help with global challenges, forged in its experience in conflict prevention.  She called for peace, sustainable development and human rights to be viewed “through a common lens”.  Effective conflict prevention addresses all factors of instability including weak economic prospects, marginalization, weak State presence, resource competition and climate change, and their interaction. For national prevention strategies, countries can draw on:  Africa’s rich tradition of conflict resolution and mediation, often rooted locally; how African States have dealt with past crimes, for example, in Sierra Leone and South Africa, to ensure they are not repeated and deliver justice; and, its close regional coordination in instruments such as Agenda 2063. Finding African-led solutions does not mean the international community should absolve itself of responsibility, as solutions are for the common good.  She expressed support for the African Union’s work and its improved cooperation with the UN.

The representative of Slovenia observed that — with its strategic position, wealth in natural and human resources, and growing young population — African States are essential partners in the collective efforts to shape a more peaceful and prosperous world for all.  Noting that strong national institutions are vital to maintaining resilient societies and contributing to regional stability, she stressed the need to promote transparency, accountability, inclusion, rule of law and respect for human rights.  In this regard, she spotlighted Liberia’s recent establishment of the war crimes tribunal to provide justice for victims of civil wars, Kenya’s local peace committee programme preventing inter-tribal violence and Mozambique’s Maputo Accord promoting reconciliation and reintegration.  Also, empowering women and youth to participate fully in political and other decision-making processes is crucial to unlocking resilient societies.  While the African States have become indispensable partners in the collective pursuit of global peace, security and sustainable development, “there is so much more that can be achieved,” she said.

The representative of Algeria, stressing the need to adequately finance conflict-prevention in Africa, said governance remains “a key tool of structural prevention” as well as a remedy to crises.  Reinforcing the cooperation between the UN and regional organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security is crucial, he said, calling for the implementation of Council resolution 2719 (2023), which provides an opportunity to foster the African Union’s ownership of peace initiatives.  Highlighting his country’s contributions, he noted that Algeria has, since 2020, earmarked a $1 billion to the Algerian Agency of International Cooperation for Solidarity and Development.  It also cancelled a total amount of debt equalling $900 million for 14 African countries.  Calling on the international community to rectify historical injustices, he said it is time to improve the representation of Africa within the Council.

The representative of France said that his country is supporting Africa in addressing peace and security challenges bilaterally and through the European Union, including securing maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and providing training in Mozambique.  He expressed support for expanding both the permanent and non-permanent membership of the Council, to around 25 in total with an enhanced African presence, including in the permanent category.  This dynamic should also extend to economic governance.  His country organized the Summit for a New Global Financial Compact in June 2023.  The resulting Paris Pact for People and Planet, now supported by 54 States, sets out several cardinal principles so that “no country has to choose between the fight against poverty and the fight for the planet”.  France has helped to mobilize $16 billion for the Great Green Wall in the Sahel to combat the effects of climate change, desertification, food insecurity and poverty from Senegal to Djibouti.  “The effective implementation of the Paris Agreement is a necessity and great urgency, including for peace and security,” he emphasized.

The representative of Japan, noting that the majority of Council discussions are dedicated to Africa, voiced appreciation for the “timely agenda-setting and insights rooted in direct on-the-ground knowledge and experience by our A3 [Algeria, Mozambique and Sierra Leone] colleagues”.  But there is room to further enhance the continent’s representation, he said, and as the Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, his country is committed to improving the Council’s working methods, including by welcoming stronger African voices.  An expanded Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories is absolutely necessary, he said, also underscoring that the 15-member organ must utilize the Peacebuilding Commission as an advisory body to share experiences from Africa.  Further, the African Union and the network of subregional organizations and regional economic communities form a pivotal infrastructure for African peace and security, he said.

The representative of the United Kingdom, noting the importance of resolution 2719 (2023), said that the UN and African Union must work together to implement the mechanisms necessary “to make it work in practice”.  Also noting the need to “amplify African voices” in international forums, he said that the African Union’s G20 membership was an important step in “ensuring that global governance represents the world of today”.  He stressed, however, that “we should go further”, expressing support for permanent African representation in the Council, reformation of the international financial system and a greater role for low-income, vulnerable African States on the boards of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).  Further, greater collaboration between the UN and African Union can help address challenges such as the conflicts in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as unconstitutional changes of Government.  These weaken the role of States and undermine development, he said, underlining the need to collectively manage transnational threats.

The representative of the Russian Federation underlined the need to increase the predictability, reliability and flexibility of resources for African peacekeeping.  He recalled African States’ unequal representation in the international security and financial apparatus, which hampers addressing global problems.  Underscoring the link between peace and development, he said international financial institutions and the UN development system “are failing to fulfil their objectives”, principally due to the UN development system’s main donors being interested only in a self-serving agenda, as is felt most keenly in Africa. He gave the example of African States’ debt servicing eclipsing their spending on health and education.  Meanwhile, the growth of financial assistance to Ukraine outpaces global developmental assistance.  He regretted that “African Governments are expected to ensure peace, security and stability in a context of economic insecurity”.  His country continues to develop African countries’ capacity to address problems in security and sociocultural spheres.

The representative of the United States, noting that African Governments, institutions and people play a crucial role in advancing global priorities, supported the adoption of resolution 2719 (2023), which promotes cooperation and responsibility sharing between the African Union and the UN to address peace and security challenges.  He also supported the adoption of the General Assembly resolution in December, which approved $50 million for the Peacebuilding Fund.  Noting the importance of conflict prevention throughout Africa, he welcomed the UN efforts aimed at fully inclusive conflict prevention and mediation.  Sounding alarm over the tragedy unfolding in Sudan — “one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world” — he urged the relevant parties to allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.  “Development, respect for human rights and the rule of law are equally interconnected in promoting security,” he observed, adding that “democratic governance based on human rights is essential to creating opportunities for all”.

The representative of Ecuador, noting that building peace is a long-term process, said dialogue, human rights and rule of law are crucial ingredients for that.  Urging developed countries to meet the commitment of earmarking 0.7 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) to official development assistance (ODA), he said “Africa is an essential protagonist” in international fora.  The African Union’s participation in the Group of Twenty exemplifies this, he said, also recalling that he presided over the Council meeting in which resolution 2719 (2023) was approved.  That text marks a success in the collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union, he said, stressing the importance of financing Africa Union-led peace operations.

The representative of China said that “no one knows Africa better than African States,” stressing the importance of respecting their leadership in addressing their continent’s problems. He rejected interference in their internal affairs, including applying pressure and sanctions.  A cold war mentality will only trigger new confrontations and turmoil in Africa.  “Africa should be a big stage for international cooperation, not an arena for great power competition,” he emphasized.  The international community should focus on helping African States fully display their strengths, turning their human and resource endowment into real productivity. Due to the impact of their colonial history, they have been at the low end of their global industrial supply and value chains.  Electric vehicles, solar products and new energy batteries are rare products.  China is willing to share green technologies, products and experiences with Africa.  Beijing seeks to push China-Africa cooperation to a new level through an upcoming summit on their partnership.

The representative of the Republic of Korea, noting that his country will soon host the first-ever “Korea-Africa Summit”, recalled that this relationship began in the 1950s when several African nations supported his own during the Korean War.  The Summit will forge new strategic cooperation based on “the unique aspects of our partnership and our similar historical experiences”, he said.  Seoul also will support African Union peace and security initiatives, and he noted his country’s contribution of $5 million in 2024 along with its provision of funding and armoured personnel carriers to ATMIS.  “Taking stock of our own development trajectory,” he said that development is closely linked with peace, security and democracy.  For this reason, Seoul has increased its ODA by over 40 per cent in 2024.  He added that, similar to how education was “foundational” for his country’s development, investment in that sector will be the “spearhead to empower Africa and its dynamic younger generation”.

PAISAN RUPANICHKIJ, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Thailand, said the African Union has been a leading example of regionalism, strengthening multilateralism and aligning with international law.  But he noted the need for Africa’s greater representation in international bodies and financial institutions, along with non-African developing countries, to reinforce multilateralism.  He highlighted that most of the Council’s agenda involves situations in developing countries.  He said initiatives such as Agenda 2063 and the Silencing the Guns in Africa are exemplary in showing how peace, security and stability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are mutually reinforcing.  His country’s cooperation with African countries has been people-centred. He called for a stronger global-regional interface with closer UN and regional organizations’ coordination, for more effective multilateralism in security and development.  He expressed his country’s support for the enhancement of the UN-African Union partnership and international partnerships to aid African subregional organizations.

The representative of Egypt highlighted the UN’s role in Africa, noting his country’s contribution to various UN peacekeeping missions there.  Nevertheless, he voiced concern about recent negative trends in relations between some host countries and UN missions, urging for an open, transparent and comprehensive dialogue between the Organization and host countries, considering their priorities.  He also emphasized the importance of providing adequate financial resources and policy guidance to peacekeeping missions and updating their mandates in line with developments on the ground and in consultations with troop- and police-contributing countries.  Peacebuilding in Africa — “an important pillar that is quite often overlooked” — is an effective tool to ensure that countries do not plunge back into conflict. “This is an investment in the future of peace in Africa, one that yields high return and that should be enhanced and strengthened at all levels,” he observed. 

The representative of Austria, noting that Africa is poised for a rapid increase in the working-age population, said it is essential to address the historical injustice suffered by the continent when it comes to representation.  Commending the African Union’s inclusion in the G20, he stressed the need for a more networked system of global governance.  The Summit of the Future presents an opportunity to promote an action-oriented approach to networked multilateralism, he said, highlighting the proposal put forward by his country and others for an annual conference of the Secretary-General with heads of regional organizations.  Stressing the importance of tackling climate change on the continent, he said his country — which is powered by 80 per cent renewable energy — has shared its expertise with African countries to help unleash their potential in solar, hydro, wind and geothermal energy.

The representative of Ukraine expressed concern over grave human rights violations in the Great Lakes Region committed by armed groups.  “Regrettably, certain States are contributing to instability on the African continent,” she said, noting that the Russian private-military formations have been implicated in those violations and various illicit activities in some regions.  Her country has always been committed to maintaining peace and stability in Africa. As of today, despite the Russian Federation’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, its massive attacks against her country’s infrastructure and its use of starvation as a weapon, Ukraine remains a top exporter of agricultural products and guarantor of world food security.  It has provided grain to Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan and other countries, and has significantly expanded its diplomatic presence in Africa in the last few months, she added.

The representative of Portugal, aligning herself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, said:  “Africa can count on Portugal as a firm ally and advocate.” She added that she does not bring recommendations to strengthen African States’ role in addressing global challenges — “as that is for the African States to define”.  She did, however, urge the reassessment of the impact of IMF charges, as well as increased African representation on the boards of international financial organizations.  Africa’s vision for development is “founded on solid pillars”, she said, which includes reducing dependence on raw materials through industrial development, value-added processing and regional integration. This must be supported, namely through the African Continental Free Trade Area, regional economic organizations and the development of local and regional value chains.  She also called on the international community to support African partners in combating disinformation and hate speech — “particularly in a year when nearly two dozen African democracies go to the polls”.

The representative of Italy said international support for Africa should address structural challenges and conflicts’ root causes and not just tackle ongoing emergencies.  He encouraged the exchange of best practices for youth’s active participation in decision-making processes as it enhances the legitimacy of peace and security initiatives.  Combating violent extremism, strengthening regional cooperation and institution-building are key to counter evolving terrorist threats which prevent building a prosperous continent.  Civilian-focused counter-terrorism efforts should take place bilaterally and by contributing to the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism’s African regional offices’ activities.  He noted Italy’s involvement in the Ad Hoc Working Group on conflict prevention and resolution in Africa.  Council resolution 2719 (2023) is a milestone for UN-African Union cooperation in responding to the evolving nature of conflicts in Africa, he said, noting that while some decision-making and financing questions remain to implement it, “solutions are within our reach”.  He encouraged other Member States to contribute to African peace operations and support a more structured African participation in multilateral institutions.

The representative of South Africa said that many African States continue to make significant progress in maintaining peace and security and preventing violent conflicts.  In recent years — despite some incidents of unconstitutional changes of Governments and protracted armed conflicts in some States — “the holding of regular peaceful elections have become a norm rather than an exception”. Also, the participation of women and youth in peace processes has gained traction, and the fundamental role of civil society is recognized.  There is an accelerated focus on addressing socioeconomic development issues, he said, adding that “Africa is more peaceful than it was two decades ago.”  Notwithstanding these positive developments, the continent is grappling with the effects of overlapping global crises that include geopolitical tensions, including the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, high food and energy prices and rising public debt, resulting in unrest and prolonged conflicts.  To effectively deal with global security and development challenges, he stressed that both external and internal root causes and drivers of instability must be addressed.

The representative of Türkiye, stressing that tackling root causes is crucial to finding long-lasting solutions, commended the strengthened partnership between the United Nations and the African Union.  Also voicing support for greater representation for African countries in the international governance system, he added that his country is a strategic partner to the African Union, and this holistic and inclusive partnership takes many forms, from humanitarian assistance to capacity-building projects.  Türkiye hosts and supports the United Nations Technology Bank, he noted, also highlighting the Black Sea Initiative, which has been instrumental in addressing food insecurity in the continent.

The representative of Rwanda said that by consistently and continuously demonstrating regional ownership and cooperation in addressing complex security issues, Africa can serve as a model for other regions seeking to establish effective security architectures. He also stressed the need to support the electoral process in African States, as 37 per cent of them will elect their leaders in 2024 and it is vital to “support each other’s democratization”.  The peacekeeping mandate was birthed to resolve inter-State conflicts, as opposed to intra-State conflicts, civil wars and genocides.  Africa knows the intricacies of successful global security and development efforts.  As the world has evolved, so have security challenges, placing Africa “at a vantage point in being greatly equipped to use the historical lessons and collective wisdom of our vastly diverse nations in order to build peace for all”, he said.

The representative of Brazil affirmed that “African countries know their challenges better than anyone else” — and the international community must be ready, on their demand, to forge partnerships to enhance their ability to solve their problems.  Calling for allotting two permanent seats to Africa in an expanded Security Council, he cited one positive recent development:  the admission of the African Union as a new member of the G20.  As G20 President for 2024, Brazil has been working hard to ease the bloc’s integration into all the group’s work streams; and as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission in 2024, his country is particularly pleased that the organizational committee has approved its proposal for granting a standing invitation to the African Union to participate in its meetings.  He stressed that a global economic, financial and trade architecture is needed for developing countries to fulfil their potential, and for attaining the goals of the African Union Agenda 2063.

HEDDA SAMSON, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union, cited multi-level partnerships between the bloc and Africa, including at the national level in Mozambique, involving strategies in the fields of education, digitalization, climate resilience and nutrition and preparations for a European Union Electoral Observation Mission to accompany the upcoming elections.  Noting that “Africa has a young and vibrant population” full of potential for rapid and economic growth, she recalled that in 2075, one in three working age youth population will be African.  “These generations need to be fully empowered and included, to be able to realize their best potential,” she said.  Turning more broadly to the Sahel, she recalled that the bloc supports the Great Green Wall with over €700 million.  In close partnership with 18 partner countries, it is strengthening sustainable land management in a region that is disproportionately facing the consequences of climate change.  This African initiative will restore 100 million hectares of degraded land and create 10 million jobs, she said.

The bloc also works closely with the African Union to promote State-building and good governance, including implementing the African Governance Architecture, and providing financial support to its transitional justice policy, she said.  In the Sahel, it has supported the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Stabilization Facility for the Lake Chad Basin, which helps Governments and communities implement long-term peacebuilding, recovery and development programmes.  “African countries can play a crucial role in global peace efforts,” she said, citing their leading role in the Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti.  The European Union has been the African Union’s number one partner on peace and security issues in terms of financial and technical support, creating the Africa Peace Facility in 2003, and allocating over €1 billion to African partners under the European Peace Facility since 2021. Warning that funding for peacebuilding has collapsed, she voiced support for the Secretary-General’s call to develop national prevention strategies on a voluntary basis and with UN support.

The representative of Denmark, also speaking for Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, recalled that her country hosted delegations from 32 States and the African Union earlier in May to discuss ways to form lasting and enduring partnerships.  During those discussions, ministers spoke of the changing global peace-and-security landscape, “where new and interlocking threats have emerged and where conflict dynamics are growing ever more complex”. Ministers also agreed that “much can be done to remedy those challenges”, she reported, urging a reflection on the future of UN peace operations.  Troop- and police-contributing countries — including many African States, as well as host nations — “have a particularly important role in these deliberations”, she said.  Also underlining the importance of peacebuilding for achieving sustainable peace and development, she called for strengthening the Peacebuilding Commission’s advisory, convening and bridging roles.

“There is an undeniable need for the United Nations to step up its cooperation with regional organizations,” she went on to say — particularly the African Union.  Commending the leadership shown by that bloc and its subregional organizations as “first responders” in the region, she urged that this continue with UN support. The recent adoption of resolution 2719 (2023) is a welcome step in this direction; now, it must be implemented swiftly and effectively.  She also called for reform of both the international financial architecture and the Council, underscoring:  “African States have a far more important role to play than is currently possible due to the underrepresentation we observe today.”  Redressing this historical injustice must therefore be a priority, and she expressed hope that today’s debate will highlight African States’ increasing importance in today’s global political landscape.

The representative of Spain commended the African Union’s entry into the G20, as a means to address global challenges and as an acknowledgement of Africa’s importance.  He underscored that a more representative Council would make it more effective and said that there should be reforms making it more democratic, with periodic elections renewing its legitimacy, accountability and the principle of rotation.  He called for an increase in the number of elected members to the Council and proposed a significant increase in the number of seats for African States.  He encouraged the African Union and the UN to finalize the joint planning guidelines and the further implementation of Council resolution 2719 (2023), to strengthen regional and subregional organization’s roles.  Predictable financing would benefit and increase the operational effectiveness of peacekeeping on the continent, he added.

The representative of Morocco accented that strengthening the role of the African State is multidimensional, including by exercising its political sovereignty over its entire territory, protecting its borders and strengthening its democratic process towards the rule of law.  He further cited the importance of taking ownership of regulating the market economy and promoting public investment in infrastructure and human capital.  The African State cannot fulfil its role without the commitment and collaboration of other international actors to provide support and support via international cooperation, reducing the burden of their external debt, and facilitating access to financing and international markets, capacity-building programmes and technology transfer.  He recalled that Morocco is the second major African investor within the continent, with financial mobilization encouraging the creation of wealth and jobs in several African countries.  At the same time, Morocco is among the leading international contributors to maintaining peace on the continent and has been since the 1960s.

The representative of Germany, associating herself with the European Union, said that bloc’s experience proves that mutual trust and close regional cooperation are key to peaceful societies.  African countries chose the path of regional cooperation by creating the African Union, she said, also commending subregional initiatives such as the Regional Stabilization Facility for the Lake Chad region, which could serve as a model elsewhere.  Welcoming the African Climate Security Risk Assessment developed by the African Union and partners, she noted the steps taken towards a common African position on climate, peace and security.  The European Union has been helping to strengthen regional cooperation in this field through projects such as the UN Climate Security Mechanism in the Sahel, she said, also highlighting the strong African ownership for that initiative.

The representative of Ghana said that most African States are being weakened due to the uneven distribution of the benefits of an international system designed to deliver more for the few and powerful.  Despite a combined value exceeding $3.5 trillion, Africa’s economy works for the richer world rather than its more than 1.4 billion people.  “The international governance system for financing, trade, development as well as peace and security needs a reset to reflect the world of today and not that of 1945,” he said.  In that regard, the financial architecture needs urgent reform to ensure that international financial institutions benefit all, especially countries most in need. Trade and development arrangements must be undertaken on much fairer terms and in the spirit of solidarity, he insisted.

The representative of Viet Nam stressed that Africa — as a victim of numerous historical injustices — has faced a disproportionate share of security and development challenges.  The continent is underrepresented in the current global governance and at the UN, he observed, calling for a comprehensive reform of the Security Council.  “African States must occupy more seats at the enlarged Council […] so that [their] voice can be duly heard, particularly on issues related to their own region,” he said. Noting that Africa contributes significantly to peacekeeping operations, supplying over 70 per cent of the UN peacekeepers while hosting five peacekeeping missions and eight special political missions, he spotlighted recent issues with numerous UN peacekeeping missions concerning host Governments and communities.  “More needs to be done,” he stated, urging for a comprehensive review of the existing missions in Africa while respecting the host countries’ sovereignty.

The representative of Qatar said that his country is proud of its strategic partnerships with several African States, also spotlighting Doha’s mediation efforts in Sudan, Chad and Somalia, as well in the context of “the border conflict between Djibouti and Eritrea”.  In the humanitarian and development sphere, he also recalled that Qatar announced a pledge of $12 million in humanitarian aid in September 2023 to combat famine and food insecurity in Africa. Further, Qatar has financed the second phase of a project to “build resilient societies” in Somalia in cooperation with the United Kingdom and United States.  He also reported that his country maintains investment partnerships with several African countries in sectors including renewable energy, agriculture and infrastructure.  Further, Qatar sent a delegation to a high-level meeting on strengthening regional cooperation to combat the threat of terrorism in Africa, held in Abuja in April.

The representative of Kenya said that, despite myriad obstacles, the African State is “contributing in significant ways” to address global security and development challenges. The Council can strengthen the African State’s role by listening to the perspectives of the continent’s three plus representatives more and integrating their regional insights into its decision-making processes; embracing Africa’s peace and security architecture as a fundamental tool for peace and security; and, demonstrating this by implementing resolution 2719 (2023) and scaling up UN funding for African Union-led peace operations to 100 per cent in the near future.  The international community should increase cooperation between the Peacebuilding Commission and the African Union Peace and Security Council, provide equitable representation of Africa in global peace, security and financial architecture, invest in Africa’s sustainable development, support its digital transformation and address the debt burden.  Developed countries must honour their climate commitments, especially finance, he noted.

The representative of the Czech Republic noted that “many African States are justifiably proud of their economic growth, technological advancement and improved living conditions of their inhabitants”.  With the world’s youngest population and a wealth of resources and diversity, the continent is poised to become an important driver of global peace and prosperity.  However, Africa faces distinct pressures, with militant and terrorist groups challenging the sovereignty of States and tragically claiming many innocent lives.  Further, the continent’s rich natural resources including oil, minerals and agricultural land draw the attention of malicious powers that seek to cynically exploit governance gaps for their own gain.  “Countering these attempts alone is not easy,” he stated, voicing support for all efforts to strengthen State institutions and reduce vulnerabilities to foreign interference — while recognizing efforts of many by African countries to effectively take on harmful external influences by prioritizing governance reforms and improving transparency, accountability and the rule of law.

The representative of Nigeria said that to address Africa’s multidimensional challenges, it is imperative to take concrete and transformative actions, including “an overhaul of the Council’s architecture”. She underlined the need to identify quick-yielding revenue sources for economic recovery, noting that extractable resources can generate financial returns and employment.  Any resource management approach should address poverty and promote the sustainability of resources for present and future generations. “The continued exploitation of resources has been a significant contributing factor to conflicts in the region,” she said, noting its environmental impact.  Concurrently, “a sudden rise in illegal exploitation and plundering of resources in Africa” is a source of funding for terrorist and criminal activities.  Against this backdrop, she emphasized that the Council should focus on this issue as one of the root causes of conflicts, including criminalizing illegal exploitation as a crime against humanity.

The representative of Poland, recognizing the centrality of economic relations, voiced support for African countries regarding their equal treatment in trade relations with the rest of the world.  Citing Polish initiatives such as the GO Africa programme, he recalled that the country works to draw international attention to critical issues like global food security, resilience-building, and reducing inequalities, particularly in education and health care.  This commitment is further reflected by Poland’s membership in the Peacebuilding Commission.  “Rather than reinventing the wheel and creating new frameworks to promote stability and strengthen African States, we should focus on bolstering the existing mechanisms and more effectively support African institutions and organizations,” he stated.  He called for reinvigorated support to the African Union and regional economic communities within such frameworks as Agenda 2063, the African Continental Free Trade Area, Silencing the Guns and many others.

The representative of Australia, stressing the importance of regionally led approaches, said Africa’s regional and subregional actors are best placed to understand and respond to its challenges.  His country’s faith in regional approaches is rooted in its own experience in the Pacific, where it has aligned its regional priorities with the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.  Highlighting the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as the best blueprint for the continent’s collective prosperity and security, he expressed support for financing African Union-led peace operations.  It is crucial to address Africa’s multidimensional security challenges and find durable solutions to climate-induced displacement, he said, adding:  “We need to listen to and learn from the experiences of African States.”

The representative of Pakistan, noting Africa’s fertile lands, plentiful resources and industrious people, recalled its colonization, enslavement and division into “European fiefdoms”.  Following its independence in 1947, Pakistan actively participated in the liberation of African nations, and he noted that “many of our African brothers were enabled to travel on Pakistani passports to promote their national freedom struggles”.  Stressing that “Africa is on the rise”, he urged “new” peace operations with broader and more robust mandates, adequate resources and advanced equipment.  Pakistan, for its part, will contribute actively to these objectives, including as a Council member if it is elected on 6 June.  “Eons ago, the South Asian subcontinent was sundered from Africa by a colossal tectonic event,” he added; yet, Pakistan now works to embrace African States through trade, investment and security cooperation.  As connectivity grows, he observed, Pakistan will bridge Asia and Africa to bring them closer together — “a befitting reversion to our pre-historic geography”.

The representative of Liberia said it is glaringly evident that African nations are often on the frontline of emerging security threats.  “Strengthening these States is not merely an act of assistance but a strategic imperative for global stability,” she added.  She underscored that a paucity of sustainable and predictable funding holds back African States’ contribution to global peace and security.  Such funding would enable consistent training, proper equipment, and the development of robust institutions.  It would empower regional organizations to be proactive rather than only reactive and allow them to engage in preventive diplomacy and mediation.  It would help to not only maintain peace and security but also build resilient communities.  She hailed the Council’s adoption of resolution 2719 (2023).  She called for reform of global governance and financial institutions, a commitment to a just climate change agenda, and Africa’s social and economic inclusion.

The representative of the Netherlands, aligning himself with the European Union, said that protracted armed conflicts, military coups and the effects of climate change are taking their toll on the continent’s stability.  They are contributing to increased poverty, displacement and fragility in many parts of the world, disproportionately affecting Africa.  Voicing concern about the devastating conflict in Sudan and developments in other regions — including the Sahel and Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo — he said an integrated approach, combining economic, development and security cooperation, is needed to address the root causes of conflict and instability.  Also, investments and partnerships are essential to effectively tackling existing multifaceted challenges, he observed, noting that increased investments in the African countryside could be essential for stabilization and conflict prevention.  They can contribute to improved food production, poverty reduction, resilience against climate change and growing domestic markets.

The representative of Latvia emphasized the major contribution of African countries to peacekeeping — calling for missions to ensure they have clear goals and exit strategies and are trusted by the local population.  She noted that missions and peacekeepers are increasingly targeted by misinformation campaigns, used as a weapon of influence to fuel conflicts.  “To ensure peace, we must address climate change as a security imperative,” she emphasized, as intensified droughts and floods and limited access to vital resources act as a threat multiplier.  Further, women and youth — “particularly in Africa, a young continent” — are crucial to building overall resilience.  In addition, financing for development and international financial architecture reform are essential to address development and mobilize the private sector.  To that end, Latvia is expanding its partnerships with African countries by offering technology and women empowerment-related projects in South Africa, Cameroon, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The representative of Belgium, commending the role of African “Blue Helmets” worldwide, highlighted the potential offered by Council resolution 2719 (2023).  Drawing attention to his country’s support for capacity-building in Africa, he noted the trainings offered by the Belgian Egmont Institute for International Relations to civil servants from 20 African countries.  Further, African student visas represent one third of student visas to Belgium, he said, expressing support for African States’ policies aimed at claiming back fiscal space or embarking on a green transition.  Belgium and Mozambique have entered an innovative $2.6 million debt-for-climate swap to relieve Mozambique’s debt burden while investing in its climate resilience.  Also outlining security partnerships, he said “we only intervene when we are asked to.”  This year Belgium and Benin are marking 25 years of a military partnership, he said.

The representative of Saudi Arabia, emphasizing that “African affairs are of great interest” to his country, detailed national policy to establish peace and security, promote development and eradicate poverty in Africa.  It works to establish “relations that serve African countries”, he said, noting that Saudi Arabia — for 50 years — has provided development support worth more than $45 billion “in many vital sectors” that has benefited 46 African States. Detailing additional financial support to Africa, including through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, he said that his country will continue to promote investment, development and trade.  He also recalled that Saudi Arabia was among the first to support the African Union’s accession to the G20 and that — as its President in 2020 — his country worked on debt service suspension and debt restructuring for many African countries. Further, he detailed his country’s mediation support for Sudan, hosting parties to the conflict in Jeddah “in many rounds”.

The representative of India reaffirmed that its partnership with Africa remains a top priority and the need for “basic human development and economic opportunities” to achieve peace. Development financing is key and can be facilitated by genuine partnerships.  She called for a larger African role, including permanent African membership in the Council, the denial of which is a blot on its credibility. “Those who are responsible […] by perpetuating a historical injustice must be called out,” she said.  The Council must give the spreading of terrorist groups in Africa priority attention.  She added that sustainable peace and security “is possible only if external forces do not intervene for vested interests”, which calls for a stronger African role at multilateral organizations so they can argue their own case.  This conviction drove India to successfully campaign for admitting the African Union into the G20 in 2023.

The observer for the Holy See said that the African continent is beset by many challenges, including conflicts, terrorism, the impact of climate change, and the ongoing struggle for economic development and poverty eradication.  On strengthening the role of African States, he underscored the need to acknowledge their significant progress in enhancing collaboration to address some of the continent’s most pressing challenges.  In this context, he spotlighted the Silencing the Guns initiative for 2030, which could be instrumental in halting the spread of violence through the illicit trade of arms by terrorist and armed groups.  Further, he warned against “the imperious ambition of certain countries to exploit the natural resources and peoples of the African continent”, adding that “a new wave of colonialism is currently being witnessed, which does not respect the inherent human dignity of all, undermines the common good and threatens efforts to eradicate poverty”.

For information media. Not an official record.