Ban pledges closer collaboration with African Union

UN NEWS CENTRE | 26 June 2014 – The United Nations is proud to be a key partner with Africa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told continental leaders gathered for a summit in Equatorial Guinea today, underscoring the Organization’s commitment to working with them to resolve and prevent conflict, as well as to enhance agricultural productivity, promote industrialization and ensure gender equality.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the 23rd African Union (AU) Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the 23rd African Union (AU) Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

“We are committed to your goal of ‘an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena’,” Mr. Ban told the 23rd African Union (AU) Summit in Malabo, echoing the regional body’s vision of a transformed continent.

“As you develop and implement Agenda 2063, the United Nations will remain by your side – promoting peace, human rights and sustainable development,” said the UN chief, referencing the “call to action” for all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united continent, adopted by African Heads of State and Government last year on the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the regional body.

Mr. Ban said that “narrative of hope” had been consolidated over the past year: “Across most of Africa, we saw stability, economic growth and continued progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). And wherever there was crisis, the African Union and regional partners took the lead in forging solutions. The United Nations is proud to be a key partner.”

Read the full text of Ban Ki-moon’s remarks here.

Africa’s transformation and economic progress will also entail sustainable energy for all and a revolution in agricultural productivity through policy reforms and technology, he continued, explain that agriculture does not simply produce the food people need. “It is a source of employment, an engine for economic growth and a vital contributor to environmental services. It is the glue that binds rural societies.”

Commending the AU on its resolve to end hunger and malnutrition by 2025, the Secretary-General thanked the 34 AU members that have so far joined the Movement for Scaling Up Nutrition, which focuses on the critical 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday.

Read: Ending hunger by 2025: Africa raises the bar

FAO Director-General at Africa Union Summit – Zero Hunger commitment “a historic occasion”

On efforts to tackle climate change, “a crucial investment in a nation’s future,” he said the African Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture is setting a global example with its goal of enabling 25 million African farmers, fishers and livestock keepers to increase productivity, adapt to climate change, and reduce emissions by 2025.

The UN chief hoped to see similarly ambitious plans as part of a global alliance to be launched at the climate summit that he will convene in New York on 23 September.