Security Council

(Continued) Peace and Security in Africa: The…

(Continued) Peace and Security in Africa: The Impact of Development Policies in the Implementation of the Silencing the Guns Initiative - Security Council, 9299th Meeting
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The aim of this open debate is to facilitate a deeper understanding of the contribution of socioeconomic factors in promoting social cohesion, peace and stability or, conversely, in triggering conflict, including the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government in Africa and beyond.  

Highlighting the links between durable peace, inclusive development, security and stability in the African continent, speakers in the Security Council today emphasized the need for greater international cooperation and support for “African solutions to African problems”, during a debate on the impact of development policies in implementing the African Union’s “Silencing the Guns” initiative, one of the signature events of Mozambique’s presidency.

Cristina Duarte, Special Adviser on Africa to the United Nations Secretary-General, said that, unfortunately, the African perspective has been insufficiently incorporated in global discussions on peace and security on the continent.

She went on to highlight the impact of colonialism on the continent’s current governance shortcomings, noting that it led to the formation of three geographies:  the administrative territory of a country, determined by its borders; one reflecting pre-existing sociocultural groups, which transcends the boundaries of one country; and another reflecting the actual presence of the State, which tended to be concentrated in a few urban centres.

On the absence of the State from a service-provision perspective, which creates fertile ground for terrorism and the emergence of non-State actors, as is the case in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, she called for military solutions to be complemented by active development policies that help ensure an effective provision of public services across the territory. 

The success of the Maputo Accord and all that contributed to it was further detailed by Mirko Manzoni, Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Mozambique, who said that its signing and implementation had generated hope. 

As a key element of the peace initiative, the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process has seen more than 4,800 beneficiaries settle in communities of their choice to begin their reintegration journey, he continued, pointing out that such programmes should take a longer-term view, rather than being seen as a technical and time-limited process. 

Also briefing the Council was Mohamed Ibn Chambas, African Union High Representative for Silencing the Guns, who said that today’s debate comes at a moment when Africa is faced with multiple challenges, due to the continent’s vulnerability to global economic shocks, among other factors, all of which were amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed an estimated 55 million Africans into poverty in 2020 and reversed more than two decades of progress in poverty reduction on the continent. 

Against that backdrop, he underscored that Africa must embark on a people-centred recovery and transformation, prioritizing investment in areas such as education and science; technology and innovation; health; decent employment opportunities; and gender equality and youth empowerment.  

In the ensuing debate, Council members and other States’ representatives emphasized the need for African solutions to African problems and for policies to promote social stability through investments in human capital, promoting the participation of women and youth.  

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m., suspended at 1:05 p.m., resumed at 3:07 p.m. and ended at 5:45 p.m.