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Source: Small Island Developing States

6 May 2019: UN Secretary-General António Guterres and African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed their commitment to deepen the strategic partnership between the UN and the AU in achieving sustainable development and addressing peace and security issues in Africa. Guterres and Faki released a joint communique following the Third AU-UN Annual Conference.

The UN Secretary-General and the AUC Chairperson met at UN Headquarters in New York, US, on 6 May 2019.

The UN Secretary-General and the AUC Chairperson welcomed strong cooperation and collaboration between the UN and the AU, including through implementation of the UN-AU Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security and the AU-UN Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They supported continued collaboration to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (CAFTA) and related instruments, such as the Single African Air Transport Market and the Free Movement Protocol. The Secretary-General and the Chairperson recognized the potential of these instruments to: boost inclusive economic growth; generate jobs, particularly for Africa’s youth; alleviate poverty; enhance regional integration and contribute to stable, peaceful societies.

The UN Secretary-General and the AUC Chairperson discussed overall progress on the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063. On the SDGs, they recognized that greater momentum will be needed to meet the Goals by 2030. They urged further efforts to harness public and private finance to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 and towards low-carbon, climate-resilient pathways. The two also underscored the importance of investing in robust data ecosystems, tracking progress and enabling evidence-based policy making. They recognized the September 2019 SDG Summit and related meetings as an opportunity to call for increased integration of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 as well as to promote a global partnership for sustainable development to encourage all countries to meet their commitments, especially to the most vulnerable countries. They further called for continued efforts to promote peace and security and to uphold human rights as a foundation for sustainable development.

On gender parity and women’s leadership, the UN Secretary-General and the AUC Chairperson welcomed strengthened cooperation and recognized the vital role of women in peace and mediation processes and their contribution to sustainable development and economic growth. The two supported continued efforts to promote gender parity, women’s leadership and increased participation and inclusion of women. They also welcomed the continued joint high-level missions on women, peace and security, and development as well as joint efforts to increase deployment of women peacekeepers.

On climate change, the leaders underlined the urgency of decisive and immediate action on climate change and the need for enhanced political will. They highlighted the role of the Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in mobilizing partnerships and resources, showcasing concrete climate action and securing progress to ensure no one is left behind. They agreed to further strengthen cooperation on climate adaptation ahead of the Summit and beyond.

On peace, Guterres and Faki agreed to enhanced collaboration in conflict prevention and sustaining peace. As part of these efforts, the two agreed to reinforce joint efforts to implement the AU initiative on ‘Silencing the Guns’ and to review the factors that explain the protracted nature of conflicts facing the African continent, with the aim of agreeing on “joint and decisive action to overcome the identified challenges.” The UN Secretary-General and the AUC Chairperson also encouraged further efforts to implement the Joint Declaration on cooperation for AU peace support operations.

The UN Secretary-General and the AUC Chairperson addressed a number of other topics, including refugees, humanitarian effectiveness and the security situations in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Libya, the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.

The UN Secretary-General and the AUC Chairperson will convene the Fourth AU-UN Annual Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2020 and will continue to meet on the margins of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the AU Summit. [UN News Story] [UNECA Press Release] [Joint Communique]

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