UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday said UN is keen to further strengthen its partnership with the African Union (AU) in five areas.
Peace and security, migration, and fighting against corruption are the three of the five major areas of cooperation where the UN seeks to strengthen partnership with AU, said Guterres at the opening of the 30th AU heads of state and government summit.
The other areas of cooperation include sustainable and inclusive development, and issues related to women and young people, he said.
With regard to peace and security, Guterres reiterated that the UN-AU partnership is fundamental in building a safer world for all, and the partnership between the two organizations is rooted in solutions that are Africa-owned, Africa-driven, and Africa-led.
He also noted the need to confront root causes of conflicts by strengthening prevention through diplomacy and mediation.
Stating that the UN fully supports the African initiative for peace and reconciliation in the Central African Republic (CAR), he urged all partners to move this forward under national leadership.
The UN has aligned its position with the AU and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and has been cooperating with them as far as the situation in South Sudan is concerned, said Guterres.
Regarding migration, he emphasized strengthening cooperation between UN and AU, and underlined the need to maximizing the benefits of orderly migration, while stamping out abuses and prejudice.
“This requires better coordination between countries of origin, transit and destination, and more legal pathways for migration,” noted the secretary- general.
“I condemn the widespread abuse and exploitation of migrants that are a stain on our common humanity,” he said.
With regard to the partnership in anti-corruption, Guterres pledged UN’s strong support to AU’s endeavors in fighting against the scourge of corruption on the continent.
Reiterating that corruption contributes to the trafficking of people and drugs, and the plundering of natural resources and wildlife, with other negative impacts, Guterres said the UN is working with national anti-corruption commissions to end impunity and bring perpetrators to justice.
The secretary-general also stated that the UN cooperates with AU in the area of sustainable and inclusive development, for which the two organizations cooperate on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
With regard to women and young people, Guterres said women and young people must lead the development agenda.
Africa has the largest concentration of young people, said Guterres, adding “harnessing the demographic dividend, through investment in quality education, skills and job creation, will unleash unprecedented resources of energy, talent and creativity.”
The UN and the AU signed a second framework on the implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the AU Agenda 2063 on Saturday.
Africa is one of the greatest forces for good in our world. The UN and the African Union are working across the continent in a solid partnership. pic.twitter.com/irAqHwQx3k
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) January 28, 2018