African countries have huge potential but sustainable development also depends on peace and security: United Kingdom statement at the United Nations Security Council

The United Kingdom is proud to be a close partner of African states and their peoples. We are committed to working together through long term, reliable, cooperation, based on common objectives. 

At the regional level, the African Union is an essential partner in our shared efforts to advance peace and prosperity. We recognise the important role played by African Union-led peace support operations, such as in Somalia, and for the importance of predictable and sustainable funding. As many have said today, resolution 2719 was a significant step forward; it is now important that the UN and AU work together to develop and implement the necessary technical mechanisms to make it work in practice.

President, the UK agrees that we should amplify African voices in international fora. We strongly supported the AU becoming a member of the G20.  This was an important step in ensuring that global governance represents the world of today. 

But we should go further: we should reinforce Africa’s position in the Security Council. The UK supports permanent African representation. We should reform the international financial system, so it is fairer. We should ensure a greater role for the lowest income and most vulnerable countries in Africa on the World Bank and IMF Boards.

President, African countries have huge potential. But as the chair of the PBC said, sustainable development also depends on peace and security. We have a shared interest in working for a more stable and prosperous African continent. This means striving to address the underlying drivers of violence and inequality, including economic stress, climate change and social and political marginalisation. 

Greater collaboration between the UN and AU, and the members of this Council and the AU Peace and Security Council, can help address challenges such as the conflicts in Sudan and Eastern DRC, as well as unconstitutional changes of government. These problems, President, weaken the role of the state and undermine development. Working together we can solve them and help manage common, transnational threats such as climate change and humanitarian crises. 

President, accelerating progress towards the SDGs requires sustainable and inclusive growth and ambition to reduce vulnerabilities. It also means working to unlock the full potential of the entire population. That means educating and empowering women and girls, championing their health and rights, and ending gender-based violence. The UK is committed to working consistently with African partners to these ends.

I thank you.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of UK.

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