STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. ABDULLAH ABUSHAWESH, COUNSELLOR AT THE MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN, AT THE ADOPTION OF THE GA RESOLUTION ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS CONTAINED IN THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE CAUSES OF CONFLICT IN AFRICA AND THE PROMOTION OF DURABLE PEACE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA (New York, 10 September 2019)
Thank you, Madame President,
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and to introduce draft resolution A/73/L.97/Rev.1 entitled "implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary General on the causes of conflict in Africa and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa".
2. This resolution continues to be an important platform for member states to emphasize the importance of taking concrete steps to address the root causes of conflict in Africa, particularly those related to poverty, weak State institutions, climate change, illicit trade in and proliferation of arms, especially small arms and light weapons, as well as the illicit exploitation, trafficking, and trade of high-value natural resources. The Group is concerned that except these root causes of conflict in the continent are satisfactorily addressed, Africa would be unlikely to meet the first of the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, namely eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty.
3. We are glad that the text before us acknowledged the imperative to engender sustainable peace in the continent and underscored the need to strengthen the capacity of Africa and Africans to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner. In this regard, the G77 and China acknowledges positive trends and advances in ensuring durable peace in Africa and would like to emphasize the need to create conditions necessary for durable peace, as a necessity for achieving sustainable development in the continent.
4. The Group recalls that African countries have taken numerous steps to address peace and security challenges at national and regional levels, including, in the case of terrorism and instability where the G5 Sahel Force and the Multi-national Joint Task Force, among others security and peace initiatives, have been established and made functional by Africa. The Group is certain that it was the continent's believe that adherence to the rule of law and good governance are necessary to sustaining peace that made the African Union to establish the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), as a unique and innovative framework to promote good governance, durable peace and sustainable development across the continent.
5. These commendable efforts, despite the limited capacity and resources, underscores Africa's determination to find solution to its own security challenges. Nonetheless, the need for partners to enhance their support for African peace and security activities and to help build the continent's capacity to prevent and resolve its internal conflicts, cannot be overemphasized.
6. It is in this connection that the Group of 77 and China encourages the international community and development partners to continue supporting African countries in their efforts to develop their human and institutional capacities, particularly in countries emerging from conflict. We recommend that any assistance in this regards should focus on means of implementation, particularly financial resources, technology transfer and capacity building. Considering that aid remains an important source of development financing for most developing countries, including those in Africa, we encourage Developed countries to fulfil their commitments in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, including ODA commitments.
7. The G77 and China also avails itself of this opportunity to commend and indeed, reiterate support for the long standing exemplary partnership between the United Nations and Africa, including the existing cooperation between the African Union Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Security Council.
Excellencies and colleagues,
8. This year's resolution brings new elements to advance Africa's efforts in this regards. As crucial elements for reducing conflict situations in the continent, the text underlines the importance of a comprehensive approach to sustaining peace; preventing conflict by addressing its root causes; promoting sustained economic growth; eradicating poverty; and promoting reconciliation and unity at the national levels. It also reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the Member States to strengthen international cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and emphasized that all acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever it is committed. The resolution also notes the consequences of conflicts in Africa and underscores the importance of addressing the peculiar needs of forcibly displaced persons in Africa.
9. The Group further appreciates that the text reiterated the call for the International Community and Development Partners to fulfil their commitments to take further action to support areas critical to the socio-economic development of the African continent. The text also underlines the adverse impact of climate change and natural disasters on the development of a number of African Member States. In this regard, the text welcomed the endorsement by African Heads of State and Government, of the Inter-Basin Water Transfer initiative, as a pan-African project to restore the Lake Chad Basin and encouraged relevant United Nations entities and Development Partners to support such African-oriented initiatives for stabilization, recovery and climate resilience.
10. It is the view of the G77 and China that for this important resolution to be implemented in a manner that would be considered beneficial to the African continent, Partners would have to show more flexibility in supporting the request for the international system to be operated in a manner that create a shared future for all. In this regards, we urge all member states to support the advocacy for Africa's engagement with the rest of the world, to be anchored on the time-honoured mutually benefit principles of a "win-win cooperation", as encapsulated in Paragraph 18 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to which all UN Member States subscribed.
11. As I conclude, I would like to inform that certain minor errors and omissions were inadvertently made on OP 44 of the text before us. Since nobody broke silence on the omitted words during the informal and silence procedure, I would like to propose that we reflect the exact wordings which was agreed ad ref during the informal in the text, to read as follows:
"OP44. Notes with concern the tragic plight of children in conflict situations in Africa, in particular the phenomenon of the recruitment and use of children by parties to armed conflicts, sexual exploitation and abuse as well as other violations and abuses committed against children, and in this regard takes note of efforts aimed at promoting education and the right to education and facilitating the continuation of education in situations of armed conflict and
protected protracted crises, stresses the need for the protection of children in armed conflicts and for ensuring that the protection and rights of children in armed conflicts are integrated into all peace processes, also stresses the need for post-conflict, reintegration, rehabilitation and education, with due regard for the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, and encourages the relevant parts of the United Nations system to assist the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in the implementation of her mandate, including in Africa"
12. Let me take this opportunity to extend G77 and China's thanks to the representatives of Nigeria and Djibouti for their commendable roles in coordinating the resolution on behalf of the Group 77 and China. I also wish to thank the representatives of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe for facilitating consultations on the draft resolution and for their outstanding endeavour in presenting a well-balanced text to be considered for adoption.
13. The G77 and China considers it rather unfortunate that this resolution that focuses on assisting African countries to address the causes of conflict in the continent is being subjected to a vote at the General Assembly of the United Nations by countries that have historically benefited from their relations with the continent. Such an afront shows clearly that foreign interest and interference in African affairs is also a cause of conflict in the continent.
14. We seize this opportunity to express appreciation to all Member States that have shown necessary flexibility throughout the negotiation process. The Group also express appreciation to the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa for its support in its capacity as Secretariat for this resolution.
15. We look forward to working closely with all Development Partners, on the basis of mutual trust and good faith, to implement the key deliverables in this resolution.
I thank you!