APRM deepens democracy among African governments – UN

Ban Ki-Moon - UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-Moon – UN Secretary-General

Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the  United Nations, says the African Peer Review Mechanisms (APRM), has deepened democratic political culture among African governments.

He said it has fostered more principled leadership and constructive national dialogue; and the peer review process has opened up greater space for citizens to participate in  decisions affecting them.

A statement signed by Cynthia Prah, National Information Officer at the United Nations Information Centre in Accra, and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday, noted that Mr Ban made the remarks in New York at a High Level Panel Discussion on Africa’s Innovation in Governance through 10 years of the APRM.

“I pay tribute to the 17 countries that have completed their self-assessment and peer review. This process strengthened national accountability.

“In some cases, the APRM has revealed underlying causes of conflict – with recommendations to address them.

“The APRM has identified a number of areas where African countries need to improve,” Mr Ban stated.

He said it showed the need to better manage natural resources, stop corruption, end xenophobia, address youth unemployment, and take action against organized crime and terrorism, adding that above all, the APRM points to the critical need to halt unconstitutional changes in governments – and, when they happen, to respond robustly in defence of principle.

He said now was the time to deepen and broaden this valuable peer review process so that more countries can benefit.

The Secretary-General said the goal was for all countries in Africa to face the scrutiny, by themselves and by others; declaring that this was what African people expect of their leaders.

He said the UN remained committed to supporting the APRM and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

He said what the APRM did for governance, NEPAD does for development and together, they help Africa to advance along the path of democracy and development, to benefit the continent’s people.

He said in Mali, the Africa Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States are helping the United Nations Mission to consolidate gains following the elections.

Mr Ban said relations between Sudan and South Sudan have improved, thanks to the contributions of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel led by former President Thabo Mbeki.

He said the UN and the African Union are also co-operating constructively on Somalia.

“We are continuing to seek sustainable resources for the African Union Mission in Somalia.

“I am deeply concerned about the situation in the Central African Republic. It is essential to restore law and order throughout the country, protect civilians and ensure a return to constitutional order,” he said.

Mr Ban said international solidarity remained essential to addressing all of Africa’s challenges.

He recounted that 10 years ago, the APRM was a bold initiative that showed the world that African leaders were ready to take action on difficult and sensitive problems of governance and democracy, adding that this approach has proven its value.

“Let us resolve to usher in a future where all of Africa’s leaders answer to their people in democratic governments that are a model for our world,” he said.

Source: GNA

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