If we fail in Africa, we will fail in the world – Guterres

António Guterres – UN Secretary-General

The United Nations (UN) would have failed in its work if it fails to make a difference in Africa, Secretary-General António Guterres has said in a press release copied to ghanabusinessnews.com.

Mr Guterres said this at a Town Hall meeting with UN staff in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He noted that the success of the UN worldwide was linked to its success in Africa, especially in terms of the UN’s development, peace and security policies, according to the release.

He also said the UN should help African governments to successfully implement Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals, a plan of action, which seeks to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions from communities around the world, adding it was crucial for the UN to get it right in Africa and change the lives of the ordinary people.

“Africa is unfortunately seen mostly as a continent with crises and sometimes we in the UN are also responsible for that,” Mr Gueterres was quoted as saying in the release.

He stressed that there are many remarkable African success stories that remain unheralded emphasizing the need for a different narrative about Africa – a positive narrative, which he underlined, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) had contributed extraordinarily to.

He spoke about the need to reform the UN’s “peace architecture”, which still has many overlaps and complicates the transition to peace from country to country, it noted.

“We need to have transparency and accountability in relation to what we do. The UN needs to find three great areas of reform that will address the challenges of the international organization. It is clear that the best prevention of conflicts lies in sustainable, inclusive development,’ he said.

“We have prevention but not as much as we should have; we have some conflict resolution but we are far from having the capacities we should have; integrating our work horizontally and vertically is an important priority and reforming the organization to be able to do it properly is essential,” he added.

Acting Executive Secretary of the ECA, Abdalla Hamdok said the people of Africa remained resilient while faced with multiple challenges, including the vagaries of climate change, poverty and malnutrition.

Mr Hamdok, assured that the ECA will continue to play its role of helping African governments to enact policies that will structurally transform the continent’s economy leading to inclusive growth, the release said.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

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