Africa: UN, AU Strategic Partnerships Making a Difference - Guterres

Addis Ababa — The strategic partnerships between the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) have been producing promising results, said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Speaking at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), Guterres asserted "the fruits of our strategic partnerships are making a difference".

There has been a quantum leap in UN's strategic cooperation with the African Union, he said adding that "from day one as Secretary-General, I have been determined to forge ever closer ties between the United Nations and Africa."

Noting the major cooperation areas, he said that UN has signed Joint Frameworks on Peace and Security and on Sustainable Development and conducted numerous joint high-level visits across the continent with African Union.

"We have much to show from our combined efforts and are better positioned to address our shared challenges," he stated.

Appreciating remarkable progresses in conflict resolution in Africa, the Secretary General underscored that wind of hope blowing across the African continent.

"This is a time when a wind of hope is blowing across Africa. We have seen reconciliation between Ethiopia and Eritrea," he commended the prevalence of peace across Africa.

Guterres reaffirmed that the United Nations will increase its mutual support to uphold peace operations in Africa.

"To consolidate and build on our gains, I launched the Action for Peacekeeping initiative to enable our missions to be more effective, better equipped, safer and more robust," he pledged.

Speaking on African countries participation under the UN peacekeepers mission, he said "their service and sacrifice are always at the forefront of our minds".

"African countries provide nearly half of all Blue Helmets deployed worldwide, including some two-thirds of all women peacekeepers and the majority of United Nations police," he added.

Expressing his personal note on the theme of this year's African Union summit, he urged for lasting solutions to displacement in Africa.

Africa hosts nearly a third of the world's refugees and internally displaced persons, it was indicated.

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