The AU and UN have signed a Framework Agreement for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the 30th AU Summit in Addis Ababa.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said after signing the agreement that strong cooperation with the AU was essential for the UN to be able to fulfill its mandate.
The UN chief said the new agreements would help bolster the collaboration between the two organisations on a range of global issues.
“For the United Nations, the most important partnership is the partnership with the African Union,” Guterres said, alongside Moussa Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission.
The summit gathered leaders from across the region this year under the theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”.
Guterres said across the three main pillars of the United Nations – development, peace and security, and human rights – the African continent was key to solving global problems.
“The international community would not be able to have successes in development if Africa does not succeed in its development taking advantage of its youth ‘dividend’,” he said.
He added that neither would the global community secure lasting peace and security if Africa is not able to manage not only its conflicts, but above all, to make strong effort at conflict prevention and resolution.
“We will be side by side with the African Union in respecting African leadership in solving African problems to help in this regard,” he said, noting that Africa has also made admirable strides in human rights.
“Today, we talk a lot about immigration. I have always seen African countries open their doors to refugees and migration,” the UN chief said, adding that this is a lesson other parts of the world could learn from.
The agreement followed the signing at UN Headquarters in April 2017 of a landmark framework to strengthen partnership between the UN and the AU on peace and security, to help the two organisations better respond to the evolving challenges of peace operations.
Guterres also addressed a high-level event to take stock of progress on the renewed partnership to end hunger in Africa by 2025.
He noted that agriculture and livestock productivity on the continent were under threat and hunger rates continue to increase, and cited the close links among hunger, food insecurity and poverty.
He flagged that the majority of undernourished people in Africa lived in conflict-affected countries, where hunger was almost twice as high when the crisis was protracted.
He advocated for stronger commitment by governments, the AU and the UN to promote peace, human rights and sustainable development.
“To build and sustain peace and address hunger and poverty, we need community-based approaches that build social cohesion and the capacity of local institutions and actors.
“Improved governance that can deliver equitable services is essential,” he asserted.