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General News of Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Source: GNA

Let’s mobilise efforts to end wars for development to thrive - Amb Quartey

Ambassador Kwesi Quartey Ambassador Kwesi Quartey

Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, African Union Commission, has appealed to the major actors in the United Nations and African Union organs and systems to mobilise efforts to collaboratively support to end the scourge of wars and conflicts on the continent for development to thrive.

He said the vicious cycle violence and emerging disruptive crisis resulting from wars that were located in the continent but considered globalised terror acts, still rife and demanded urgent attention.

Ambassador Quartey, therefore, called for greater leadership, more transparency in governance and integrating international action with continental and localised action under the African Union Master Roadmap to “Silence the Guns”.

He said these during the Special Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa (RCM-Africa), which coincided with the Sixth Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-6) conference underway in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The main objective of the Special Session of RCM is to deliberate on the theme: “Leveraging the decade of action for the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 in Africa: The role of the UN Systems and the African Union Organs and Agencies”.

As a flagship project of Agenda 2063, ‘Silencing the Guns by 2020 was adopted by Heads of State as a vision to underscore that conflicts had become the biggest challenges of the implementation of the Agenda 2063.

He called for inclusive education especially in science and technology to create the literate and numerate Africa to wipe out illiteracy with greater support for women and children.

Mr Quartey said, “Silencing the guns is not simply about peace and security, it is about inclusive sustainable development and the observance and maintenance of human rights across the board”.

He said for us in Africa, the resonance of the UN SDGs 2030 and our own 2063, have been reinforced by internal development such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement, which was “reckoned as a major game-changer as far as trade and development is concerned”.

Ms Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, said there was the need to create a unified mechanism for coordination in each UN region, establish knowledge management hubs and enhance transparency and results-based management at the regional levels.

She said again UN would consolidate and integrate capacities on data and statistics on SDGs to facilitate access to broaden the scope.

She said the Secretary-General was expectant on strengthening the collaboration to better support the two Agendas in the context of the Decade of Action, adding,” The road is ahead, is complex but full of opportunities”.

The Deputy Secretary-General said though Africa recorded some significant reduction in inter-state conflicts in the past two decades, internal armed conflicts continued to wreak havoc.

Ms Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, Under-Secretary-General (USG) and Special Representative to the AU called for greater linkages between politics and development agenda, and this should be duty-bound.

She said Africa needed to be in the driving seat with stronger leadership and sustained engagement at the highest level would be the key.

Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General and Director Bureau for Americas, UN Development Programme called for updating of frameworks, policies, programmes and synergies as well as a robust reporting system between UN and AU with the health sector significantly showcasing effects from such collaborations, citing coronavirus and other outbreaks as fair examples.

The session was chaired by Dr Vera Songwe, USG, and Executive Secretary of Economic Commission for Africa and called for total collaboration to meet middle grounds.