Strong cooperation with the African Union (AU) is essential for the United Nations to be able to fulfill its mandate, Secretary-General António Guterres said on Saturday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the two organizations signed a new agreement to bolster their collaboration on range of global issues.
"For the United Nations, the most important partnership is the partnership with the African Union," Mr. Guterres said, alongside Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, at the start of a weekend of activities for the UN chief at the 30th AU Summit, which gathers leaders from across the region, this year under the theme "Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa's Transformation".
After signing the new AU-UN Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Secretary-General said that across the three main pillars of the United Nations – development, peace and security, and human rights – the African continent is key to solving global problems.
"The international community would not be able to have successes in development if Africa does not succeed its development taking advantage of its youth 'dividend' youth," he said, adding that neither world 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]," said the Secretary-General, adding 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 migrants," said the UN chief, adding that this is a lesson other parts of the world could learn from.
The understanding reached today follows 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, and help the two organizations better respond to the evolving challenges of peace operations.