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Full remarks by Deputy PM, FM Minh at UNSC High-level Debate on UN-African Union Cooperation

VGP - Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh delivered his remarks at the High-level Debate of the United Nations Security Council on Cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union on December 4.

12/04/2020 22:30

The following are his full remarks:

I thank you, Mr. President, for convening this important meeting. Also, I sincerely thank Secretary-General Guterres and the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat for their insightful briefings.

Mr. President,

Over the past decades, Africa has made important strides towards greater regional integration. Efforts to promote stability and security, inclusive social and economic development, justice and governance are being implemented. Peace is now a reality across the continent. Africa, endowed with cultural diversity and abundant resources, has the true potential to become the global powerhouse of the future.

The contributions of African nations to regional and international peace and security could not be overstated, of which the African Union (AU) and sub-regional organisations have become key drivers of progress. The AU’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want and its strategic partnership with the United Nations provide important frameworks for the Union to be an integral part of the global governance system.

Yet, conflicts continue to overshadow many parts of the region. Sustainable development in Africa is further hindered by emerging threats, especially terrorism, trans-national organized crimes, climate change, and food and water insecurity. While the Ebola outbreak is still fresh in the memories of many, African countries are now heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These collateral challenges compound to the problems of already fragile situations, especially in conflict-affected areas. Therefore, collective efforts in the African continent, led by the AU, are more crucial than ever.

Mr. President,

The role of regional and sub-regional organizations in the maintenance of peace and security is clearly identified in the UN Charter. Within this framework, UN – AU engagement has grown into a strategic partnership central to the implementation of peace initiatives across the region.

Indeed, such an engagement is exemplary and mutually reinforcing. Consolidated UN – AU cooperation has allowed for an effective utilization of global efforts and expertise, as well as regional ownership, in addressing region-specific issues. Vis-à-vis this process, regional mechanisms like the AU have also been empowered to play a more robust and active role in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, through deployment of peacekeeping and peace missions, and establishment of regional frameworks for sustaining peace.

Here, the partnership between the UN and the AU could be further strengthened in three key ways:

First - Supporting the AU’s coordination in regional issues, on the basis of respect for regional visions, values, culture and history. With effective international support, the AU can translate their valuable insights and experience into real solutions for defusing local conflicts and tensions.

Second - Strengthening strategic cooperation between the UN and the AU both at institutional and operational levels, including in supporting the implementation of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

And third - Expanding inter-regional cooperation, to help Africa as well as other regions cope with global problems that affect all nations alike. It would be of significant benefits for ASEAN and the AU, for instance, to explore more opportunities for sharing of experience and best practices in addressing common challenges and realizing regional goals.

Mr. President,

Viet Nam holds dear our traditional friendships with African countries. Throughout history, the national struggle for independence and quest for post-conflict reconstruction and development of Viet Nam has marched in parallel with those of African brothers and sisters. Viet Nam’s very first peacekeepers are deployed to UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. And Viet Nam will continue this momentum to extend our strong support to the African path to peace and development.

During our tenure in the Security Council, cooperation between the UN and regional organizations remains one of our consistent priorities, as exemplified in our initiative to preside over the first ever Council briefing on UN – ASEAN cooperation last January. Building on this vision, we stand ready to contribute to enhancing ASEAN – AU cooperation in the future, for the common progress of Africa and Asia.

I thank you./.