Guterres urges UN Security Council to strengthen peace operations in Africa

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UN secretary-general António Guterres has urged the Security Council to strengthen peace operations in Africa, noting that the gains made on the continent and elsewhere were reversing.

Mr Guterres, who made the appeal on Thursday while briefing the UN Security Council, emphasised the need for “a sharper focus on (prevention) and building resilience.”

According to him, exploiting natural resources or competition to exploit them can trigger violent conflict.

proposed New Agenda for Peace prioritises prevention and peace-building investments. Our peace operations must be empowered and equipped to play a greater role in sustaining peace at all stages of conflict and in all its dimensions,” he said.

The UN chief outlined four priorities, beginning with better local community engagements and promoting more responsive and inclusive governments and institutions.

He stated that peace operations contributed to shared goals for legitimate, responsive, and inclusive governance, created space for dialogue and political participation and reduced communal violence.

“It also contributes to the delivery of basic services, encourages reconciliation, and promotes equal access to justice. But quicker and more effective actions are required to address needs and grievances by “strengthening a whole-of-society approach and increase investments that build trust, community engagement and cohesion,” the UN boss said.

The UN chief also reminded the Security Council that peacekeeping played a “critical role” in supporting UN operations in building resilience and sustaining peace.

“By acting early, engaging strategically, and speaking with one voice, this Council can mobilise the international community’s political and financial support and foster the commitment of conflict actors to secure peace,” he said.

Mr Guterres pointed out that rising geopolitical tensions, spreading insecurity, and other powerful instability drivers were mutually reinforcing, citing escalating climate catastrophe, worsening hunger and poverty, and deepening inequalities.

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