I am pleased to join with you in marking Africa Week 2015. I commend your theme of moving from aspirations to actions – and your focus on integration and unlocking the full potential of trade.
The year 2015 is indeed a critical time for global action.
Operationalizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — and Agenda 2063 of the African Union — will be a key to our success in ensuring a life of dignity for all.
The vision and ambition reflected in these landmark and complementary efforts echo the aspirations of African countries and their peoples, and build on the robust economic growth that has been attained even during the global financial crisis.
Much of the potential of the economies of Africa remains untapped, both in terms of its diverse resources and its people.
They seek to build lives with quality education and health care, decent jobs, a clean environment and tolerant, inclusive and democratic societies.
They demand and deserve a future where guns are silenced throughout the continent and poverty and hunger have no place.
The United Nations system is committed to supporting the 10-Year Implementation Plan of the Agenda 2063, including the efforts of the Regional Economic Communities as they strive to further integration.
I salute African member states on the Tripartite Free Trade Area agreement signed in June this year. This is an important step towards the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area envisioned in Agenda 2063.
Our shared 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development further reinforces the importance of regional and sub-regional organizations in the planning, execution and review of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Agenda 2030 is a transformational agenda – and realizing it will require a transformation in the way we approach development and how we support countries on their own development path.
We have been working in silos for too long, but we know that no country or organization can achieve these goals alone.
Putting the SDGs into action is an opportunity to foster greater coordination among our international organizations, regional and sub-regional organizations, and governments.
By building on innovative solutions, such as the African Peer Review Mechanism to facilitate knowledge sharing, we can harness synergies.
Over time, the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union has grown ever stronger.
I believe it is absolutely critical to further deepen those ties.
Our joint cooperation is helping to deliver results in conflict prevention; peace-making, peace-keeping and peace-building; humanitarian assistance; the promotion of democracy, human rights, rule of law and good governance; and inclusive development and equitable growth.
For example, the United Nations has provided support to the African Union in the establishment of the African Peace and Security Architecture and the consolidation of the African Governance Architecture.
Through the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa, UN agencies are working to enhance our system-wide coordination at the regional and sub-regional levels in support of the African Union and its New Partnership for Africa’s Development programme.
To address peace and security challenges in Africa, I have recently convened, in close cooperation with the African Union and key sub-regional organizations, High-level Meetings on the situations in the Central African Republic, Congo, Libya, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan. Let us also continue to work together to resolve the pressing refugee and migration crisis.
I have full faith that we can transform challenges into opportunities when our toolkit is comprehensive, our approach is holistic and our partnership with the African Union and Regional Commissions is deep.
The UN’s Agenda 2030 and the AU’s Agenda 2063 have provided us with a strong continental and global consensus and a clear roadmap.
Now is the time to put these aspirations into action and to keep the momentum strong by securing an equally transformative climate change agreement in Paris in December.
You can count on me to keep working hand-in-hand with you to achieve peace, security, development and human rights for all Africans. And you can also count on Special Adviser on African issues, Mr.
Maged Abdelaziz, for his continuing commitment working together with all Member States and myself also.
Together, let’s build a more sustainable and secure Africa and a better world for all.