Cristina Duarte, Secretary General Special Advisor on AfricaThe ambassadors made brief announcements during a debate aimed at examining capacity building to maintain peace on the continent and exploring the way forward.
She highlighted how efforts of African countries to prevent and address violence are being undermined by external factors such as competition for natural resources, causes of conflict, in the presence of The growing presence of global terrorist networks is gaining ground in several regions.
These efforts are also being hampered by internal factors, including discrimination in public service delivery, corruption, and non-inclusive budgeting and planning processes. Furthermore, in areas where the State is absent, service delivery is being provided by non-State actors such as criminal and terrorist groups.
Let’s invest become the foundation
Ms. Duarte highlighted that policy and finance are the main challenges for capacity building and she provided recommendations on the way forward.
“Investment in institutional infrastructure is needed to build capacity to address the underlying causes of violence. Institutions have the power to catalyze total solutions. Therefore, institutional capacity building should be the cornerstone of efforts to achieve sustainable peace,” she said.
Meanwhile, technical cooperation to create policy and institutional capacity should be prioritized in all conflict situations.
This requires increasing cooperation and coordination between different areas of UN work, Ms. Duarte said. At the same time, considerations on peace and security issues must be informed by analyzes of countries’ socio-economic conditions and institutional capacities.
The Special Adviser on Africa also called for action with peacekeeping missions, to areas where the state was absent.
“Collaborating more closely with local and national governments, not only from a security perspective but also from an institutional building perspective, could provide an opportunity to strengthen the presence of the State and strengthen the supply service level, preventing vulnerabilities that could be exploited by terrorist groups and non-State actors,” she said.
UNICEF / Francis Emorut
Nurturing the future
Relatedly, she points to the power of school nurturing programs, describing them as “an example of a public service with great potential to contribute to lasting peace and stability.”
While primarily a means to address issues such as low levels of education, malnutrition, and general food insecurity, these programs also boost local economies and empower for women, among other benefits, including reducing the risk of child recruitment into terrorist groups.
“Overall, school feeding is a cost-effective way to strengthen trust in public institutions through the provision of basic services,” said Ms. Duarte. to demonstrate the role these programs play in promoting social cohesion and peace in Africa.
Partners on the Continent
The United Nations and the African Union (AU) are partners on the continent and there is a need to strengthen cooperation, the AU High Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security said in his remarks.
Ambassador Bankole Adeoye noted that the peacekeeping and peacebuilding partnership is “clear and appreciated”, but must progress towards developing peace enforcement capacity to defeat terrorism. fatherhood and violent extremism.
He stressed the need for joint transformational leadership between the UN Security Council and the AU’s own Peace and Security Council.
“For Africa, the focus will be on building synergies for peace enforcement operations from both the military and society as a whole,” he said. “It is equally important that we work towards addressing the financial challenges associated with peaceful operations.”
Inclusiveness is the key
The Council also heard from the head of the UN Peace-Building Committee (PBC), which has supported capacity-building initiatives in African countries,.
Muhammad Abdul Muhith, President of PBC, shared observations from lessons learned in places like the Central African Republic, Liberia and Burundi, addressing issues including gender equality and youth empowerment.
Although enhanced capacity building for peacekeeping is a complex process and measures must be tailored to specific national and regional conditions, he stressed that the presence is the key.
In this regard, the Peace Building Committee stressed the importance of ensuring that women, young people and people in vulnerable situations are involved in capacity building efforts. forces at the local, national and regional levels.
“The Commission also emphasizes that civil society can play an important role in advancing efforts to build and maintain peace.”