Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at the Security Council Debate on Silencing Guns in Africa
We are glad to welcome you in the Chair of the Security Council. Welcome to New-York.
We thank the presidency of Equatorial Guinea for convening this meeting on the topic the importance of which can hardly be overestimated for the UN Security Council.
We thank the speakers for the information and assessments they have shared.
Agenda 2063 that was endorsed 6 years ago, enshrines that by that time there will be peace on the continent. It is encouraging that African leaders went beyond this noble but long-term goal and committed to do their best in order to stop armed conflicts in Africa by 2020. However, there is a tangle of problems that hinder the implementation of this ambitious goal and account for lasting instability on the continent. Equatorial Guinea initiated a resolution, that was adopted, and that focuses on many of these problems.
We believe during this debate it will be appropriate to focus on the efforts the Africans make to solve the challenges in the area of peace and security and ways for international community to assist African countries.
African profile accounts for the major part of the SC agenda, however in the recent year there has been significant progress in the settlement of several crises. Crucial peace agreements have been reached in South Sudan and Central African Republic. Thanks to courageous steps of the leaders of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, the situation at the Horn of Africa has improved. Several countries of the continent, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria ran generally peaceful and democratic elections.
At the same time, the situation in many regions of Africa remains precarious. We are particularly concerned about hotbeds of tension in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, CAR, Somalia, East of DRC, areas of the Lake Chad basin. In this regard, we welcome the joint action of “G5 Sahel” as well as Multinational Joint Task Force to counter “Boko Haram” formation.
There is a need to further consolidate the efforts to curb the increasing terrorist threat in Africa. Terrorists return to African countries from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistam. After the West intervened in Libya in 2011, the country has become a safe haven for terrorists of all sorts who increasingly often use Libya as a foothold for their activity. We support the endeavor of the African Union to keep a higher “profile” in Libyan settlement, i.a. by co-organizing (together with the UN) a conference on reconciliation in Libya.
We take notice of operativeness of African Standby Forces in building African Peace and Security Architecture. The African Union has fostered its effort to prevent conflicts. i.a. with the help of sub-regional organizations and “good offices” of prominent African leaders. We highly commend the contribution of African Union High Representative for Silencing the Guns in Africa R.Lamamra. We hope that African Union Center for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development that has been founded recently will operate in a productive manner.
We believe that the international community should provide adequate assistance to achieve cessation of conflicts in Africa. This support should firmly base on the UN Charter and respectof principle of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states. This is the Africans who should play the major role in settlement of crises in line with the principle “African solution for African problems.”
We emphasize that Russia helps to ensure security and stability in Africa only with consent of national governments, in line with the regional and continent-wide peace initiatives. In order to facilitate the establishment of crisis-settlement forces of African states, we will set forth our bilateral programs to train their military and law enforcement officers and to provide educational opportunities for African peacekeepers at Russian specialized facilities.
We welcome the shared commitment of the UN Secretariat and the African Union Commission to step up cooperation between the organizations in the area of peace and security, i.a. by holding annual highest segment conferences and increasing the number of joint missions in conflict zones.
The Security Council pays much attention to the initiative of Africa to ensure sustainable financing of peacekeeping operations under AU auspices. We believe this attention is well-deserved. We see that African leaders allocate financing to the African Union Peace Fund, which proves their commitment to maintain the budgets of African peacekeeping missions.
Stability for Africa depends on how social and economic challenges of the continent are resolved. The most urgent issues require to foster development by enhancing industrial production, build modern infrastructure, create jobs, including jobs for the youth. There is a need to mitigate the negative impact of the problems related to refugees, IDPs, uncontrolled migration, hunger, poverty and epidemics.
This produces a demand for increased efficiency of the state governance and highly qualified personnel in various areas. That is why Russia will contribute to training African personnel by providing scholarships and opportunities to be educated at Russian facilities. We will continue training Africans in the areas of medicine, education, hi-tech, transportation, geology, and others.