Thank you, President, for convening this timely debate. Your own personal leadership in delivering the Maputo Peace Accords offers many valuable lessons for “Silencing the Guns” across the African continent. I am grateful to our briefers for their presentations.
President, the human and financial costs of conflict are unsustainable. Done well, development is the best form of prevention.
Durable peace, security and development can only be secured through integrated solutions, which bring together the breadth of UN and African Union development expertise. This also means ensuring countries can access adequate development financing to take action. And as President Nyusi said development and security need to be underpinned by respect and defence of human rights.
I will make three additional points:
First, the United Kingdom is committed to long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with African countries to promote economic development. In this context, the Prime Minister will host the UK African Investment Summit in London in April 2024. The Summit will promote two-way trade and investment with African countries to create jobs and growth. The Summit seeks to support initiatives to encourage intra-African trade integration and women’s economic empowerment. We know that economic growth and stability contribute to longer-term peace and security.
Second, the United Kingdom strongly supports increased collaboration in the UN on development, and peace and security. So, in addition to this Council’s work on peace and security, this means complementary and mutually reinforcing peacebuilding and development responses. Yesterday’s discussion in the Peacebuilding Commission on Mozambique’s recent journey was a good example of this. Root causes of conflict and violence need to be addressed based on holistic analysis and the use of integrated solutions.
Third, the United Kingdom continues to encourage enhanced partnerships between the UN, African Union, the African Development Bank, the World Bank and regional partners. We partner closely with the African Union on shared priorities such as strengthening health systems and mitigating the impacts of climate change. The UK is proud to support the AU’s Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation. This is an important continental tool to help prevent and manage conflict.
President, the UK will remain a committed partner for advancing development, peace and security across the African continent, including support of the implementation of the “Silencing the Guns” initiative.