The world body on Thursday called for global solidarity and support for Africa in COVID-19 response, sustainable development and financing.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who briefed the Security Council on cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union (AU) on behalf of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said urgent action is needed in the three areas.
“First, we need to prioritize our response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa through accelerated vaccine distribution, strengthening national health systems and much-needed investments in preparedness,” she said, noting that only about 5 percent of the population in Africa are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We urgently require universal access to COVID-19 vaccines, support for domestic manufacturing of vaccines, and financing to alleviate the socio-economic challenges caused by the pandemic.”
Second, there is a need to focus on sustainable development because, ultimately, sustainable and inclusive development is the best chance to address the root causes of conflict and achieve a future of peace and prosperity for everyone, she said.
Despite the pandemic, African countries have shown remarkable resilience. But African countries are also in urgent need of liquidity and debt relief to create jobs, expand social protection and reverse poverty trends.
Recovery must be grounded in advancing just transitions in key areas such as energy, food systems, digital connectivity and infrastructure.
Urgent action is needed to speed up the re-channeling of Special Drawing Rights of the International Monetary Fund and increase the fiscal space, she said.
Third, there is a need to continue securing adequate, predictable, and sustainable resources that will bring to life development, peace and security mandates across Africa, said Mohammed.
“Here, I would like to highlight the centrality of ensuring coherent action across peace, development and humanitarian objectives in the continent — in establishing a common vision, in ensuring complementarity and safeguarding of investments.”
She particularly called on the UN Security Council to work with the AU Peace and Security Council to strengthen financing mechanisms for AU-led peace support operations authorized by the UN Security Council.
“Under the guidance of member states, we will spare no effort to make our partnerships more effective to help all Africans build a more inclusive, prosperous, integrated, and peaceful continent, as envisaged in Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” she said.