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Updated On: Friday, November 24 2017

Africa Day 2017 Focuses on Preventing Crises

Content by: South-South News

26 May 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — UN Secretary-General António Guterres marked Africa Day 2017 saying, “All of humanity will benefit by listening, learning and working with the people of Africa. It starts with prevention. Our world needs to move from managing crises to preventing them in the first place. We need to break the cycle of responding too late and too little.”

Africa Day – an annual UN commemoration of the hopes and challenges facing the continent – is held on May 25. In his message, Guterres said Africa Day 2017 comes at an important moment in the continent’s endeavors towards peace, inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

The UN chief pointed out that most of today’s conflicts are internal, triggered by competition for power and resources, inequality, marginalization, disrespect for human rights and sectarian divides. Often, they are inflamed by violent extremism or provide the fuel for it.

But prevention goes far beyond focusing solely on conflict.

“The best means of prevention and the surest path to durable peace is inclusive and sustainable development. It is critical to continue building more effective and accountable institutions to address governance challenges, advance the rule of law and promote civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights,” he stressed.

“We can speed progress by doing more to provide opportunities and hope to young people. More than three out of five Africans are under 35 years of age,” Guterres added, “Making the most of this tremendous asset means more investment in education, training, decent work and engaging young people in shaping their future.”

Empowering women is also key. “We must also do our utmost to empower women so they can play a full role in sustainable development and sustainable peace. I am pleased that the African Union has consistently placed a special focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” he said.

Guterres added, “The United Nations partnership with Africa is also rooted in a deep sense of gratitude. Africa provides the majority of United Nations peacekeepers around the world. African nations are among the world’s largest and most generous hosts of refugees. Africa includes some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.”

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