UN / GUTERRES AFRICAN UNION

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04-Feb-2022 00:04:14
Secretary-General António Guterres said Africa “is a hub of hope” and stressed that cooperation between the African Union (AU) and the United Nations “is stronger than ever." UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GUTERRES AFRICAN UNION
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DATELINE: 04 FEBRUARY 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

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FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

2704 FEBRUARY 2022, JANUARY 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. SOUNDBITE (French) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
"Africa is a hub of hope. For twenty years, the African Union has helped to bring this hope to life, enabling the continent to realize its enormous potential. From the African Continental Free Trade Area to the recent launch of the Decade of Financial and Economic Inclusion for African Women, to the focus at this year's Summit on transforming food and agricultural systems. The collaboration between the African Union and the United Nations is stronger than ever."
3. SOUNDBITE (French) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“We must propel vaccines and vaccination for all. I salute your leadership in establishing the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Force – AVATT – and other mechanisms that have resulted in over 34 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine being procured globally for the continent. I also welcome the recent announcement of vaccine production – starting this year – in South Africa and other African countries. I ask all developed countries and all manufacturers to join the cause of the AVATT Task Force and the COVAX Mechanism.”
4. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals depends on supporting massive investments in strong health and education systems, in job-creation, especially in the green and care sectors and in universal social protection, gender equality, and opportunities for young people. But the deck is stacked against Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa is facing cumulative economic growth per capita over the next five years that is 75 percent less than the rest of the world.  We need to accelerate investment into Africa. We need to deliver real investment resources, including by re-directing Special Drawing Rights to countries that need support now reforming the international debt architecture for the future, increasing concessional forms of finance and ensuring that African countries with sound economic fundamentals are not unduly penalized by markets and the rating institutions. And we need to fuel the immense promise of the Continental Free Trade Agreement.”
5. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The Glasgow commitment to double adaptation finance — from $20 billion — must be implemented. But this is not enough. Access and eligibility systems must be reviewed to allow developing countries to get the finance they need on time. I commend AU member states for ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions and adopting the African Union Green Stimulus Programme. I’m committed to working with the global community to match Africa’s climate ambitions with the resources, financing and technologies it needs to accelerate the transition from coal to renewables and create new green jobs. I’m calling on wealthier countries to make good on the $100 billion climate finance commitment to developing countries, starting this year, and hold to account private sector partners who have made commitments so far. Our planet will speed past the 1.5-degree temperature threshold without steep emission cuts this decade by all major economies.”
6. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The United Nations is committed to working with the African Union to strengthen democratic and responsive governance structures — and people’s faith in them. This requires leadership on all sides. For example, we have signed an important new framework to ensure that AU Peace Support Operations are planned and conducted in full compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law.”
7. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“And I reaffirm my appeal for a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access, and an inclusive national dialogue in Ethiopia — the seat of the African Union and a country that is critical to continental stability. And I pledge the full support of my good offices to silence the guns across the continent.”

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

8. Wide shot, exterior UN Headquarters

STORYLINE:

Secretary-General António Guterres today (5 Jan) said Africa “is a hub of hope” and stressed that cooperation between the African Union (AU) and the United Nations “is stronger than ever."

In a video message to the 35th Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, the Secretary-General said, “for twenty years, the African Union has helped to bring this hope to life, enabling the continent to realize its enormous potential.”

Guterres said, “we must propel vaccines and vaccination for all” and welcomed the AU leadership in establishing the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Force (AVATT) “and other mechanisms that have resulted in over 34 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine being procured globally for the continent.”

He also welcomed the recent announcement of vaccine production starting this year in South Africa and other African countries and called on developed countries and vaccine manufacturers “to join the cause of the AVATT Task Force and the COVAX Mechanism.”

The Secretary-General said that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “depends on supporting massive investments in strong health and education systems, in job-creation, especially in the green and care sectors and in universal social protection, gender equality, and opportunities for young people.”

He said, “the deck is stacked against Africa” and noted that Sub-Saharan Africa is facing cumulative economic growth per capita over the next five years “that is 75 percent less than the rest of the world.”

Turning to climate, Guterres said he was “committed to working with the global community to match Africa’s climate ambitions with the resources, financing and technologies it needs to accelerate the transition from coal to renewables and create new green jobs.” And called on wealthier countries “to make good on the $100 billion climate finance commitment to developing countries, starting this year, and hold to account private sector partners who have made commitments so far.”

He said the United Nations “is committed to working with the African Union to strengthen democratic and responsive governance structures — and people’s faith in them” and repeated his appeal for “a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access, and an inclusive national dialogue in Ethiopia”

The Secretary-General pledged “the full support of my good offices to silence the guns across the continent.”

The AU is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999).
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