UN / GUTERRES AFRICAN UNION PRESSER

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28-Nov-2023 00:04:04
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the African Union (AU) is the world body’s “most important” strategic partnership, reiterating that “we must work with the African Union based on the principle of African-led solutions for African problems in all dimensions, peace and security, development, climate change.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GUTERRES AFRICAN UNION PRESSER
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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DATELINE: 28 NOVEMBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

28 NOVEMBER 2023, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, press briefing room
3.SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The partnership between the African Union and the United Nations is an essential partnership for the United Nations. It is our most important strategic partnership, as Africa remains one of the key priorities for the UN.”
4. Wide shot, press briefing room
3.SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“That priority is based on the clear perception that we must work with the African Union, based on the principle of African-led solutions for African problems in all dimensions - peace and security, development, climate.”
4. Wide shot, press briefing room
5.SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“First of all, to recognize that peacekeeping missions do not make sense where there is no peace to keep, and that we need peace enforcing and counterterrorism operations in Africa, led by the African Union and with the full mandate of the Security Council under Chapter VII and assessed contributions to finance those missions. They are the only way to be effective in fighting the kind of violence and terrorism that is now proliferating in many African countries.”
6. Wide shot, press briefing room
7.SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“And second, we need to mobilize the international community to address the economic and social root causes of conflict. And that is why we are so keen on the need for reforming international financial institutions, in order to make sure that they correspond to today’s economy and not to the economy after the Second World War, and that developing countries have an increased role in the power system related to the decisions taken in relation to economy and finance. That is why we have been insisting on the need to change the business model of multilateral development banks, on effective debt relief, on the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) stimulus as a key instrument to allow African countries to be able to find the fiscal space necessary to address the basic needs of their population, which of course will also have as a consequence to improve their capacity to guarantee stability, to guarantee democracy and to guarantee peace.”
8. Wide shot, press briefing room
9. SOUNDBITE (French) Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the African Union Commission:
“This major conference must also be the opportunity for us to advocate for Africa, which is severely impacted by the effects of climate change, even though it pollutes very little.”
10.Wide shot, press briefing room
11. SOUNDBITE (French) Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the African Union Commission:
“We are seeing the issue of the energy transition. I would recall at this point that Africa has some 600 million inhabitants who still don't have access to electricity today. So this transition is critical, and it must be fair.”
12. Wide shot, press briefing room
13. SOUNDBITE (French) Moussa Faki, Chairperson of the African Union Commission:
“Firstly, we see increasing prices of energy, food products, and also fertilizers. This is having a negative impact on productivity in African agriculture. That's why we welcomed the Secretary-General's efforts together with Turkey to reach this green agreement. And we firmly encourage this approach to try to find solutions on this side and beyond this to find a political solution to what's happening between Ukraine and Russia.”
14. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the African Union (AU) is the world body’s “most important” strategic partnership, reiterating that “we must work with the African Union based on the principle of African-led solutions for African problems in all dimensions, peace and security, development, climate change.”

The Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, briefed the reporters today (28 Nov) on the occasion of the Seventh African-Union UN Annual Conference.

Guterres said that he is extremely happy with the fact that the UN and the AU have completed their frameworks of cooperation, with a Framework in relation to Human Rights.

The UN chief also highlighted that Africa has been the double victim of injustice. First of all, historic injustice linked to colonialism and to slavery; and second, the present injustice in relation to the way power relations are established in the world, and namely in relation to financial and economic power.

Guterres said that it is very important to give a double response to those problems of peace and security.

“First of all, to recognize that peacekeeping missions do not make sense where there is no peace to keep, and that we need peace enforcing and counterterrorism operations in Africa, led by the African Union and with the full mandate of the Security Council under Chapter VII and assessed contributions to finance those missions,” the Secretary-General said.

He reiterated, “they are the only way to be effective in fighting the kind of violence and terrorism that is now proliferating in many African countries.”

Secondly, Guterres said, “we need to mobilize the international community to address the economic and social root causes of conflict.”

He explained, “that is why we are so keen on the need for reforming international financial institutions, in order to make sure that they correspond to today’s economy and not to the economy after the Second World War, and that developing countries have an increased role in the power system related to the decisions taken in relation to economy and finance.”

The UN chief continued, “That is why we have been insisting on the need to change the business model of multilateral development banks, on effective debt relief, on the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) stimulus as a key instrument to allow African countries to be able to find the fiscal space necessary to address the basic needs of their population, which of course will also have as a consequence to improve their capacity to guarantee stability, to guarantee democracy and to guarantee peace.

The Secretary-General reaffirmed that the African Union can count on the very strong commitment of the United Nations, fighting for the reforms that are absolutely necessary - not for the expression of simple solidarity but for the expression of justice.

He added that what Africa needs above all is justice in international relations, because Africa has been the victim of the structural injustices of our international relations.

Speaking about the upcoming COP28, the AU Chairperson Moussa Faki said, “This major conference must also be the opportunity for us to advocate for Africa, which is severely impacted by the effects of climate change, even though it pollutes very little.”

In addition, Faki said, “We are seeing the issue of the energy transition. I would recall at this point that Africa has some 600 million inhabitants who still don't have access to electricity today. So this transition is critical, and it must be fair.”

Asked about the impact of the suspension of the Black Sea Initiative on Africa, the Chairperson said, “Firstly, we see increasing prices of energy, food products, and also fertilizers. This is having a negative impact on productivity in African agriculture.”

He added, “That's why we welcomed the Secretary-General's efforts together with Turkey to reach this green agreement. And we firmly encourage this approach to try to find solutions on this side and beyond this to find a political solution to what's happening between Ukraine and Russia.”
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