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Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the Security Council open debate on peace and security in Africa

Thank you President for convening this briefing.  And thank you to all our briefers for their valuable remarks.  I will make three points. First, as our Kenyan colleague said, Africa is a continent of great potential. Yet the United Kingdom shares the deep concern expressed by others with regard to the scale of challenges that many countries in Africa are facing today.

Covid-19 has made it harder to consolidate development gains.

Many countries have had to grapple with the impact of climate change and exacerbating humanitarian pressures.  The drought in the Horn of Africa and flooding in South Sudan are just the latest tragic examples.

On top of this, the global economic consequences of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine have hit the continent hard, jeopardising hard-won peace and development gains.

Second, the UK remains committed to do its part to support African countries to fulfil their potential.  Through our new International Development Strategy, we are working with governments and civil society to help partners get on track for the Sustainable Development Goals.  This includes capacity building to strengthen institutions that work for the well-being of their citizens.

The UK remains a strong supporter of efforts to promote peace and manage conflicts across the continent.  We take our responsibilities in this Council seriously.  We work in close partnership with the AU, for example to reconfigure the AU Transition Mission in Somalia.

We have trained over 3,000 African peacekeepers in the last financial year through the British Peace Support Team in Africa.

And in July, we hosted the second UK-Ghana Security Dialogue where we agreed to support regional approaches to tackling growing risks of instability in coastal West African states.

The UK is the second largest donor to the Elsie Initiative Fund, having provided over $6 million since 2019, to increase the participation of uniformed women in UN peace operations.

Third, there are no shortcuts.  Development gains and fragile peace will be lost if large parts of a population are marginalised, or human rights are abused. Internationally, we need a model of cooperation that prioritises the values of openness and inclusion.  Peacebuilding and development must be people-centred if they are to be sustainable.

And as this Council has made clear, the meaningful participation of women in peace processes is central to building sustainable peace.

In closing President, the United Kingdom remains fully committed to peace and development in Africa.  We look forward to the continued partnership, between this Council and the UN Peacebuilding Commission, the wider UN membership and regional organisations – to advance peace and development in Africa.

Thank you.

Photo by Hilton1949, Wikimedia commons.