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Deputy Secretary-General's video message to the 12th High Level Retreat on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Africa

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Nairobi, Kenya

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for this opportunity to address the 12th high-level retreat on the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa.

My particular thanks to the African Union for bringing us together today.

The United Nations and the African Union have strong partnership frameworks – from our Annual Conference and Joint Task Force on Peace and Security to improved cooperation between the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council.

We must continue to meet regularly to improve coordination in our mediation efforts and fully implement the Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security.

The framework is key to preventing conflicts from escalating through the use of good offices, preventative diplomacy and inclusive mediation activities.

But developments in Mali, Guinea, Sudan and elsewhere demonstrate the critical importance of even closer coordination in our shared pursuit of mediated political solutions. We need to do more to prevent conflict and build resilience – guided by the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

First, we need mediation at all stages of the peace continuum, from prevention to peacekeeping, peacebuilding, through to sustainable development.

These processes should be inclusive. Civil society and affected communities must own and lead mediation initiatives.

And our own mediation teams should model this by ensuring gender balanced leadership.

Where women have the opportunity to lead, processes are more inclusive, address root causes, and lead to more sustainable outcomes.

Second, we must strengthen regional approaches to better predict and respond to emerging crises.

Third, technology is transforming the nature of conflict, and is a critical tool for sustainable development. But it can also be used to heighten grievances, spread hate and misinformation, target individuals to instill fear, undermine trust in leadership and even spur violence.

We need to adapt our mediation accordingly, with a focus on closing the digital divide, ensuring access for all – and listening to the concerns of all.

Excellencies,

Let us strengthen the cooperation between the African Union and the United Nations in mediation and beyond and together secure a safe, sustainable and resilient future for all.

I wish you a fruitful and successful retreat.

Thank you.