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Promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa - Report of the Secretary-General (A/75/917–S/2021/562)

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General Assembly Seventy-fifth session
Agenda item 66 (b)
New Partnership for Africa’s Development: progress in implementation and international support: causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa

Security Council
Seventy-sixth year

Summary

The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 74/302 of 3 September 2020, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue to monitor and report to the Assembly on an annual basis on persistent and emerging challenges to the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa. The title of the report has been adjusted to “Promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa” to reflect its forward-looking orientation.

Across the world, but notably in Africa, instability and conflict continue to generate and exacerbate poverty and institutional fragility, which in turn decrease resilience and the prospects for peace. Conflict has many different causes, drivers and triggers. The present report examines the challenges of conflict prevention and sustaining peace in Africa from a perspective that is often overlooked, namely, the role of weak or failed public service planning and delivery as a source of instability and potential driver or trigger of conflict.

In the report, this challenge is explored through four main fault lines in public service delivery observed in Africa, but which are not unique to the continent, namely, inequality in access to services; planning processes and service delivery that do not promote the inclusion of all segments of the population; corruption in service delivery; and the delivery of services in areas where there are challenges to governance.

The report also contains examples of how the United Nations system makes use of its diverse range of capacities to support prevention-focused development. Measures are proposed to strengthen the collective efforts towards accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 of the African Union during the decade of action for the Sustainable Development Goals following a prevention-oriented approach.

I. Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the request made by the General Assembly in its resolution 74/302 of 3 September 2020, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue to monitor and report to the Assembly on an annual basis on persistent and emerging challenges to the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa, including the root causes of conflict and conditions to promote sustainable development, as well as on the approach and support of the United Nations system.

2. Considerable efforts have been put in place by the United Nations to prioritize conflict prevention and sustaining peace in order to remove the greatest obstacles to the implementation of both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 of the African Union. Progress has been made in ensuring that all the pillars of the United Nations system work together coherently to support Member States in promoting sustainable peace and development.

3. Across the world, but notably in Africa, instability and conflict continue to generate and exacerbate poverty and are a key driver of the fragility of institutions, which in turn decrease resilience and the prospects for peace. Conflict has many different causes, drivers and triggers. The present report examines the challenges of conflict prevention and sustaining peace in Africa by considering the role of weak or failed public service planning and delivery as a source of instability and a potential driver or trigger of conflict. The report also contains examples of how the United Nations system makes use of its diverse range of capacities to support preventionfocused development, and measures are proposed to strengthen collective efforts to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 during the decade of action for the Sustainable Development Goals.

4. In the preparation of the report, the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa engaged with Member States, the General Assembly and the Peacebuilding Commission. United Nations system entities were consulted through the interdepartmental task force on African affairs. In particular, the Development Coordination Office, the Africa Divisions of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the Department of Peace Operations, the Peacebuilding Support Office, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Food Programme and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), contributed to the desk review. Thirty United Nations country teams based in Africa provided field assessments that constitute the basis for the analysis. Representatives from academia and experts were also consulted.