The United Nations (UN) has said it is working closely with international partners to build civilian institutional capacity to confront the persistent challenges in Africa.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Representative to the UN said this during a virtual meeting on the Africa Regional Media Hub held on Friday, Oct. 29.
Thomas-Greenfield also said the UN is working with African governments, businesses, entrepreneurs, civil society, the American private sector, and international financial institutions to accelerate equitable and sustainable economic growth across the continent.
“We are working closely with African institutions and partners, including the G5 Sahel and ECOWAS, as well as international partners to build civilian institutional capacity to confront the persistent challenges that are occurring here in the region,” she said.
Discussing her trip to Mali, Thomas-Greenfield said she met with the transition government to discuss the importance of Mali’s return to constitutional rule through democratic elections and the critical role of MINUSMA in promoting peace and security.
“I discussed with Malian civil society, representatives to the Algiers Accord Monitoring Committee, and the international mediation team. We restated that the United States continues to stand firmly with the people of Mali in their aspirations for democracy and respect for human rights,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
According to her, she discussed with the president and the G5 Sahel Joint Force representatives, on the importance of democratic institutions in the region and the rapid spread of instability and violent extremism throughout the Sahel in Niger.
Speaking on climate issues in Africa, she recognised Gabon’s role as a global climate leader and as a regional leader promoting peace.
She congratulated the country on its recent election to the United Nations Security Council.
The US representative remarked that leadership is important because the window for limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is narrowing “and the world leaders including President Bongo of Gabon are gathering in Glasgow to attend COP26.”
“As the African Union Champion for Climate Change, President Bongo has been leading the way by protecting the Congo Basin Forest, a net carbon dioxide absorber that the whole world benefits from. Protecting the security of Gabon’s precious forests is paramount to our success in the fight against climate change, and I’m glad to see these efforts first-hand at the Raponda Walker Arboretum this morning,” she said.
She said the US is engaging African countries regularly as partners in pursuing “our shared goals, our global and regional priorities including ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Mali and Gabon had just received new shipments of COVID-19 vaccines provided by the American people.”
“We are committed to this continent, we are engaging with the continent, and despite the coups, there are bright spots across the continent.”
She also said the US government is a strong supporter of free press.
“We encourage that wherever we go. We talk to governments and we talk to them honestly about the importance of allowing for a free press. And we are relentless in our advocacy for press freedoms and for the rights of civil society. While we see these worrying trends that you describe, we also see some positive signs on the continent of Africa,” she said.
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