Secretary-General’s remarks to the African Union Summit
Addis Ababa, 30 January 2017
Your Excellency Mr. Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad and Chairperson of the African Union,
Your Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,
All protocol observed,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to be with you.
I humbly join you in profound solidarity and respect.
As the late Samora Machel, the first President of the independent Mozambique, once said, solidarity “is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objectives. The foremost of these objectives is to assist in the development of humanity to the highest level possible.”
The African Union is working every day for unity, peace and progress for all people in every corner of this great continent.
I congratulate President Idriss Deby Itno for his leadership over the past 12 months, and I also commend the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, her Deputy, Erastus Mwencha, and the AU Commissioners for their efforts to promote Africa’s socio-economic transformation.
I wish Madame Zuma all the best in her future endeavours. I look forward to working closely with her successor.
The United Nations is proud to be your partner. And I am proud to be your partner.
I am convinced we have much to gain from African wisdom, African ideas, African solutions.
It is that spirit of possibility and partnership that draws me here.
I also come with a deep sense of gratitude.
Africa provides the majority of United Nations peacekeepers around the world. Yesterday, during our breakfast meeting, I took good note of your concerns about the challenges faced by several peacekeeping missions in countries where there is effectively no peace to keep; and also by the [statement] by several African countries and sub-regional organizations to be ready for peace enforcing operations, provided that they have the appropriate mandate from the Security Council and the resources that are necessary to implement those operations.
African nations are also among the world’s largest and most generous hosts of refugees. African borders remain open for those in need of protection, when so many borders are being closed, even in the most developed countries in the world.
Africa also includes some of the world’s fastest growing economies.
And so, I am here to listen to you, learn from you and work with you for the people of Africa and the wider world.