Ban Ki-moon for strengthening of UN-AU cooperation

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia - The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki--moon, on Thursday addressed the 10th African Union (AU) summit conference in Addis Ababa, stressing his commitment "to help Africa develop.
" "One month after the beginning of the second year of my term, I am hear to remind you my commitment to help Africa develop," Ban said in substance, recommending a tightening of cooperation ties between the UN and AU "for a new cooperation pact.
" Besides, the UN secretary-general, who dwelt on the situation in Kenya, deplored the death of over 800 people in "increasingly ethnical" clashes, urging Kenyan President Mwaï Kibaki and main opposition leader Raila Odinga "to make every effort to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
" He said he supported "unreservedly" the efforts of the Group of personalities led by Kofi Annan, who have been working relentlessly to help the parties involved in the Kenyan crisis.
To overcome the obstacles to peace and security on the African continent, the UN secretary-general pleads in favour of the reinforcement of partnerships, adding that the UN and AU have been collaborating for a long time in this area.
According to him, this collaboration has entered a new "historical" phase, with the transfer of authority from the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to the hybrid UN-AU Operation in Darfour (MINUAD).
This is an unprecedented joint operation, which illustrates our shared will to put a final term to the tragedy in Darfour, he said.
However, Ban Ki-moon said he was aware that "the difficulties to overcome in Darfour are considerable and the persistence of insecurity presents major risks for peacekeeping efforts.
" He explained that to avert scourges, the Sudanese government should give its full collaboration and the equipment needed by the force available, notably helicopters and heavy transport vehicles.
The UN secretary-general added that he hoped that the UN-AU current collaboration would continue to extinguish the sources of tension in Africa, notably in Somalia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, northern Uganda, etc.
About the main theme of the summit, industrialisation in Africa, he said that it "can and must play a role in the promotion of socioeconomic development in the continent," adding that there were several reasons to hope optimistically that growth would continue and poverty would keep on declining in Africa.

31 january 2008 15:54:00




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