Amidst positive steps, challenges in Africa ‘loom large’, UN chief tells Security Council

Amidst positive steps, challenges in Africa ‘loom large’, UN chief tells Security Council


The United Nations-African Union (AU) partnership has yielded “significant results”, including at the country level, the UN chief told the Security Council on Friday. 

NEW YORK, USA, December 05, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-Addressing a debate on cooperation between the two international organizations, Secretary-General António Guterres credited UN political missions and peacekeeping operations in supporting an array of activities, from a ceasefire agreement in Libya to an AU Military Observer Mission in the Central African Republic; and a truce in South Sudan that has generated “cautious optimism” across the country. 

“Our two Organizations also worked with the Economic Community of West African States in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea, before and after elections, and joined efforts to facilitate in September the establishment of the 18-month transition in Mali”, he detailed. 

Crucial trust 

Despite these positive steps, “challenges loom large”, the UN chief stated, citing new conflicts, a raging climate emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is “exacerbating fragilities”. 

Moreover, trust – which “underscores the importance of good governance and respect for human rights” and is “crucial to peace and security” – is being eroded. 

Against the backdrop of growing restrictions in civic space and increasing threats to minorities around the world, he underlined that “dealing with the pandemic must not take attention away from maintaining peace and security”. 

Mr. Guterres also pointed to terrorists exploiting the pandemic across the Sahel and in the Lake Chad Basin, reminding that African peace operations have Chapter VII authorization. 

He reaffirmed his “full support” to AU-led initiatives for solving grievances through dialogue, and repeated his appeal for a global ceasefire, and for nations to joint together instead to fight COVID-19. 

Renewed multilateralism 

The top UN official advocated for trust building between the two organizations along with stronger collaboration among the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council. 

To foster resilience and prepare for future challenges, more inclusive and effective institutions must be built “to prevent conflict, reinforce good governance and boost service delivery”, he said, adding, “in short, we need a renewed multilateralism”. 

The Secretary-General concluded with a quote from Nelson Mandela: “It seems impossible until its done”. 

‘Shared values’ 

The Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, lauded the leadership in the Council of the A3 +1 –  namely Niger, Tunisia, South Africa and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – and noted that UN-AU cooperation is a “prerequisite” for progress on Africa-led, peace and security across the continent.  

He attested that “shared values” help guide the way forward, stressed that global challenges require the international community’s support and advocated for increased “operational coordination” on peace processes as well as for the Silencing the Guns Initiative.   

In closing, he urged for “burden sharing” on peace and security to include the predictable financing for AU-led or authorized peace support operations.  

Unique perspective 

Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa – which also holds the Council presidency this month – said he was honoured to jointly serve on the Council and chair the AU, as it provided a unique perspective on UN-AU cooperation with Africans taking responsibility for “complex challenges”. 

Pointing out that the peace-development nexus is clear to most African leaders, he urged expedited deliberations on funding for African-led peace operations, with prospects looking positive in some settings, while maintaining that silencing the guns and eliminating illicit financial flows are part of the same large stabilization agenda.   

However, President Ramaphosa identified worrisome humanitarian needs linked to both ongoing conflict and the spread of the pandemic, calling for solidarity to address multiple threats, successfully and inclusively. 

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UN News.

You might also enjoy

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Conférence de Presse en Ligne

Les frontières terrestres ne doivent pas constituer des obstacles à la dissémination de votre message. Grâce à notre service de conférence de presse en ligne, nous vous offrons l’opportunité de vous rapprocher des médias africains, chaque fois que vous en aurez besoin.

Nos services comprennent:

Digital Communications

Today, social networks constitute an organization’s first point of contact with a user and a potential customer. At first glance, you need to convince of the relevance and quality of your content to stimulate and motivate the user to go further. We create consistently inspiring online strategy to meet business objectives, engage stakeholders and enhance our client brand’s reputation internally and externally.


Communication​ digitale

Les réseaux sociaux représentent aujourd’hui le premier point de contact d’une organisation avec un utilisateur et un client potentiel. Au premier coup d’œil, vous devez le convaincre de la pertinence et de la qualité de votre contenu pour l’inciter à aller plus loin. Nous créons pour vous une stratégie de communication précise et adaptée sur les réseaux sociaux pour atteindre les objectifs commerciaux, impliquer les parties prenantes et améliorer la réputation de votre marque en interne et en externe.

Promotion​ d’événements

Le succès d’un événement réside en moitié dans sa promotion. Peu importe la beauté de l’événement, la qualité des orateurs et de l’ordre du jour, si personne ne rapporte ou ne parle de votre événement, vos efforts seront vains. Nous vous aidons à façonner votre récit et à créer un engouement autour de votre événement. De l’annonce de l’événement à la tenue de celui-ci, nous accompagnons votre effort de planification et le reflétons sur toutes les plateformes médiatiques.​

Formation​ Médiatique

Nous fournissons à vos porte-paroles les outils nécessaires pour présenter vos principaux messages et répondre avec confiance et cohérence aux questions. Notre formation est organisée soit à distance ou en présentiel, avec des études de cas réels et des répétitions. Nos clients repartent avec le sentiment d’être à l’aise devant les journalistes et d’agir en tant qu’ambassadeurs de la marque.

Veille​ Médiatique

Nous mesurons votre portée en relations publiques et rendons compte des informations de votre industrie et des activités de vos  concurrents en surveillant la majorité des canaux de diffusion dans toute l’Afrique. Une veille médiatique complète et opportune est essentielle pour s’assurer que vous ne manquez aucune référence à votre marque, que vous êtes constamment informé de ce qui se passe dans votre industrie et que vous êtes prêt à saisir les opportunités et à réduire les risques en temps opportun.

Relations​ Média

Peu importe le lieu où ils se trouvent, nous sommes une source d‘informations fiables pour les journalistes qui écrivent sur l’Afrique. Nous nous connaissons mutuellement et ils nous font confiance, car nous leur fournissons un contenu crédible qui les aide dans leurs tâches. Nous nous entretenons quotidiennement avec des journalistes aux quatre coins du continent, ce qui fait de nous l’un des organismes les plus efficaces pour mener des campagnes de relations avec les médias.

Stratégie et développement de contenu

Nous créons des stratégies de communication intelligentes, bien documentées et spécialisées destinées à vous aider à construire un récit fort qui engagera votre audience. Nous travaillons en synergie avec vous afin de rédiger des communiqués de presse et des articles d’opinions qui alimentent le récit de votre entreprise. Notre équipe a une expérience approfondie dans la création de récits et le développement de contenu multimédia.


C’est le service phare d’AMA. Nous avons mis en place des canaux de diffusion des communiqués de presse auprès des journalistes des 54 États africains ainsi qu’auprès des journalistes américains et européens couvrant les sujets relatifs aux marchés émergents.​

​Nos services comprennent:​

Event Promotion

Half of the success of an event lays in its promotion. Doesn’t matter how beautiful the event is, how wonderful the speakers and the agenda are, if no one reports or talks about your event, your efforts are gone. We help you shape the narrative and create a drumbeat around your event. From the announce all the way to the outcome of the event, we accompany your planning effort and echo it through all media platforms

Media Training

We provide your spokespeople with the tools to present your key messages and answer questions with confidence and coherence. Our training is organised either remotely or face-to- face, with real case studies and rehearsals. Our clients leave feeling comfortable being in front of reporters and acting as brand ambassadors.

Media Monitoring

We measure and report on
your PR reach, industry news, and competitive activity by monitoring most channels in North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. Comprehensive and timely media monitoring is critical to ensuring that you don’t miss any reporting of your brand,
you’re constantly informed on what’s going on around your business, and you’re ready to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate
risks in a timely fashion..

Media Relations

We have become an authoritative source of news for reporters writing about Africa, wherever they are. We know them, they know us, and they trust us for providing them with timely and accurate content that helps them do their job. We speak to reporters on a daily basis in all corners of the continent and this makes us one of the most effective agencies in running media relations campaigns.

Strategy & Content Development

We create smart and localised communications strategies to help build a strong narrative that will engage your audiences. We partner with you to create press releases and thought leadership pieces that sustain a drumbeat for your company’s narrative. Our team have deep experience in shaping narratives and developing media content.


This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to Africa.com

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available