UNITED NATIONS (Rahnuma): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called for efforts to address the root causes of displacement in Africa.
“The best way to protect refugees and displaced people is to prevent them from having to leave their homes. That means tackling root causes: poverty, conflict, discrimination and exclusion of all kinds,” Guterres told the African Dialogue Series held at UN Headquarters in New York.
He asked to follow the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as roadmaps. “Both agendas are aligned around a people-centered and planet-sensitive transformation. Eradicating poverty is their overriding priority.”
The United Nations is working to mainstream these agendas into national development plans and to operationalize the newly adopted Global Compact for Migration to help countries reap the benefits of migration while securing the rights of migrants, he said. “However, we must redouble our efforts if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063. On the current trajectory, we will only be halfway toward achieving the SDGs by 2030.”
He stressed the importance of financing. The United Nations will continue to support African countries in their efforts to mobilize domestic resources, and to urge the international community to curb illicit financial flows and end money laundering. All countries, particularly developed ones, must fulfill the commitments made in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, an action plan on financing for development, he said.
The African Union has chosen “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa” as its theme for 2019 and for this year’s Dialogue Series at the United Nations.
African countries have a long record of keeping their borders, doors and hearts open to refugees and internally displaced people — an example not followed by everyone in the world, said Guterres.