An Op-ed by UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
New York, February 4, 2017 – Far too often, the world views Africa through the prism of problems. When I look to Africa, I see a continent of hope, promise and vast potential.
I am committed to building on those strengths and establishing a higher platform of cooperation between the United Nations and the leaders and people of Africa. This is essential to advancing inclusive and sustainable development and deepening cooperation for peace and security.
That is the message I carried to the recent African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — my first major mission as United Nations Secretary-General.
Above all, I came in a spirit of profound solidarity and respect. I am convinced that the world has much to gain from African wisdom, ideas and solutions.
I also brought with me a deep sense of gratitude. Africa provides the majority of United Nations peacekeepers around the world. African nations are among the world’s largest and most generous hosts of refugees. Africa includes some of the world’s fastest growing economies.
The recent resolution of the political crisis in the Gambia once again demonstrated the power of African leadership and unity to overcome governance challenges and uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
I left the Summit more convinced than ever that all of humanity will benefit by listening, learning and working with the people of Africa.
We have the plans in place to build a better future. The international community has entered the second year of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an all-out effort to tackle global poverty, inequality, instability and injustice. Africa has adopted its own complementary and ambitious plan: Agenda 2063.