H.E. Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, in her capacity as the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, addressed the United Nations Security Council in an open debate on March 30th, renewing Qatar’s support of the UN’s ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa’ initiative to achieve the goal set for 2030 noting that it would have a ripple effect towards maintaining international peace and security.
‘Silencing the Guns in Africa’ is one of the flagship initiatives of The African Union’s Agenda 2063, aiming to end war, conflicts, and gender-based violence on the continent. The Initiative has garnered support from the United Nations, with Secretary-General, António Guterres, saying “I commend the African Union for making Silencing the Guns such a prominent part of its work […]”. The goals of achieving an integrated and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens is aligned with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
Before the Security Council’s open discussion which focused on Africa, Her Excellency delivered a speech highlighting the importance of “development policies that address the root causes of conflicts and promote social and economic development towards achieving peace, security, and sustainable development”, the Qatar News Agency reported.
Through its international and bilateral partnerships with African countries, H.E. noted that the Gulf nation’s priorities are to achieve inclusive economic growth; increase access to education and health care; help towards capacity building and their resilience to resolve conflicts peacefully and prevent the spread of terrorism and violence.
Al-Thani also praised Qatar’s important strategic relations with a number of African countries, and in particular with the African Union, in promoting diplomacy and preventive mediation of conflicts, a principle of Qatar’s foreign policy, and a stance the country has increasingly been recognised for, regionally and internationally.
QNA reported that H.E. called on all member states to focus on the “root of conflicts, peace-building projects, mediation and dialogue, and ensuring the effective participation of women, youth, and marginalized sectors affected by conflicts and humanitarian crises”. Qatar’s UN representative’s hope, Her Excellency stated, was that this session be the occasion for all members to renew their collaborative commitment towards the ‘Silencing the Guns’ initiative for a conflict-free Africa and “a more secure and peaceful world for future generations”.