I would like to thank the Equatorial Guinea’s presidency for convening today’s open debate on such a relevant and urgent topic. Estonia aligns itself with the statement (to be) delivered by the European Union. Additionally, I would like to make the following few remarks.
Silencing the Guns in Africa by the year 2020 is without a doubt an ambitious initiative, and only high ambition can really bring us closer to achieving this goal. Also, we clearly need to look beyond the year 2020: in terms of achieving a full and lasting peace in all the corners of the African continent, a lot remains to be done and all efforts need to be made to that end. However, whilst looking at the challenges at hand and ahead, we also need to recognize the progress already made. The partnership between the United Nations and the African Union has brought us closer to achieving lasting peace, with one of the latest examples being the signing of the peace and reconciliation agreement in Central African Republic just a few weeks ago. In order to not to let this hard work and time go to waste, strong political commitment is needed from all sides to implement this and other important agreements.
While putting an end to ongoing active conflicts and crises is the most urgent goal, we must not forget that if we want the guns to stay silent, we need to address the root causes of conflicts. African Union’s Agenda 2063 tackles this and highlights that forging synergies between governance and peace and security is crucial for addressing conflicts in a holistic manner. Estonia welcomes the African efforts on concrete structural conflict prevention initiatives, early warning, mediation, and preventive diplomacy, and we very much encourage further efforts to this end.
Furthermore, better governance, creating strong and reliable state institutions, ensuring accountability and justice for the victims is the only way forward in truly achieving lasting peace. To that end, it is critically important to include women and youth in all aspects of conflict resolution and political processes.
From our part, in Estonia we stand ready to work with all our partners to enhance capacities and work on solutions, including digital ones for conflict prevention and good governance. That is also something we prioritize in our strive to become an elected member of the Security Council in 2020-2021.
I thank you, Mr. President!