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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Africa Day 2014, May 25th.

  The theme for Africa Day 2014  focuses on agriculture and food security.

 


Transformation, growth, dynamism, progress and partnership: these concepts are central to the African Union’s narrative as it embarks on the second half of its first centennial. I am confident that the AU’s vision, “Agenda 2063,” can succeed.

Agriculture and food security – the theme of this year’s Africa Day – will be critical. More countries are investing in agriculture, while donors have pledged to increase funding and technical assistance.  I am especially alarmed by the high risk of famine in South Sudan, where the lack of a genuine cessation of hostilities may cause farmers to miss the planting season.

My Zero Hunger Challenge initiative aims to scale up efforts to eliminate hunger through sustainable agriculture and food systems. The observance of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming aims to mobilize support for smallholder farmers, especially women, who contribute so much to Africa’s food security.
At the same time, we must do more to unleash the full potential of Africa’s agricultural sector, which employs two out of every three Africans. By processing commodities and using other means to add value, we can help develop rural areas, create jobs and empower people while ensuring food security.
I encourage Africa’s leaders and their partners to advance these aims. The United Nations will continue to accelerate our push to reach the Millennium Development Goals and to ensure that Africa’s priorities, as expressed in the Common African Position, are reflected in the post-2015 development agenda.
I also call on Africa’s leaders to participate in the Climate Summit I will convene in September to galvanize action toward a meaningful new climate agreement. Africa is among the regions most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and I fully support the continent’s leaders as they engage on this critical issue.
Africa Day is also a moment to reaffirm commitment to the continent’s women and young people. I express my solidarity with the families of the kidnapped schoolgirls in Borno State, Nigeria, along with the country’s Government and people, and pledge to work for their safe return.

Africa is achieving admirable growth, but social and economic inequalities are on the increase. Greater equity presents a common challenge to the continent as a whole and can help foster peace and stability. Conflict prevention and the peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue and mediation are critical to realizing the goal to end all wars in Africa by 2020.


The United Nations will maintain a strong partnership with the African Union as we pursue peace, sustainable development, democracy and human rights. On this Africa Day, let us pledge to continue standing with the people and leaders of Africa as they advance on a path to a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future.

 

On Africa Day, Ban urges leveraging continent's potential for the good of all people

A woman farmer in Ganta, Liberia. Photo: UNMIL/Christophe Herwig


 
25 May 2014 – The world must do more to unleash Africa's full potential in agriculture, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said while also urging the continent's leaders and development partners to combat growing social and economic inequalities.
“Greater equity presents a common challenge to the continent as a whole and can help foster peace and stability,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message to mark Africa Day, which commemorates the founding in 1963 of the Organization of African Unity, now known as the African Union (AU).
“Transformation, growth, dynamism, progress and partnership” are central to the AU's narrative, Mr. Ban said, pledging the UN's continued cooperation on partnerships to pursue peace, sustainable development, democracy and human rights.

Highlighting this year's theme for Africa Day, which focuses on agriculture and food security, Mr. Ban noted that two out of three people on the continent are employed by the agricultural sector even as hunger persists in various countries.

With an average annual GDP increase of 4.8 per cent between 2000 and 2010, up from 2.1 per cent in the previous decade, Africa has seven out of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world. The agriculture sector, in particular, has progressed considerably, with the intensification of staple food production.
“By processing commodities and using other means to add value, we can help develop rural areas, create jobs and empower people while ensuring food security,” said Mr. Ban, whose 'Zero Hunger Challenge' aims for a future where every individual has adequate nutrition.

First proposed at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the Zero Hunger Challenge aims to scale up efforts to eliminate hunger through sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Its five objectives are to make sure that everyone in the world has access to enough nutritious food all year long; to end childhood stunting; to build sustainable food systems; to double the productivity and income of smallholder farmers, especially women; and to prevent food from being lost or wasted.
This year's commemoration of the Day also falls amid observances of the ongoing International Year of Family Farming, which aims to mobilize support for smallholder farmers, particularly women.
In his message, Mr. Ban also urged African leader to participate in his Climate Summit this September noting that the continent is among “the regions most vulnerable” to climate change.

Ending Conflicts ... sustaining Peace


 Celebrating the AU PSC 10th anniversary and reflecting on 10 years of changing the world


 Africa has opted to become a conflict-free continent in line with the 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration. The PSC, as the locomotive for the realization of this noble vision, should play a leading role.

The PSC now needs the PSC to graduate from his role of "fire brigade" to one of prevention.

The 10th anniversary is a major occasion for self-introspection of the PSC, to draw lessons from its ten years of operation at the service of Africa.

One key point that we have to master is that, over the next ten years, the prime focus of the Council for achieving peace and security in Africa will be to focus on prevention, prevention.. and yes again.. prevention.

The Peace and Security Department has released its free Hybrid Mobile App for your SmartPhones and Tablets.
Stay up to date with the latest news and events, browse the historical timeline, play the educative quiz and post your results on the leaderboard,learn about the APSA, Participate to the discussion for the 2020 Silencing the guns countdown.
This innovative App is designed to work on a range of mobile devices and screen sizes.



Join the Forum Africa Day - 25 May




News Tracker: past stories on this issue

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