India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj, laid down a six-point plan at the UN Security Council to support African efforts in Silencing the Guns by the end of this decade.
Addressing the UNSC on Friday, Kamboj began by congratulating the delegation of Mozambique for a very successful presidency and also for organising Friday’s debate. Kamboj said, “Several countries in Africa, particularly in the Sahel, Central Africa and the Horn of Africa, continue to be conflict-ridden by factors that are driven by chronic political instability, ethnic divisions, and exploitation by terrorist and armed groups. There is also the role of external factors in fuelling such conflicts, which continues to be a matter of deep concern.”
She added, “We thus all need to come together to support African efforts in silencing the guns by the end of this decade.”
Then she laid out her six-point plan on Silencing the Guns in Africa.
Presenting her first point, Kamboj said, “One inclusive politics, well-established governance structures, and a decentralized administration are critical elements in the nation-building process, which could be long and complex processes, particularly for countries ravaged by colonial rule lasting centuries. It is important to recognize the primacy of national governments and authorities in identifying and driving priorities, strategies and activities for sustaining peace development and to avoid a relapse into conflict.”
“Two, we need to acknowledge and accept African leadership and African-driven solutions to Africa’s problems. This, I understand, was stated in as many words by the Honourable President of Mozambique yesterday at the United Nations. Trying an external, one-size-fit-all solution is a sure-fire recipe for failure. Deeper understanding of conflicts in Africa that best responds to their local wisdom and developing a sense of ownership is a critical factor in resolving such conflicts and achieving lasting peace,” said Kamboj, articulating the second point.
Putting forward her third point, she said, “Three the Council needs to fully leverage the comparative advantage of Africa’s regional and sub-regional organizations to resolve prolonged conflicts. Collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union and sub-regional organizations such as the ECOWAS, the ECCAS, the SADC and the IGAD has always yielded positive results.”
“Four, terrorism needs to be contained given that this is the biggest security threat in Africa, it is important to strengthen the capacities of national, regional and sub-regional responses to terrorism in Africa through capacity building, training equipment and sustainable financial support bilaterally as well as multilaterally initiatives such as AMISOM, the G5 Sahel joint force, the SAMIM and the multinational joint task force need more robust support from the Security Council and the international community,” India’s permanent envoy to the UN added.
Kamboj said, “Five, peacebuilding efforts in Africa need to be strengthened. Major donors, particularly developed countries and international financial institutions, should ramp up their ODA commitments and eliminate barriers to concessional financing to the economies of Africa so that they can achieve development goals enshrined in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063.”
She said, “Six, for this Council’s credibility, it is important that Africa is given permanent representation in its decision-making. In every debate on such issues pertaining to Africa in the United Nations Security Council, India has consistently called for ensuring that Africa’s aspirations. The council needs to move way beyond mere lip service to Africa’s core concerns.”
“India has been supporting several countries of Africa through development partnerships, capacity building, including of security forces and institutions, scholarships, vocational training and knowledge sharing, providing preferred market access to African products,” she added.
“India will continue to do its utmost to support our African brethren in their quest for sustainable peace and as our external affairs minister, S Jaishankar, had aptly put it, and I will quote him in India, you will always find a friend willing to stand with you through thick and thin,” Kamboj signed off saying.
Notably, ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa’ agenda is a flagship initiative of the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, which aspires to end all wars and conflicts, prevent genocide, and eliminate gender-based violence.