H.E. Ambassador Desra Percaya
Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations
Thematic Debate: Peaceful resolution of Conflicts in Africa
New York April 26 2013
Indonesia is honoured to speak at this very important thematic meeting, which is taking place in the backdrop of the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor to the African Union (AU).
Following the valuable debate on preventing conflicts in Africa at the Security Council on April 15, this debate provides an important opportunity for the wider membership at the General Assembly to share their reflections.
We thank the Secretary General for his remarks. We also thank H.E Dr. Mkosaza Zuma, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, on her statement and able stewardship at the Commission. We applaud all Member States and staff of the AU for enabling it to playing an increasingly important role in the social, economic, political and security advancements in Africa.
Indonesia also welcomes the Political Declaration adopted earlier.
Building on the foundations laid by the OAU, the AU in just over a decade has shown impressive depth and solidity in its work. Indonesia is confident that African nations’ steadfast efforts, backed adequately by the international community, and in strong partnership with the United Nations, will bring the best days of Africa in not too distant a future.
Our optimism has sound basis.
The number of armed conflicts in Africa has steadily declined from around 30 at the end of cold war to little more than a dozen. From only three democracies, today, there are 25 democracies, of varying types in the region. Twenty countries are holding elections this year with more multi-party elections being held in a peaceful, free and fair manner. And crucially, an increasing number of countries are also practicing accountable governance.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the economic growth of the continent, as a whole, has been relatively strong and resilient.
However, conflicts are still occurring and peace remains fragile in a number of places. Peacemaking, peacebuilding and development will therefore need to be continually deepened.
For that the African citizens with their chosen leadership must drive their progress. Lasting success requires robust support from and collaboration with the UN and partners. But sustainable results ultimately rest in the hands of Africans themselves.
At the Asian-African Conference in Bandung over six decades ago, the first generation of Asian and African leaders resolved to chart the destiny of their nations with new vigour. The sense of solidarity that was kindled then, inspired the publics of Asia and Africa, to work together resolutely against colonialism, apartheid and various other forms of injustices with significant impact.
Many of the struggles today are and will understandably be different, but relentless national effort with its ownership will remain the underlying fundamental. As a country that has itself traversed its path to democracy and stability, Indonesia can attest to the imperative that we have to first and foremost own the effort and ensure that voices of our people are heard and responded to. Pro-poor, pro-job, pro-growth and pro-environment policies by capable national institutions need to deliver, and conflicts must be settled peacefully.
It will also be critical that the AU and African countries prepare better and are supported adequately in handling natural disasters, diseases, people displacement, disputes and hostilities through a comprehensive and collaborative undertaking. Support should also be increased to strengthen their capacities.
In this respect, the civilian capacity agenda put forward by the Secretary-General last year needs greater political support from this Assembly. Concrete capacity-building projects for countries in Africa, upon their request and in keeping with their needs, under the UN civilian capacities initiative, can offer useful contribution. We are thus pleased that initial discussions on such support have taken place in the Peacebuilding Commission.
Indonesia also commends the progress on a number of MDGs in Africa. It is vital that in keeping with the needs of different African countries, poverty eradication and human development continue to be pursued robustly. The countries’ perspectives and priorities should be duly reflected in the development of the post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is critical that the countries from Africa and other developing regions must have greater voice and representation in the various multilateral financial and development frameworks as well.
Without peaceful resolution of conflicts, and a constant focus on fostering peace and co-existence within and between countries, the dangers to the hard-earned gains in Africa will be ever present.
The experience of Indonesia in the UN Peacebuilding Commission, peacekeeping operations, and other UN and international platforms has shown us the challenges but also the opportunities for Africa to chart its own path to a more peaceful and prosperous future.
The African Regional Economic Communities on economic integration, Peer Review Mechanism, Peace and Security Council, and the host of other social, economic, peacemaking and mediation initiatives under the AU, and in collaboration with the UN and partners, are displaying encouraging outcomes. We also support the priorities of NEPAD. It is important that the lessons be learned and reflected in the ongoing and new programmes.
In conclusion, Mr. President, I would like to underscore Indonesia’s strong and historical support to Africa. Through our bilateral programmes, multilateral endeavours, and our participation in various UN peacekeeping operations in the region, where around 354 Indonesian peacekeepers are currently deployed in UNAMID, UNMISS, UNISFA and MONUSCO,we will continue to resolutely support the African countries’ efforts for the bright future of their people, which is beckoning.
I thank you.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
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