Let me thank you for convening this important open debate today. Peace and security in Africa is the header of today’s meeting. Jointly, we thrive for nothing less than the vision of a conflict-free Africa.
Together with our African Partners, Germany is ready and willing to tackle causes of conflict, violence and fragility in Africa through an integrated approach.
We need to link crisis prevention, stabilization, conflict resolution and peacebuilding with sustainable development efforts under a strong African lead.
For this aim, inclusive and transparent development policies, the strengthening of state institutions and governance, rule of law democracy an dthe participation of owmen are crucial.
In order to support this African-led endeavor, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development presented a new Africa Strategy in January this year.
The new strategy has been developed in close consultation with Africa, in particular with representatives from politics, the private sector, civil society, academia and youth.
Based on this strategy, our development cooperation will primarily focus on a just, social and environmental transformation, job creation for Africa’s youth and gender equality.
And there are more challenges: The illicit transfer, accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons pose serious threats to peace and security.
Their effective control is essential to prevent future conflicts, proliferation, terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime.
“Silencing the Guns” is our joint responsibility.
The threat and the challenges posed by the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons are transnational.
Our answer must be transnational as well.
Germany welcomes and supports regional approaches, such as the ECOWAS Plan of Action.
We have been supporting national and regional capacity building efforts in Africa and worldwide.
These measures aim at combatting terrorist financing and illicit financial flows, but also at improving border management and national law enforcement capabilities.
In 2022 alone, we devoted more than 10 million Euros to projects, such as the “Africa Amnesty Month Project” on the surrender and collection of illegally owned weapons.
And we are committed to improving the effective control and management of ammunition as Chair of the Open Ended Working Group on Conventional Ammunition.
A strong peace and security architecture in Africa is also key to fight the misuse of small arms and light weapons as well as to support African efforts to solve the underlying root causes.
Germany assists the AU institutions and Regional Economic Communities in implementing the instruments of the “AU African Peace and Security Architecture” (APSA) , to which we have contributed over 30 million Euros since its creation.
Our joint objective is to prevent crises, manage conflicts and build sustainable peace.
We also support the call for sustainable and predictable financing of AU led peace missions.
We profoundly welcome that the AU has found a common position on this issue at the recent summit in Addis Abeba.
Let me conclude by joining the AU’s call to ensure adequate and sustainable funding for UN peacebuilding, including through the introduction of assessed contributions.
We are close to a compromise and call on all UN Member States to join the proposal developed by the African Group and the European Union.
This proposal has the support of many other countries, as well.
In a globalized world, our security and prosperity are inextricably linked.
Germany stands ready to join our African partners to jwork for peace, security and sustainable development to make peace a reality for all African people.