African Press Organization
2012-07-17 ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 17, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Jam Eliasson, today told UN staff in Addis Ababa that he would use his new position to emphasize the linkage between peace, development and human rights.
Addressing a town hall meeting at the UN Conference centre, he said the three UN core mandates need to be implemented in pair, especially in Africa where challenges still exits in those areas, according to the Information and Communications Service of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)..
Mr. Eliasson, who recently took over from Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania had just attended the Summit of the African Union. He expressed delight at the way agencies of the UN system, and especially ECA work with regional institutions, saying that is how the UN is meant to work.
“I think there are two important sections in the UN Charter that are under-utilized”, he said, referring to Section 6, on the “pacific settlement of disputes” and Section 8, on “regional arrangements”.
The Swedish diplomat who is no stranger to the UN's role in conflict resolutions in Africa (having served in Darfur, Sudan, Somalia and Mozambique) said the international community would need to be more forward- looking in terms of conflict prevention.
Responding to a question on the conflict in Mali and the possible role the UN can play, he said he had had consultations and bilateral meetings on the issue in an attempt to find a political solution for the problem, but said the international community would need to help because it poses a threat not just to national stability but to regional peace, as well.
He pointed out that in light of the complexity of the problems facing Africa such as poverty, there is a need for co-operation with civil society, the private sector and greater mobilization within the international community.
Answering a question on how the UN plans to support Africa's development agenda post-2015, he said there is still room for more work to be done in the remaining three years to the 2015 target year and there will be need to link the MDGs to sustainable development.
He called on the staff not to lose sight of the need to connect with the people on the ground, drawing lessons learnt from his recent visit to a local project out of Addis Ababa and how he tried very well to connect with these people.
“I was fascinated by how well the agenda of the local initiative connects very well with the broad agenda set by the UN”, he said.
Earlier, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ECA welcomed Mr. Eliasson, calling him “a real African”, because of his long experience and commitment to the development of the continent.