Guterres talks security, climate at AU summit

By Laureen Fagan - 19 February 2023 at 7:49 pm
Guterres talks security, climate at AU summit

Despite progress on peace in Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan, the United Nations Secretary General told leaders at the African Union (AU) summit that the continent needs a comprehensive approach on climate, human rights and development in order to secure a peaceful feature.

“The Central African Republic, and the forward momentum in Somalia — these all give us hope,” said António Guterres. “We need to keep fighting for peace. But frankly — the machinery of peace is shaking. The system is not as agile and effective as it must be.”

The UN chief said he supports AU-led counterterrorism efforts and peacekeeping missions but said the work gets more complex every year.

“I am deeply concerned by the recent increase in violence by armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and by the progression of terrorist groups in the Sahel and elsewhere,” Guterres said. “I support your call for the return of democratically elected, civilian-led governments in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Sudan.”

Guterres emphasized the need for climate action during his remarks in Addis Ababa, where the AU summit continued through Sunday under the new leadership of  President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, the AU chairman for 2023.

He praised Kenya’s plans for a sustainable economy, South Africa’s Just Transition Energy Partnership, and the leading role on climate action played by Comoros and Africa’s other small island states.

“Africa needs climate action. The brutal injustice of climate change is on full display with every flood, drought, famine and heatwave endured on this continent,” Guterres said. “The countries least responsible for this crisis are feeling its most devastating impacts.”

Image: United Nations/Daniel Getachew

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at

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