Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry has said that Egypt stresses the need to give priority to political solutions in African conflicts.
Shoukry also noted the country’s pride in its role as one of the major contributors to United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations.
In at recorded speech at the Ministerial Meeting of the African Peace and Security Council, Shoukry noted Egypt’s ongoing efforts in this regard. This includes the recent opening of the Egyptian Center for Training in Peacekeeping Operations, with the aim of further strengthening the training and rehabilitation efforts of military and police forces participating in peacekeeping operations.
Ahmed Hafez, spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, added that Shoukry explained the multiple and interrelated challenges that peacekeeping missions in Africa are going through. He also pointed to the difficulties and complexities of the peacekeeping environment.
On top of these challenges are the extremely dangerous security situations in the areas of operations, the expansion of terrorist threats and their overlap with organised crime activities.
They are also affected by the political complexities in conflict areas, the challenges of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, climate change, and water scarcity.
Shoukry emphasised the importance of strengthening the interconnection between peacekeeping and peace-building activities. This will contribute to addressing the root causes of armed conflicts and strengthening the systems of peace, security, and development.
He noted that Egypt has made this a high priority, especially through the president’s sponsorship of the post-conflict reconstruction and development file in Africa.
Shoukry also referred to Egypt’s position that political solutions to conflicts and African ownership should be given priority to these solutions. This takes into account that appropriate and sustainable funding should be provided for peacekeeping operations to succeed in performing their duties.
He also stressed the need to strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union and to strengthen women’s participation in peacekeeping operations.
This comes in addition to paying particular attention to the issue of the security and safety of peacekeepers, in light of the marked rise in hostilities targeting them.
During the meeting, Shoukry expressed Egypt’s aspiration to continue working with various parties to establish peace on the African continent.
He added that achieving the desired development in Africa can only be achieved by consolidating the concept of peace and security and eliminating the expansion of terrorist organisations.