Statement at the UN Security Council Open Debates on “Strengthening the Role of the African State in addressing Global Security and Development Challenges” by Permanent Representative of Latvia, Ambassador H.E. Sanita Pavļuta-Deslandes

New York, 23 May 2024

Mr President,

I would like to express our appreciation to Mozambique for convening this important discussion to deepen the understanding of the intricate and complex dynamics between peace and development particularly on the African continent. We also extend our gratitude to the Secretary General and all briefers for their insightful contributions.

Latvia recognizes the strong link between peace and development.

Today’s discussion offers us an opportunity to rethink assumptions about the continent of Africa, moving beyond crisis narrative towards strengthening the role of the African State as a means of managing challenges and fostering growth. African-led high impact and sustainable solutions can provide a significant insight into the promotion of innovation, adaptability and community cohesion to jointly address some of the most pressing challenges of our times.

Investing in African states and institutions produces synergy that extends far beyond the continent, and it is what unites our interests and joint efforts to promote global public good. It fosters a global environment of stability and security, ultimately contributing to a more resilient, adaptable, and cohesive international community. The African Union has a growing convening power on the global stage.

In this context, I would like to underline following elements.

First, we must recognize the major contribution of African countries   to peacekeeping. As a cosponsor of the vital Security Council Resolution 2719 on African Union-led peace support operations, Latvia supports establishment of operational modalities to ensure its effective implementation. Regardless of format and ownership of the future peacekeeping missions in Africa, we have to apply the lessons-learned from the current missions, which have been experiencing increasing difficulties over the past years. This means we need to ensure that missions have clear goals and exit strategies, and they are trusted by the local population. 

Second, No institution, no country is spared from misinformation and disinformation campaigns. Peacekeeping missions and peacekeepers are increasingly targeted by such campaigns. Many countries and societies experience increasing manipulation of information, which seeks to deepen divisions within and between communities. This is used as a weapon of influence to fuel conflicts. There is correlation between malicious use of technologies and conflicts.

Third, impact of climate change on peace and security. Intensified droughts and floods, limited access to vital resources like water and fertile land act as a threat multiplier. It exacerbates existing tensions over resources, fuels displacement, and creates fertile ground for conflict. To ensure peace, we must address climate change as a security imperative.

Fourth, we all know there is no peace without development, there is no development without peace. There is no credible way towards development and poverty eradication if women are not empowered, as they are half of the society.  Women and youth are crucial to building overall resilience. Equipping them with relevant skills and fostering their participation in decision-making and peace building processes bring new perspectives and sustainable solutions to tackle challenges not only in Africa, but worldwide.

This brings us to the issue of financing. Financing for Development (FfD) and international financial architecture reform are essential to address financing needs for development and mobilize private sector. Upcoming Summit of the Future provides a unique opportunity to pave the way for more sustainable and equitable future. Domestic resource mobilization and capacity building are crucial. So are strong institutions and good governance.

Latvia has been expanding its partnerships with African countries by offering technology and women empowerment related projects. Up to now, such projects have been executed or are under way in South Africa, Cameroon, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe. All projects are developed with a view to provide contribution in achievement of sustainable development goals.

In closing, I would like to underline the vital role that A3 countries play in this Council. This year, Algeria, Mozambique, Sierra Leone bring their unique perspectives. Their Presence is essential for addressing the security challenges facing Africa and beyond, thus playing a critical role in shaping the work of the Security Council. It is necessary to advance the Security Council reform to ensure permanent representation of Africa at this table.

I thank you!