Remarks by Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, on Peace and Security in Africa during the 8657th meeting of the Security Council.
Upon returning from her joint mission with the African Union (AU) on women peace and security in the Horn of Africa, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed today (4 Nov) told the Security Council that “the chance for peace in this region is real” and the international community, together with Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti, “can find lasting solutions to the complex challenges of the region.”
In all countries, Mohammed said, “women are playing a critical leadership role in social cohesion, economic revival, and peace.”
Ethiopia, she noted, “now has its first woman President and half its government ministers are women.” President Sahle-Work Zewde, she added, “is leading efforts at social cohesion, and women serve as Ministers of Peace, of Labour and Infrastructure, and are at the helm of the National Election Commission and the Supreme Court.”
In Somalia, the Deputy Secretary-General said, “dynamic female ministers” are introducing reforms “to address the challenges of women’s low representation in political life.”
Having met with Somalia’s head of the National Independent Electoral Commission, Halima Ismail, she said “our efforts in Somalia must prioritize financial support to free, fair and inclusive elections next year, as well as to the national development priorities of the government
including debt relief.”
Following the joint mission to the Horn of Africa, the Deputy Secretary-General travelled to Sudan, where she met authorities and women’s civil society activists.
She said, “women who were the engine of the revolution and are now demanding equality and social inclusion across all strata of society.”
Mohammed stated that this region has “some of the fastest growing economies on the continent, with rich natural resources, extraordinary capacity particularly among their youth, and genuine reforms.”
She urged the Security Council, and the international community, to assist to identify concrete actions to be delivered over the next three months, while addressing the mid and long-term opportunities necessary for lasting peace.
Also addressing the Council, the Permanent Observer of the AU to the United Nations, Fatima Kyari Mohammed, said “women's aspirations and initiatives that we heard and saw in our interactions across the four countries provide a clear basis to reaffirm that women's participation is imperative if we want to deliver on our commitments.”
She said, “substantive support to their organizations and projects, continued engagement with Member States to create the conducive environment for women participation in arena where decisions are made, at all levels, from grass root to higher offices should be prioritized.”
Mohammed joined the Deputy Secretary-General during the Horn of Africa leg of the mission.