Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), August 22, 2016 – Welcome remarks by H.E Amb. Lamine Baali , Chair of the AU PRC Sub-Committee on Refugees, Returnees and IDPs,
Your Excellency Commissioner for Political Affairs
Your Excellences Ambassadors and Members of Diplomatic Corps
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we are completing the dedicated African Humanitarian Week,that we started on Monday 15 August 2016 ,and at the same time celebrating the World Humanitarian Day marked on this 19 August 2016 under the theme of “ONE HUMANITY”.
The UN Resolution A/63/L.49of the General Assembly, designated 19th day of August each year, since 2008, to be commemorated in memory of the humanitarian workerswho were victims of bombing of the UN Headquarters in Bagdad, and it has been organized in form of weeklong events in Africa since 2014, gathering stakeholders for discussions and exchanges of different humanitarian issues in Africa.
We are commemorating this World Humanitarian Day when many parts of Africa are shaken by both political crises, disasters of various categories, extremism, radicalization and terrorism with far reaching repercussions on the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in our continent.
We are commemorating this day when many parts of Africa have been severely hit by unprecedented El Nino phenomenon causing unprecedented food insecurity on the continent,
We are commemorating this day at a time when the Mediterranean Sea which continues to dump African dead bodies of those attempting to cross in search for a better life,
We are commemorating this day, when the Belt of Africa which was known as Green Belt with rare and beautiful, forests, climate and animals, the most attractive around the world is now the Yellow Fever Belt with more than 15 epidemic-prone diseases in Africa, and has reported recent outbreaks of yellow Fever, Cholera,Denguefever, Meningitis, Measles, Zika virus, Influenza, Chikungunyaetc. continuing to add a burden on governments capacities to effectively respond.
We are commemorating this day when our sisters and brothers of South Sudan, Sahrawi, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Central Africa Republic, Burundi, Somalia, and Democratic Republic of Congo aresuffering in the refugee and IDPs camps.
Ladies and GentlemenEven though, there is hope to overcome these challenges because AU and its Member States in collaboration with other stakeholders are putting efforts to improve thehumanitarian situation.
The solution cannot be found in humanitarianism. The solution is in true spirit of burden sharing and partnership for good governance, peace,security and development.
The AU is now equipped with Agenda 2063 as well as the Common African Position on the humanitarian effectiveness, together with its Humanitarian Policy Frameworkwill doubtlessly guide all on a reformed humanitarian architecture that puts people in the heart of all humanitarian interventions and highlights the centrality of the State in the Humanitarian arena in Africa.
The outcome of the recent and first ever World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul in May 2016 aims to effectively tackle all of the humanitarian problems that I have highlighted.
When the commitments and recommendations that UN member countries made at the summit are translated into effective and practical implementation, then and only then, will we hope for a better humanitarian architecture, fit for the present day realities?
I wish you fruitful deliberations as we foster ways towards an improved humanitarian situation for Africa.
I thank you. (SPS)