14 April 2021 04:38 PM

Address by His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Inaugurating Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development

Thursday، 12 December 2019 - 02:24 PM

Your Majesties, Excellencies, Heads of African State and Government,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of Delegations,

Distinguished Guests,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all today on the occasion of inaugurating the first edition of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development. This forum starts today from the city of Aswan; the southern bridge of Egypt to its continent, through which the eternal Nile flows with life from the heart of Africa to the arteries of the Egyptians as an eternal bond that embodies brotherhood, affirms the unity of destiny, and mingles the hopes of our African peoples.

There is no more appropriate time than now to meet together within the framework of this forum to discuss the challenges facing us in Africa; foremost of which is the stability of peace and security, and the achievement of sustainable development which we aspire to, as well as protecting our African countries and societies from the proliferation of terrorism and its associated phenomena; the most dangerous of which are arms smuggling and proliferation, the aggravation of the organized crime, human trafficking and illegal immigration. Amidst these confrontations, it is incumbent upon us to responsibly deal with the negative repercussions of climate change, which exacerbated the problems of desertification and scarcity of water and natural resources. This is all happening while our peoples believe that peace, security, development and welfare are human rights that they deserve to enjoy like the rest of the peoples worldwide.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Facing such challenges and problems requires us to close all efforts, based on the established African principle, "African solutions to African problems". Our awareness of this principle has been a strong motivation for African leaders in the past years to seek to formulate specific plans and strategies that aim at achieving the aspirations of the African peoples in various fields. Through continuous meetings and unremitting efforts, Africa succeeded in formulating the Development Agenda 2063 whose goals meet the needs of the people of the continent. The African Union also adopted the Initiative of “Silencing the Guns” by 2020, which aims to eliminate all disputes and conflicts in the continent by 2020 through preparing clear executive frameworks that address the roots of conflicts and contribute to post-conflict reconstruction and development. Undoubtedly, activating this initiative is a cornerstone in achieving stability throughout the continent, especially by building the institutions of the state of nation and enabling it to carry out its tasks, preserve its resources and help its peoples to move towards development and prosperity.

It is no secret that the political will of the leaders of African countries to resolve the existing conflicts and immunize the peoples and states from any future wars, disputes and dangers, only confirms the commitment of our countries to achieve the comprehensive development whose plan was designed by the countries of the continent. Out of this approach, Egypt believes that the best way to achieve peace and stability in the African continent, and the world, is to work to address the root causes of problems that threaten peace and security, and prevent conflicts and crises from arising in the first place, especially through the preventive diplomacy and mediation to settle the differences that may arise between states.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Within this context, I would like to stress the necessity of joining all regional and international efforts to enhance the security and stability in the African continent, based on the principle of the sovereignty of states and the pivotal role of governments in formulating the agreements of peace and the development plans in accordance with the national priorities; thus consolidating their national ownership to these efforts. Achieving and sustaining peace on the long run will only be achieved through strengthening the ability of states and governments to exercise their sovereignty over their entire territory, and upgrading their institutional capabilities in various fields. The state of nation is the vessel that guarantees the necessity of security and stability for the sustainability of development.

Our vision for the reality that we build, and for the better future that we aspire to the African Continent will not be fulfilled except by granting women and youth the status which they deserve, as talking about empowering women and integrating youth in various fields and levels should be translated into executive policies with the aim of facing the difficulties that we mobilize efforts to address, and seeking to realize the broad expectations that we aspire to.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are all aware of the close interrelationship between achieving development and stabilizing peace and security in our continent. As we have been able together to overcome some obstacles to bring peace and advance development, the success of our ongoing efforts would require more collaboration and intensification of action in a race against time to reach the goals we seek. Today, there is no doubt that we are taking a large step ahead for this purpose through our meeting in Aswan Forum. This unique African forum represents a regional and continental platform for discussion, dialogue and exchange of experiences. We are confident that the work of the forum will support the endeavors of the continent to develop an inclusive and lasting African peace and security structure. This will go in line with achieving complementarity between this structure and efforts to achieve sustainable development, as well as between peacebuilding, preventive diplomacy and mediation on one hand and efforts dealing with the roots of crises facing the continent on the other.

It is our view that this forum should be African in all details; whether in terms of the idea, the substantive and organizational preparation or the agenda and plenary sessions. Aswan Forum expresses the property right of the peoples of this continent to determine their fate and embodies their leadership, regarding the African affairs. This is the principal guarantee that the forum would address the problems facing the continent, offer solutions, as well as highlight and develop plans to seize the existing opportunities. This does not contradict to openly cooperate with international partners on the basis of achieving mutual benefit and joint gains.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The most telling proof of the usefulness of serious ideas and thoughtful visions is to be turned into tangible reality. In this regard, we are in dire need today to revitalize and put into practice our framework policy for post-conflict reconstruction and development of the African continent. Such policy should be translated into plans that defend post-conflict states against the hazards of backsliding, rebuild the institutional capacities to carry out their tasks, and contribute to healing wounds of these communities. Thus, we all look forward to signing the agreement for hosting the African Union Center for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (AUC-PCRD) in Egypt. AUC-PCRD is targeted to serve as a comprehensive coordination platform and a think-tank preparing special programs for post-conflict states, taking into account the specificities of each state and protect its property right to the path of reconstruction and development.

I cannot conclude without welcoming you again to Aswan, and I should express my confidence that your participation and dialogues throughout the Forum sessions would be constructive and fruitful, and would also contribute to support peace and sustainable development efforts being a goal and a right for all African states to assume their rightful deserved place in the world.

Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah Be Upon You

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