This morning in Fez, the Secretary-General delivered remarks at the opening of the 9th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. In his remarks, the Secretary-General described the challenges we face, saying that the forces of division and hate are finding fertile ground in a landscape marred by injustices and conflicts. But, he added, if we recognize diversity as richness, invest in inclusion, and make sure that all of us can live lives of dignity and opportunity, we can build an alliance of peace that spans the global and the local to meet the tests of our time. Later in the day, the Secretary-General delivered remarks at a meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations. He said that as growing prejudice, polarization, sectarianism, and strife threatened global peace and security, we built a global platform for governments, civil society, young people, religious leaders, scholars, media, and the private sector to join forces, solve problems, and seize opportunities. He called on Member States to continue their support to strengthen the Alliance and ensure that it can continue its vital mission today and in the future. The Secretary-General also held a media stakeout, during which he reiterated the importance of the work of the Alliance.
This morning, the Security Council held a meeting on Peace and Security in Africa, regarding the situation of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea. Briefing Council members, Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, noted that piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has morphed over the last decade, with pirate groups adapting to changing dynamics both at sea and in coastal areas. She said that it is imperative that states in the Gulf of Guinea and regional structures enhance and accelerate their efforts to establish a stable and secure maritime environment in the Gulf by fully operationalizing the maritime security architecture laid out in the Yaoundé Code of Conduct. Also briefing Council members, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Ghada Fathi Waly, pointed out that the threat of piracy has cost the region lives, stability, and over 1.9 billion dollars in financial losses every year. She said that the substantial decrease in piracy incidents and victims in the Gulf of Guinea this year, particularly for kidnapping for ransom, is a welcome result of many years of work.
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) continues to support preparations for the holding of the Nairobi III meeting between the DRC Government and Congolese armed groups. The meeting is scheduled to take place under the leadership of former President Kenyatta in Nairobi towards the end of the month. MONUSCO continues to work closely with all relevant stakeholders in support of diplomatic and political means to address the situation in the eastern region of the country.