On February 27, Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, spoke on behalf of the Holy See at the Security Council Open Debate held at United Nations Headquarters in New York dedicated to “Cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations on silencing the guns in Africa by 2020.”
In his statement, Monsignor Camilleri praised the Republic of Equatorial Guinea for convening on open debate on silencing the guns in Africa as well as lauded the determination of the African Union to make Africa conflict free. Signs of peace, he said, are seen in the historic agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea to end their conflict and establish diplomatic relations and in the agreement among leaders in South Sudan to restore peaceful coexistence. He said that the continent continues to be plagued by fundamentalist violence in several areas and it is necessary to examine the root causes of recourse to instruments of death, including endemic social and economic disparities, political instability and corruption, the exploitation of natural resources and violations of human dignity. The international community, he said, must keep its commitment for development aid, humanitarian assistance in emergencies, and stable financial and technical support without being tied to ideological colonization. It must make sure that African children become proficient with pens and schoolbooks rather than guns and ammunition. He called upon the international community, and especially weapon-producing States, to control and limit the production and movement of weapons in Africa.
The statement can be found here.