UN Secretary-General in Africa

Aug 2, 2019

Climate action, violent extremism & equality were focus of Secretary-General António Guterres’ recent trip to Kenya and Mozambique

In early July, Secretary-General António Guterres visited Kenya and Mozambique to speak with local people and gain a better understanding of the challenges they’re facing.

In Nairobi, Kenya, the he met with young people who are receiving training and mentorship to improve their job prospects, and help them to turn their backs on the lure of violent extremism.

The programme is part of larger efforts from the Kamukunji community through which groups from different backgrounds, ages and beliefs come together to close ranks and prevent the rise of violent extremism and radicalization in their communities.

While in Nairobi, the Secretary-General also heard from women activists, who are leading the way in preventing the expansion of violent extremism from within their own communities.

“I’m convinced that to win the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, women must be fully supported. We must continue listening and working with them, as they are in the front-lines of this battle.”

While visiting with United Nations staff working in Nairobi, the UN chief also learned more about the climate action initiatives they’re undertaking in their day-to-day lives, as they strive to be an example of the transformative change needed to address the climate crisis.

The need for climate action was also a major area of focus as the Secretary-General made is his way to Mozambique. The south-eastern African country was hit by two major cyclones — Idai and Kenneth — in the span of a few weeks earlier in the year.

In Beira, Mozambique he met with children whose school was devastated by the storms and is still missing its roof.

“The people of Beira have much in common with those I recently met in St. Lucia in the Caribbean or Tuvalu in the Pacific. They are all on the front lines of the world’s climate emergency. They have done little to contribute to the climate crisis, yet they are often its first victims.”

Also in Mozambique, people with albinism shared their stories with the Secretary-General, who stressed: “ No one should be marginalized because of physical appearance. We all have to stand up for human rights.”


‘Nothing left to go back for’: UN News hears extraordinary stories of loss, and survival as Mozambique rebuilds from deadly cyclones

In Mozambique, it’s ‘a matter of the heart’ says Guterres, lauding the cyclone-struck nation’s ‘undeniable moral authority’

Pledging ongoing UN support during visit to cyclone-hit areas, Guterres praises resilience of Mozambicans

Terrorism ‘spreading and destabilizing’ entire regions, Guterres warns States, at key Kenya conference

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