The United Nations Secretary-General’s special advisor of Africa Cristina Duarte briefed ambassadors to examine the capacity building for sustaining peace on the continent.

She also highlighted how African countries’ efforts to both prevent and address violence are being undermined by external factors such as competition over natural resources, which fuels conflict, to the increasing presence of global terrorist networks that are gaining footholds in some regions.

“Investing in institutional infrastructure is essential in order to build the capacities to tackle the internal causes of violence. Institutions have the power to catalyze holistic solutions. Institutional capacity building should, therefore, be the cornerstone of efforts to achieve sustainable peace,” she said.

She also underscored that policy and financing are the main challenges to capacity building, and she offered recommendations on the way forward.

Meanwhile, she also called for action by peacekeeping missions, which reach areas where State presence is absent.

“Closer cooperation with national and local authorities, not only from a security perspective but also from the perspective of institution-building could create opportunities for increasing the presence of the State and enhancing the delivery of services, preventing gaps that can be leveraged by terrorist groups and non-State actors,” she said.

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