Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed on Monday Egypt's belief in the importance of joint African action and diligent work to achieve peace and development in the continent.
Shoukry was delivering the opening speech during the inaugural session of the 2nd edition of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, held virtually under the theme of "Shaping Africa’s New Normal: Recovering Stronger, Rebuilding Better" from Monday to Friday with the participation of senior African officials and heads of governments.
Shoukry voiced the forum's appreciation of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's keenness to deliver a speech during the inaugural session, a matter which enhances the political will to face the African challenges.
The 2nd edition, which is held 1-5 March, will focus on required solutions to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on Africa, the foreign minister pointed out.
Shoukry said Egypt realises that a new phase of development should kick off in favor of African countries and peoples to benefit from their resources.
He stressed the importance of addressing the Covid-19's negative impacts economically and socially to deal with the unprecedented turmoil which the world is witnessing due to the pandemic outbreak.
Therefore, the forum will tackle the effects of the pandemic crisis and required solutions to overcome its challenges, the top diplomat noted.
Shoukry highlighted that the coronavirus pandemic contributed to exacerbating the traditional challenges that Africa faces, including those of armed conflicts, growth of terrorist organizations, and forced displacement.
Such implications require to bolster the African countries' capabilities to face the current security challenges, topped by combating terrorism and foreign terrorists, the foreign minister underlined.
He affirmed the importance of the role set to be played by the African Union Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development policy which will lead efforts to prevent renewal of conflicts.
The top diplomat added that the forum offers an opportunity to tackle many challenges and issues of common interest.
Shoukry stated the forum will touch on many fields, including enhancing intra-African trade in light of the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area in January, infrastructure projects, and the recent election of Egypt to chair the Peacebuilding Commission at the United Nations.
Egypt, through its election, will be keen to enhance cooperation between the United Nations peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts in the African Union.
He reiterated Egypt's keenness to boost cooperation between the African countries and international partners to empower them to achieve their goals.
He also thanked all parties who supported the forum, wishing it a success.
The inaugration of the second edition of the Aswan forum witnessed too the participation of the UN Secretary General António Guterres and Tunisian President Kais Saeid.
In his word in front of the forum , UN Secretary General Guterres called for an equal distribution of coronavirus vaccines.
The 2nd edition of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development kicked off on Monday under the rubric of "Shaping Africa’s New Normal: Recovering Stronger, Rebuilding Better" with the participation of African leaders, senior officials and heads of governments.
The Forum will be held virtually till Friday.
The forum includes 15 sessions coving a wide range of themes including the following: "Terrorism in the Shadow of the Pandemic: A Pressing Need for Integrated Responses", "Advancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda During the Pandemic and Beyond", and "Addressing Forced Displacement in National Planning and Peace Processes: Localizing the Paradigm Shift to Prevention in Africa."
The event is organized by Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Peacekeeping.