Seminar Ambassador/ Maged Abdelaziz On”Arab-African Cooperation… Opportunities and Challenges”
On January 5, 2021, the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs hosted Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz, Permanent Representative of the League of Arab States to the United Nations in New York, former Permanent Representative of Egypt to the Organization, and former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Advisor on Africa, to speak about “Arab-African Cooperation… Opportunities and Challenges”. The seminar was opened by Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, ECFA Chairman, with the participation of ambassadors: Dr. Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, Mohamed Al-Noqaly, and Mona Omar.
The guest pointed out that the importance of Arab-African relations is owed to several considerations, including the fact that half of the member states of the Arab League are members of the African Union; The large support provided by the Arab countries to the African side in the movements of national liberation from colonialism, which is still a good basis to build on, despite the loss of many relevant key figures; Also, the affiliation of many countries of the Arab and African regions to several major neutral organizations such as the Non-Aligned Movement and the United Nations, as well as the G77 + China… etc.; In addition to the qualitative weight of organizations that include Arab and African countries, for example, the Arab bloc or the African bloc have a major role in passing UN resolutions and international nominations in a number of international bodies, which ultimately results in influencing decision-taking in international organizations.
In this context, Ambassador Abdelaziz indicated that the Arab side has sought to establish a framework for Arab-African cooperation, in recognition of the opportunities and the growing importance of the African dimension on the international scene. Therefore, the Kuwait (2013) and Malabo (2016) summits were held, while the Riyadh summit was not held in 2019 due to the lack of an atmosphere conducive to its convening. In this regard, the Great Green Wall Initiative was proposed in order to preserve the environment and initiate the implementation of sustainable development programs with long-term benefits, as well as finding a mechanism for the free movement of individuals between Arab and African countries…etc.
An Arab-African festival is also expected to be held on the sidelines of the upcoming summit in Riyadh, as well as the planned establishment of the Arab-African Center for Migration. However, we should emphasize the existence of many dilemmas that prevent the consolidation of Arab-African cooperation as desired, mainly those related to the League of Arab States due to differences between a number of its members, and the failure to fulfill financial commitments, which makes the Arab side lose the seriousness to cooperate with it.