The African Group
Message from the Chair
The Member States in the United Nations General Assembly are divided into various geographical groupings. These are the groupings through which elections are conducted into various UN bodies and agencies.
Africa is allocated 3 non-permanent members of the Security Council, 14 members on ECOSOC, 13 Members on the Human Rights Council and the President of the General Assembly in years ending 4 and 9.
The Africa Group at the United Nations is made up of the 54 African Union Member States at the United Nations. The bloc coordinates its efforts on various topics, ranging from health and migration to issues of peace and security.
The group hold regular meetings to receive briefings from guests and UN officials and discuss on UN resolutions and topics so a common African position can be reached.
The group is chaired by an Ambassador from a Member State, with the position rotating monthly. The African Union Observer Mission serves as a coordinating secretariat for the group by arranging meetings, supporting the Chair, and generally providing logistical and administrative assistance where necessary.
I am honored to assume the responsibility of chairing the African Group in NY during August 2020. I extend my appreciation to my sisters and brothers previous chairs of our distinguished group as well as sister Ambassador Fatima Mohamed the Head of AU mission in NY and her team. I am pleased to receive the chairmanship from my dear brother Ambassador Yemdaogo Eric TIARE Permanente Representative of Burkina-Faso, and to continue his job well done. During my tenure in the chairmanship of the group, I intend to work within the values of the African family and guided by its spirit. I am committed to follow up on the good work of my predecessors to further promote the interests of Africa in the United Nations.
My personal belief is that the African Group in NY is not an ordinary group of ambassadors; It is the unified voice of our continent at the highest international platform. Since the era of the founding fathers, Africa achieved a lot in peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, meanwhile our continent continues to face some serious challenges which require collective international efforts to address them. In the same vein, Africa has a lot to offer to the international community; rich cultures and heritage, human struggle and wisdom, natural wealth and resources, investments opportunities and markets, and more importantly energetic Youth and Women capable of leading a paradigm shift to more equitable, inclusive and prosperous world.
To this background, the African Group in New York works to fulfil the aspirations of our peoples in times of huge turbulence. Our work to face terrorism, poverty, human rights violations received additional challenges, as the world, especially Africa, got hit by COVID 19 crisis and its unprecedented impacts. The pandemic, which respects no borders, requires collective action through the UN system, as UN remains the only viable option to address health, economic, social and humanitarian devastating impacts of COVID 19. I believe that during this particular year as we celebrate 75 years on the UN, the relevance of the organization became intrinsically linked to the ability of all of its groups, including African, to surpass differences and work in solidarity to address COVID 19 crisis.
The challenges of COVID19 and opportunities of UN75 should refuel our energy, ambition and determination, for realizing the Africa we want and the UN we need. To this objective, I am committed to work with my sisters and brothers in the African Group to promote our collective interests, and hence to steer the African Group’s cooperation with other Groups and entities in the UN.
Together we stand … God Bless Africa.
H.E Mr. Mohamed Edrees
Ambassador, and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations
Chair of the African Group of Permanent Representatives at the United Nations
for the month of September 2020