|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, in Opening Remarks at Tokyo Development Conference,
Spells out ‘Pillars’ for Building on Africa’s Potential
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s opening remarks to the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), in Yokohama, Japan, on 1 June:
Minasama, ohayo gozaimasu (Good morning, everyone). It is a great honour and privilege to join this twentieth-anniversary Tokyo International Conference on African Development. Many of us just attended the fiftieth-anniversary African Union meeting in Addis Ababa. This is an excellent timing to advance our goals. TICAD’s goals are the United Nations goals. In that regard, I thank, especially, Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe for bringing us together to Japan.
Japan is one of Africa’s strongest partners. In 2011, when the triple disaster hit Fukushima, the Japanese people stood firm for Africa. That year, Japan gave the United Nations more than $1.5 billion for development activities. I applaud this generosity and solidarity.
L’ambiance était à l’optimisme lors du sommet de l’Union africaine. L’Afrique est bien partie. L’Afrique a une croissance économique de près 6 pour cent par an en moyenne. D’ici à 2015, sept des 10 pays connaissant la plus forte croissance seront africains. Et depuis quelques années, les échanges commerciaux du continent représentent plus de 1,000 milliards de dollars.
Africa has achieved great progress on the Millennium Development Goals. Many African Governments understand the value of investing in people. But millions of Africans still lack jobs, health care and food. Too many suffer in conflicts.
To find lasting solutions, we must address the links between peace, security and development. This was the goal of my recent trip to the Great Lakes region, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim. We travelled together to emphasize that development is the foundation of peace. This is true in eastern Congo, across Africa and around the world.
TICAD is a call to action. I welcome the focus on solutions in the proposed outcome document of TICAD V. We have good ideas for diversifying economies, developing infrastructure and strengthening societies.
The goals of TICAD are the goals of the United Nations, as I just emphasized. We are committed to helping Africa realize the Millennium Development Goals. We will make sure Africa’s priorities are fully reflected in our post-2015 development agenda. I look forward to chairing tomorrow’s session on this important process.
Through a global dialogue, we are forging a dynamic, universal vision on the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. These are the pillars we should address at TICAD.
First, economic; we need to build on Africa’s trade opportunities, high investment returns and wealth of potential. Second, social; we should advance progress on education, health and women’s empowerment, and unleash the power of Africa’s vibrant youth. And third, environmental; climate change affects millions of Africans. African countries did not do much to cause the problem, but they will need more help coping with the effects.
That is why I am working for a global, legally binding, climate change deal by 2015. I am inviting leaders from around the world to a high-level meeting on climate change in September, in New York next year. At the same time, we can turn the climate challenge into an opportunity by realizing Africa’s enormous potential for clean energy.
The African continent and people are building their future. We can reach out to support them, as your theme says, “Hand in Hand with a Dynamic Africa”. Hand in hand for jobs. Hand in hand for social justice. And hand in hand for sustainable development and peace ‑ in Africa and in our world.
Domo arigato gozaimashita (Thank you very much).
* *** *For information media • not an official record