HISSEIN BRAHIM TAHA, Minister for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and International Cooperation of Chad, said climate and environmental challenges were, for developing countries, no less important than terrorism and falling export prices. Drought and desertification were endangering ecosystems, he said, warning that the drying up of Lake Chad would prompt massive displacement and increased pressure on limited national resources. Lake Chad’s disappearance would be a disaster for the 50 million people who depended on it, he said, adding that the economic and financial crisis in developing countries was hindering their implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The security situation in the Sahel and Sahara countries was deteriorating, he said. Terrorist attacks, including those against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), demonstrated the determination of their perpetrators to wage war to the end. “We must respond,” he said, emphasizing the role to be played by the Group of Five for the Sahel (Sahel G-5) joint force and calling on the Security Council to provide it with a robust mandate.
Turning to the humanitarian situation, he said Chad called on the international community to invest more in alleviating the suffering of refugees, displaced persons and host populations. Massive investment in development programmes in countries of origin was needed to curb mass migration of African youth to Europe. In the Central African Republic, the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation was a major opportunity that all parties to the conflict must embrace, he said. In Libya, Chad supported reconciliation efforts by the United Nations and African Union; however, the solution was ultimately in the hands of that country’s political actors. South Sudan was a wound on Africa where the protagonists had a moral obligation to end the intolerable suffering of the people. Concluding, he said United Nations reforms must include a permanent seat for Africa on the Security Council.