25 September 2013 Thanking the United Nations and the international community for their support in restoring stability to his country, Alassane Ouattara, President of Côte d’Ivoire, today called for greater global solidarity to achieve current development goals and an even more ambitious agenda for the decades ahead.
“We must adopt a global approach which will allow our countries to build more equitable models for sustainable development which respect our specific needs,” he told the UN General Assembly on the second day of its annual General Debate.
Although much remained to be done, he noted that most countries have made important progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the eight targets adopted at the 2000 UN summit to slash extreme hunger and poverty, boost access to health care and education, achieve gender equality and environmental stability, and reduce maternal and child mortality and the incidence of HIV/AIDS, all by the end of 2015.
With little more than 800 days left to the deadline, the theme of this year’s 68th General Assembly is the post-2015 development agenda, aimed at drawing up an even more ambitious blueprint to protect the environment and totally eliminate poverty and its attendant ills in the decades ahead.
“As we reach the moment of truth, we cannot deny the evidence that the world needs more solidarity to achieve the MDGs,” Mr. Ouattara said. “The African continent, which is behind schedule with regard to the 2015 deadline, can all the same count on its growing weight in the world economy. That is why my country endorses a post-2015 agenda that will forge a new consensus for a new generation of sustainable development goals.”
Turning to the problem of terrorism, he stressed that the recent deadly assault on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, highlights the urgent need for collective action against the scourge, adding that a better world will be possible “only if we take up the challenge of peace and security and also democracy by returning to the values of the UN Charter.”
The UN played a major role in bringing peace and stability and reuniting the West African country after it was split by civil war in 2002. A 2010 presidential election, meant to be a culminating point in the peace process, resulted in months of violence when former president Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after losing to Mr. Ouattara. Mr. Gbagbo finally surrendered the following April.
The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), set up in 2004, currently comprises nearly 10,000 uniformed personnel, including 8,500 troops and 1,300 police.
President Ouattara joins a host of leaders who will address the annual General Assembly debate, which this year wraps up on 1 October. Throughout, heads of State and Government and high-level officials will present their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance.