H.E. Mr. Paul Biya, President
25 September 2008
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PAUL BIYA, President of Cameroon, reiterated the Secretary-General’s assertion that the food crisis and the need to democratize the United Nations were at the core of the problems facing the international community. Cameroon had addressed its recent social upheaval by implementing several corrective measures, among them reducing taxes and stabilizing fuel prices. However, problems of global origin needed to be addressed on a global platform. He commemorated the Secretary-General for establishing the Task Force on the Global Food Crisis. The success of any solution would require the participation of all Member States, and the wider international community, he said, urging the Assembly to finance the measures recommended by the Task Force.
Turning to other pressing issues, he discussed the myriad challenges facing Africa. His hopes for globalization to help alleviate poverty in Africa had been dashed. The international financial crisis instigated huge oil price hikes. In addition, the failure of the Doha Round of trade negotiations had been “shunted to the side”. Nonetheless, he spoke of Africa’s desire to believe that the international community would continue its support and assistance, and welcomed the Assembly’s high-level meetings devoted to Africa’s continued development and untapped potential.
He also called for a concerted response to the issue of migrants who suffered inhumane and atrocious treatment at the hands of their employers. At the same time, their exodus from Africa to seek work also drained their countries of the very human resources needed to rebuild. Compounding that was the continuing conflicts throughout the continent and increasing acts of terrorism. The international community, in particular the United Nations, had been able to significantly promote peace, with one of the best examples being the settlement of the dispute over the Bakassi Peninsula. He offered his gratitude and appreciation for all who worked to make that happen and welcomed the new era of peaceful relations between Cameroon and Nigeria. For further peace efforts to continue, he called for all Member States to give the support and resources needed in that regard.
Cameroon’s committed participation in the global effort to attain the Millennium Development Goals was possible because of its citizens’ sacrifices, its bilateral and multilateral partners’ endeavours, and the understanding and support of the United Nations.