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H.E. Mr. Ahmed Tidiane Souaré, Prime Minister

26 September 2008

Statement Summary

AHMED TIDIANE SOUARÉ, Prime Minister of Guinea, said that the United Nations was ever more in demand because of the many challenges faced by the world.  In that regard, developed countries had undertaken to devote 0.7 per cent of their gross domestic product to ODA, but that promise had received only a symbolic effort.  The current scenario of a world divided between rich and poor showed how that promise had not been fulfilled.

With regard to international peace, despite a significant reduction in the number of armed conflicts, many dangers remained.  The legitimate war against blind and illegitimate terrorism did not present any reassuring outlooks, the anachronistic Israeli-Palestinian conflict persisted and tensions related to nuclear weapons control darkened the horizon, raising legitimate fear in vulnerable countries.  Moreover, the current food crisis posed an urgent challenge, which required a rapid response on various levels.  Those serious phenomena required global action, he said.

The international community as a whole must promote policies and strategies towards returning agriculture to the centre of national and international attention, he continued.  With regard to poverty reduction, the results were even more mixed, with poor countries further hampered due to the growing size of their population and inconsistency of public aid, in light of “timid engagement” by development partners and global trade inequities.

That picture, indeed, represented a vicious circle, within which the leaders of the poor and rich countries were caught, he said, calling for increased support to poor countries.  Human solidarity must show its effectiveness.  Lasting peace could not be achieved with current asymmetrical divisions.  Proper use should be made of the aid received by poor countries.  Their young people wished to make their parents and Governments proud by finding decent work.

Noting encouraging results in conflict prevention, restoring and building peace, particularly in Africa -- despite the tragedy in Darfur -- he said that the United Nations should be congratulated and encouraged.  Significant progress had been achieved by Côte d’Ivoire.  Guinea called for support for the efforts of the members of the Mano River Union to prevent them from relapsing into insecurity and instability.  He also welcomed the measures by the Peacebuilding Commission to consolidate stability in Africa.

Turning to the situation in his country, he said that Guinea had faced a serious economic and social crisis, but because of a national patriotic upsurge supported by the international community, in particular the Economic Community of West African States, the situation was improving.  All vital components of the new Government had been installed, and State authorities were implementing a “minimum urgency programme”, which would pave the way for the relaunch of the economic and social development of the country.

[Source: GA/10756]