Sao Tome and Principe
H. E. Mr. Fradique Bandeira Melo de Menezes, President
25 September 2008
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FRADIQUE BANDEIRA MELO DE MENEZES, President of Sao Tome and Principe, said he had come to join others in New York gathered to discuss the crucial issues of the day, including armed conflict; environmental catastrophes, both from natural disasters and forms of thoughtless behaviour; the financial crisis; and the food crisis.
Those issues showed the fragility of the current system, and the need to engage in actions that would lead to peaceful solutions and long-term development. The international community needed to translate proposals into action. He did not want to repeat previous discussions on conflicts, but concerted action was required to address, among others, the situation in the Middle East, latent conflicts in Africa, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the impact of the humanitarian situation in Darfur.
Sao Tome had made efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Yet it had endured many hardships, and would not be able to achieve all the targets by 2015. Exacerbating those hardships was the current food and financial crises, and insufficiency of aid linked to inadequate delivery processes and mechanisms. The number of the poor was increasing, instead of decreasing. His country had engaged in such efforts, increasing microcredits for fisheries. While there had been advances in education, statistics from 2007 showed that instances of HIV/AIDS had increased throughout Sao Tome and Principe, despite strong educational campaigns.
Though Sao Tome included three mountainous islands, it was very concerned with advancing seas at high tide. Giant waves had begun to cover coastal highways over the last 10 years, leaving regions of the country isolated. He made a strong appeal to those responsible for global warming to address that crucial issue in a much more aggressive and serious way.