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H.E. Mr. Ali Ahmed Jama Jengeli, Minister for Foreign Affairs

26 September 2008

Statement Summary

ALI AHMED JAMA JENGELI, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Somalia, focused his statement on what he said were the three most important issues facing the development needs of Africa: aid; debt; and trade, and how they impacted the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as how they improved his country’s own development priorities.

On the issue of aid to Africa, he expressed concern with its quantity, relevance and quality, expressing support for any measures likely to increase the effectiveness, coordination and coherence of both bilateral and multilateral aid.  Noting that most observers agreed that total ODA to the continent in the coming years was unlikely to increase and may even decrease, he said it would therefore be unrealistic to entertain exaggerated hopes for development through aid, especially given the fact that most donor countries had yet to reach the 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product target.

Regarding the debt burden of many African countries, especially the so-called Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), he said the international community needed to be doing far more than had been attempted or achieved in recent years.  For one thing, the process of debt reduction needed to be accelerated to give credence to the existence of an urgent crisis.  In respect of least developed countries and low-income countries, he believed that outstanding debts must be cancelled altogether.

On the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, he pointed out that the greatest potential was in the area of trade and not so much in the aid or debt relief.  In that connection, he called for the removal of trade barriers against African agricultural produce from the European Union and North American markets.

On the situation in his country, he reaffirmed his Government’s total commitment to the implementation of the road map envisaged under the Somali Charter of 2004.  Despite what he termed the “daunting” natural and man-made challenges, he explained that the peace and reconciliation agreement signed by the Government and the opposition alliance was now in the process of being implemented -- hopefully without further undue delays.

“We are determined to ensure that the works of saboteurs and spoilers will not keep the whole Somali nation, and peace in the region, hostage,” he said, calling for the unambiguous support of the United Nations, including the Security Council, on that matter.  Indeed, the Security Council must not allow current opportunities and hopes for peace “be lost through a policy of wait and see”.  He called urgently for the deployment of a full-fledged United Nations peacekeeping force to restore peace and stability, as well as to create a secure environment for institution-building and economic development. 

[Source: GA/10756]