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Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly

New York, 31 January 2011

After addressing the summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa, President Deiss holds a series of bilateral talks with African leaders

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Joseph Deiss, concluded today a two-day visit to the African Union. On 30 January in Addis Ababa, President Deiss addressed the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Heads of State and Government as a Special Guest.

His speech focused on Africa as an indispensable partner in a global world. President Deiss outlined his vision on global governance and addressed, in particular, Security Council reform and the need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The President of the General Assembly stated that it is crucial to count on Africa as a partner in facing global challenges and promoting the fundamental values enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. He underlined the need to ensure a fair representation of Africa in global governance. He added that the current process of rebalancing the economic, demographic and political world order and the rising prominence of the African continent on the international stage give rise to new hopes, but they also bring with them new responsibilities.

The President of the General Assembly held bilateral meetings with the Heads of State of Gabon, Liberia, Malawi and Tanzania. President Deiss met separately, inter alia, with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal. He attended a luncheon at the invitation of the President of South Africa. President Deiss also met with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
With his interlocutors, the President of the General Assembly discussed, among other important issues on the agenda of the sixty-fifth session, the contribution of African countries to the ongoing negotiations on Security Council reform. African leaders also briefed President Deiss on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire and the initiatives of the African Union to solve the crisis in that country.