His Excellency Mr. Nagoum Yamassoum
First of all, I would like to ask all of the participants at this Forum to accept the regrets of the President of Chad, who was unable to be with us this afternoon. I would also like to associate my voice with those of earlier eminent speakers in thanking the President and the people of Mexico for their kindness in hosting this very important initiative.
I would like to underscore that, at the beginning of this millennium, the world seems to be more truly aware of the tragedies that millions of human beings are experiencing from war, natural disaster, disease and, above all, the injustices that characterize international relations. The Millennium Summit of September 2000 held in New York and the present Conference devoted to financing for development attest to the international communityís move towards greater equity and greater humanity in todayís world.
Now it is more urgent than ever to transcend the phases of holding conferences and thinking and get down to action. Indeed, for more than half a century, thousands of experts, and hundreds of various organizations, have prepared tons of development schemes for the third world. They have designed numerous files and projects aimed at integrating the underdeveloped countries and the world economy. Some were successful, but most fell short. The developing countries were not able to begin their expected economic recovery. On the contrary, most have become more and more bogged down in underdevelopment.
This is particularly visible in the African continent, where poverty, famine, disease and political instability seem to persist, if not increase. Proof of this fact is that, of the 49 countries of the planet considered to be the least developed countries, 34 are in Africa. For a decade, despite the weighty legacy of the past and the burdens and constraints imposed by dictatorships, Africa decided to react by committing itself to far-reaching political reforms. It wants to take its destiny into its own hands. Of course, the results have not yet been achieved, but reverse motion is impossible.
In a more formal commitment, African leaders adopted The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). This programme, thought up by Africans for Africans, is proposing a new form of partnership with the rest of the world. For its part, Chad, a landlocked State in the heart of Africa, a State that has experienced turmoil and dictatorship for 30 years and has been beset by all kinds of natural disasters such as drought and disease, is resolutely part of NEPAD. For over a dozen years our Government has committed itself to shattering a vicious cycle of inevitable ills overwhelming the country. It has harnessed itself with determination and the assistance of all political and social stakeholders to build a society based on liberty and law.
Chad has succeeded, above all, in achieving our nationís dream of exploiting Doba oil. Thanks to the sacrifice and courage of a people hardened by years of privation, Chad has tried to redress itself politically and economically.
Here we would like to thank all of our bilateral and multilateral partners who have supported the greater burden of this endeavour. In this respect, I would like to extend particular thanks to the Republic of China on Taiwan1 for its important assistance in carrying out vital projects. The foundations have been laid in Chad; they cannot be destroyed. It is now a question of correcting the shortcomings so that this opus can resist all unforeseen ills. The support of our development partners is essential in order to correct imperfections and to gain optimal national capacity.
At this time, Chad would like to make some proposals, inspired by NEPAD, that could foster socio-economic and political development in our country, and I hope that they will get the attention of participants here.
The world has changed incontrovertibly under the influence of technological advance and new technologies. It is inadmissible that the prosperity stemming from these changes should coexist with poverty affecting over three-quarters of the planetís population. Our vision of the world should also change. Unbridled profit-seeking should yield to sharing and to mutual beneficial partnerships. It is for this reason that the Republic of Chad supports the proposal to increase the share of grants over that of trade in official development assistance (ODA). We are particularly encouraged by the recent statements of the United States and the position taken by the European Union on behalf of the financial institutions. These very praiseworthy initiatives should contribute to financing priority sectors in countries such as Chad. African countries, for their part, want to integrate themselves into the world political and economic arena. The international community has a duty to help them. It is not only a duty; but it is also a necessity, because it is illusory to believe that the happiness and prosperity of some will always remain at the expense of the larger number.
I should like to pay tribute to the United Nations Secretary-General for his initiative in convening this Forum, to ensure that there will be greater humanism, equity and responsibility in international relations.
1. The United Nations does not take responsibility for any omissions or discrepancies that may inadvertently appear in transcriptions of speeches where the text was not submitted by delegations or in the interpretation of speeches where the corresponding translations were not provided by delegations to the Secretariat.
* The text of this statement has been transcribed from audio recordings as the original was not submitted to the Secretariat.