New Partnership for Africa's
High-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly
Statement delivered by Mr. Jan Kavan,
President of the 57th Session of the General Assembly
Nations, New York
September 16, 2002
Check against delivery
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and
It is a remarkable opportunity for me to speak today at this
high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly on the New
Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).
year we will be conducting the final review and appraisal of the
implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development
of Africa (UN-NADAF). This programme was initiated in 1990 and
approved by the General Assembly in 1991. UN-NADAF was the culmination
of a process of detailed discussions and reviews of the complex
issues Africa faced at that time.
UN-NADAF has played a very positive role in focusing the attention
of the international community on various aspects of development
in Africa. During the past decade much has been accomplished and
many difficult issues have been addressed, including the issues
of poverty eradication, sustainable development, and fighting
the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Many lessons were learned from 10 years of UN-NADAF implementation.
First, it was reconfirmed that conflict and development are mortal
enemies. Second, accelerated development co-operation with Africa
requires a new orientation, especially in conducting multilateral
and bilateral programmes. Third, commitments made by the parties
involved need to be honoured. Fourth, there is a need for sustained
advocacy for African development. Last and perhaps most important,
the results of the interim evaluations during the implementation
of UN-NADAF highlighted the need for coordination and collaboration
among the United Nations agencies in their developmental activities
Although a number of corrective measures and steps were undertaken
during the UN-NADAF implementation, all the points of its agenda
were not resolved. Africa remains a continent suffering widespread
problems such as extensive poverty, HIV/AIDS and inadequate access
to water, education and sanitation. In addition to these pre-existing
problems, new challenges posed by globalization continue to arise.
With the NEPAD initiative, a new approach was set in motion.
For the first time, development needs and objectives were identified
and defined by African countries themselves. The NEPAD initiative,
incorporating a complex matrix of key social, economic and political
priorities, is a collective pledge by the leaders of Africa. It
is based on a common vision and a firm and shared belief that
they have a duty to address the development challenges facing
their individual countries and the continent as a whole.
The NEPAD initiative has another advantage in that it is not
trying to compete with existing initiatives and development plans.
Rather it strives to consolidate these ongoing activities by establishing
links between them while introducing new elements. African countries
are themselves undertaking particular responsibilities and obligations
in their own interest. This process has also introduced the concept
of new partnerships with quantifiable commitments, contributions
The concurrent discussion on UN-NADAF and NEPAD during the 57th
Session of the General Assembly gives us a unique opportunity
to learn from the lessons of UN-NADAF and outline the conditions
required for success of the new initiative.
Today, during the high-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly
on the New Partnership for Africa's Development, we will hear
from distinguished representatives of Member States, who will
express their views on how the international community, including
the United Nations, can participate in the New Partnership for
Africa's Development. During the informal panel discussions in
the afternoon, distinguished panelists from the countries that
initiated NEPAD will relate their first-hand experiences and their
views on the potential for co-operation between the African countries
and the United Nations.
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish you fruitful discussion and success in your deliberations.