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PRESIDENT of the 64th Session
United Nations General Assembly

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Closing Remarks at the Joint Debate: New Partnership for Africa’s Development: Progress in Implementation and International Support [63 (a) and (b)]; 2001-2010: Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa [47]

New York, 21 October 2009

Excellencies,

The debate we have just concluded has been a strong demonstration of goodwill, solidarity and support for Africa. Over two days, Member States and regional groups reaffirmed this support for Africa’s objectives of development and particularly for NEPAD, the continent’s blueprint to achieve those objectives.

The debate was a timely opportunity to review the progress in implementation and international support for NEPAD and to identify the ways and means of addressing the challenges. Many delegations spoke of progress in NEPAD priority areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, health and education, and highlighted the challenges faced by Africa in attaining the Millennium Development Goals.

While acknowledging Africa’s primary responsibility for its development, Member States renewed calls for strengthened international partnership to accelerate this process. In this regard, the importance of South-South Cooperation and Africa’s strategic partnerships was highlighted.

African delegations outlined the efforts made to advance the priorities of NEPAD as well as to tackle the challenges of peace and security, emphasizing in that regard the role of the African Union, the Regional Organizations and the United Nations. Some delegates welcomed progress in the integration of NEPAD into the AU structures and processes. The African Peer Review Mechanism was widely praised.

Among the many challenges still confronting Africa, the impact of food, fuel and economic crises, climate change, HIV/AIDS and other diseases, transnational organized crime and narcotic drug trafficking, and the need to improve the status of women, were particularly mentioned. Many expressed concern and dismay at the continuing toll that malaria takes in Africa and in other developing countries. We heard a number of specific proposals to address these challenges.

It was widely acknowledged that while Africa’s own reform efforts must be sustained, the international community must also provide the necessary support in terms of investment, trade, debt relief and official development assistance. Africa’s development partners were called upon to meet their ODA pledges, particularly the Gleneagles commitment to double aid to Africa by 2010, and the long-standing commitment by many developed countries to increase ODA to 0.7% of Gross National Income. Several representatives called for the implementation of the Political Declaration on Africa’s Development Needs adopted at the High-Level Meeting on 22 September 2008, whereby the international community had recommitted itself to reinvigorate and strengthen a global partnership of equals. Several delegations echoed the calls for a monitoring mechanism to review the full and timely implementation of all commitments related to Africa’s development.

In the light of the debate, it is my sincere hope that the international community will continue to stand with Africa and follow-up on its pledges in support of Africa to help attain, from this international partnership, more tangible results on the ground for the benefit of the people of Africa. Thank you.

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