Marking Tenth Anniversary of New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Delegates in General Assembly Welcome Progress, Pledge Support for African-led Strategy
Marking Tenth Anniversary of New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Delegates in General Assembly Welcome Progress, Pledge Support for African-led Strategy
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-sixth General Assembly
32nd & 33rdMeetings (AM & PM)
Marking Tenth Anniversary of New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Delegates
in General Assembly Welcome Progress, Pledge Support For African-led Strategy
Partnership Hailed as ‘Embodiment of African Rebirth, Renaissance,
While Anniversary Viewed as Opportunity for ‘Sober Reflection on Unfinished Tasks’
As General Assembly delegates today assessed the first implementation decade of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) — the African-owned strategy adopted in 2001 to drive the continent’s political and socio-economic transformation — they lauded achievements in peace, security and good governance, and looked forward to ownership beyond aid and inclusive sustainable growth over the next 10 years.
“The reality is that Africa has changed and is changing”, said Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, who also spoke on behalf of the African Union, during the Assembly’s annual joint debate on development in Africa. “NEPAD is the embodiment of the African rebirth and renaissance”, he said, adding that after 10 years of nurturing its own development path under NEPAD, a new feeling of optimism was emerging and a new story of steady growth was unfolding continent wide.
Africa was advancing good governance under the umbrella of the African Peer Review Mechanism, he continued, noting that other top priorities had been defined, notably in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). A powerful message must be sent to the world that Africa was committed to its transformation agenda. The African Union and NEPAD were part of that equation, he added.
Further, he said, Africa was “moving beyond aid” to achieve self-sustaining private sector-led growth. By way of example, he pointed out that internally generated revenue had improved from $129 billion in 2002 to $472 billion in 2008. Overall, domestic revenue represented 84 per cent of total financing sources for Africa in 2009. He stressed that across the continent, Africans no longer saw themselves to be conditioned by circumstances. Indeed, with the frontiers of development were being re-defined by new opportunities, emerging actors and creative relationships, Africa was embracing new orientations and innovations.
In remarks made on behalf of General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz al‑Nasser, General Assembly Vice President Jean-Francis Régis Zinsou ( Benin) opened the joint debate, which also included matters related to preventing and ending conflict in Africa, and tackling the spread of malaria, said that while NEPAD’s agenda must principally be carried out through national programmes, international support remained important.
Ebun Jusu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, called on partners involved in the long-stalled Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations to eliminate trade barriers, allocate 0.70 per cent and 0.15 per cent of their gross national income (GNI) to developing and least developed countries respectively, and address the debt burden of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).
The representative of Canada detailed a host of areas in which Canada was supporting Africa’s development from fighting malaria through contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to supporting peacekeeping in the Sudan and newly-independent South Sudan, and providing assistance to its private sector for investment in Africa, while insisting that that companies investing observe strict standards.
On the other topic of the joint debate, the “Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries”, Kenya’s representative, speaking on behalf of the African Group, and echoed by many speakers on the topic, said that disease affected over 170 million Africans a year. The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) was determined to remove that debilitating impediment to progress once and for all. Such efforts had the potential to save $12 billion per year, freeing up resources for accelerated development.
Recalling that NEPAD had been established so that Africans could take ownership of their continent’s political, economic and social development, Algeria’s representative said such ownership implied a change in relations with the rest of the world to one of truly reciprocal engagement, which would allow the interrelated challenges of peace and security, good governance and the development of Africa’s human and economic potential to be addressed in a coherent manner.
That approach had led to tangible results, such as a growth rate greater than 5 per cent over the past decade, surpassing population growth for the first time, he continued. However, that pace could have been greater still were it not for the global financial, economic, food and climate crises.
NEPAD had become the framework reference for partners and international organizations, he said. The challenges of stability, development and the fight against poverty required collective development. The priority areas were investment in job creation, infrastructure, creating markets for African exports, diversification of economies and regional integration. The development of Africa should be seen as an opportunity for the global economy and a contribution to the economic progress of all humanity.
In other business, the Assembly, on the recommendation of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), adopted a resolution by which it agreed that the failure of the Central African Republic, the Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe and Somalia to pay the full minimum amount necessary to avoid the application of Article 19 was due to conditions beyond their control, and that those countries shall be permitted to vote in the Assembly until the end of its sixty-sixth session.
[Article 19 states that a Member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. The General Assembly may nevertheless permit such a member to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member.]
Also speaking today was the Minister of State for External Affairs of India, as well as the Director of Development Cooperation and International Organizations of Zambia.
The representatives of Indonesia (on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)), Guyana (on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)), Senegal, Kuwait, Australia, China, Egypt, South Africa, Russian Federation, Israel, Sudan, United States, Cuba, Thailand, Brazil, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, Morocco, Finland, Tunisia, Cameroon and Ethiopia also spoke.
A representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) also spoke.
The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Monday, 17 October, to hold its joint debate on sport for peace and development, and the culture of peace.
The General Assembly met today to hold its annual joint debate on development in Africa, including progress on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which marks its tenth anniversary this year, and the 2001‑2010 Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, particularly in Africa.
For that discussion, the Assembly had before it the Secretary‑General’s ninth consolidated progress report on implementation and international support (document A/66/202), which assesses progress in implementing NEPAD projects and programmes and the support provided by the international community ahead of the Partnership’s tenth anniversary on 1 July 2011.
The report also coincides with renewed attention to Africa’s development needs, as evidenced by the significant commitments made following the Assembly’s High‑level Plenary Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in 2010, the adoption of both the Istanbul Programme of Action at the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (May‑June 2011) and the implementation framework for the recommendations of the Millennium Development Goals Africa Steering Group to accelerate progress towards achieving those Goals in Africa.
While highlighting that African countries have made progress in implementing NEPAD, the report reiterates the need for allocating more resources to the Partnership’s sectoral priorities, carrying out appropriate reforms to encourage the private sector in partnership projects, and promoting public‑private partnerships for the financing of infrastructure projects. To further strengthen international cooperation for development and facilitate NEPAD’s implementation, it is urgent that partners successfully conclude the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, deliver on aid commitments and improve aid effectiveness. Ten years after the adoption of NEPAD, the option of “business as usual” would only lead to broken promises and further delay the achievement of both the Millennium Goals and the overall implementation of the Partnership.
The Secretary‑General’s report on Implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary‑General on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa (document A/66/214), provides an assessment of major developments on the continent during the past year and examines the United Nations implementation of key priority areas. It offers an in‑depth analysis of two of the most pressing issues in Africa, namely: “youth, education and employment” and “conflict and natural resources”, and proposes numerous concrete and practical recommendations.
Among other measures, the report calls for the General Assembly, the Security Council and the wider United Nations system to include youth in decision‑making processes to identify and aim to remove sources of their social, political and economic discontent. A more comprehensive and integrated approach to youth development should be taken system‑wide. In conflict areas, young people should have adequate social and psychological support through peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development mandates, while Ministries of health, education, social affairs and employment, and community‑based support systems for youth should receive sufficient support.
The report further calls on the United Nations to regularly include analysis of natural resource management issues within peacekeeping, peacebuilding and humanitarian assessments. All partners should consider indigenous and women’s knowledge and practices in natural resources management and climate change mitigation, and include local mediation mechanisms for land use.
The United Nations also should support national dialogue, the report states, on the role of natural resources revenues in societies as to define inclusive growth and development strategies, and promote a more accountable and transparent use of them. For their part, international partners and the private sector should uphold corporate responsibility codes and comply with existing regulatory mechanisms to ensure that natural resource revenues are not diverted into activities that exacerbate conflict.
The Assembly also had before it a note by the Secretary‑General entitled,2001‑2010: Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa (document A/66/169), by which he transmits the report of the World Health Organization (WHO) entitled “Consolidating gains and accelerating efforts to control and eliminate malaria in developing countries, particularly in Africa, by 2015.” It highlights current progress toward meeting the goals for malaria control in the context of Assembly resolution 65/273, drawing on reports from WHO and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, as well as data from malaria‑endemic countries and other Roll Back Malaria partners.
The report details a chain of actions toward malaria’s elimination, most recently the June 2011 release of revised targets, and priorities of the Global Malaria Action Plan with the primary objective of achieving near‑zero deaths from malaria by 2015. This requires an “extraordinary” intensification of efforts, with continued support from the Roll Back Malaria Partnership; the United Nations, including its specialized agencies; bilateral development partners; and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance — a group of 39 African Heads of State working to end malaria‑related deaths — which tracks progress through a quarterly scorecard. Malaria control continues to be a high priority on the global development agenda, the report says, and the accelerated drive to achieve universal coverage with today’s tools continues to produce impressive results.
International funding commitments for malaria control have increased from less than $0.2 billion in 2000 to $1.8 billion in 2010, the report notes, owing largely to the establishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and major commitments by the United States, the World Bank and other agencies. This increased funding has led to measurable reductions in the malaria burden. However, it appears that new commitments for malaria control stagnated in 2009 and 2010, at $1.8 billion — approximately 30 per cent of the estimated need — although there have been recent new commitments from the United Kingdom, which has pledged up to £500 million per year to fight malaria by 2014, up from its current annual funding of £150 million.
Over the period considered, the use of insecticide‑treated mosquito nets and the procurement of rapid diagnostic tests and artemisinin‑based combination therapies for malaria continue to increase, the report states. In high‑burden African countries that have achieved substantial coverage of their populations with nets and treatment programmes, recorded cases and deaths from malaria have fallen by 50 per cent, suggesting that targets for reversing malaria incidence, outlined in Millennium Development Goal 6 (combat HIV/AIDS), can be achieved with adequate coverage with key interventions. However, in 2009, evidence of an increase in malaria cases in three countries that previously reported reductions demonstrates the fragility of progress and the need to “rigorously” maintain control programmes even when cases have been significantly reduced.
The report notes recent data showing that from 2001 to 2010, the lives of some 750,000 children across 34 malaria‑endemic African countries — representing 98 per cent of the at‑risk population in Africa — were saved through insecticide‑treated nets, indoor residual spraying and intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy. Eighty‑five per cent of those lives had been saved from 2006 onwards, when significant funding became available. The results of that analysis suggest that if current scaled‑up efforts continue until 2015, the lives of an additional 1.14 million African children can be saved. However, resistance of parasites to antimalarial medicines and of mosquitoes to insecticides remains a major threat.
The report notes the urgent need for all countries and development partners to advocate strongly for adequate, predictable, long‑term financing for malaria control, and to sustain national financial commitments for malaria. It recommends that long‑lasting insecticide‑treated bed nets and/or regular application of indoor residual insecticide spray be provided and maintained for all people at risk, and that prompt diagnostic testing of all suspected malaria cases be provided, along with effective treatment for patients with confirmed falciparummalaria. Further, to sustain advances in malaria control, it is essential to take immediate action to combat resistance to both artemisinin‑based medicines and insecticides. A strong cadre of malaria experts is needed at all levels of the health‑care system to maintain core national competencies for malaria control.
Action on Draft
Acting on the recommendation of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), the General Assembly began its work with the adoption of a resolution on Scale of Assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations: requests under Article 19 of the Charter, contained in paragraph 6 of its report of the same name (document A/66/492). By the text, the Assembly agreed that the failure of the Central African Republic, the Comoros, Guinea‑Bissau, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia to pay the full minimum amount necessary to avoid the application of Article 19 was due to conditions beyond their control. Thus, it decided, those countries shall be permitted to vote in the Assembly until the end of its sixty‑sixth session.
[Article 19 states that a Member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. The General Assembly may nevertheless permit such a member to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the Member.]
Opening Remarks on Development in Africa
JEAN‑FRANCIS RÉGIS ZINSOU ( Benin), delivering remarks on behalf of General Assembly president Nassir Abdulaziz al‑Nasser, opened the joint debate by stressing that there must be “African ownership of African development.” The Secretary‑General’s reports coincided with the tenth anniversary of NEPAD, the objective of which was to implement priority programmes at regional and continental levels; strengthen partnerships and mobilize resources and search for areas of cooperation to advance development; create a favourable environment for the private sector and use existing technical resources to support NEPAD’s agenda.
Progress in achieving NEPAD’s objectives was encouraging, he said, with progress throughout Africa, notably in peace and security, democracy and economic recovery, which were central to new national, regional and continental efforts. The Partnership had laid the basis for recovery in health, infrastructure, agriculture and food security and a renewal of cooperation for the continent’s development. While NEPAD’s agenda must principally be carried out through national programmes, international support remained important.
HASAN KLEIB ( Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said “striking” events had taken place throughout the world, and while Africa had seen positive shifts, it also had faced difficult humanitarian situations. Despite that, the continent had rebounded from the economic crisis, growing at 4.9 per cent in 2010, versus 3.1 per cent in 2009. “ Africa’s growing presence in the world and deep resolve to pursue development is an inspiration for all”, he said. Although domestic leadership was key to Africa’s development, the international community played an important role in supporting such efforts. During the tenth anniversary of NEPAD, he urged fresh thinking on how resources and energies could be better channelled.
Also, opportunities must be explored for building on progress in the implementation of NEPAD projects in infrastructure, agriculture and food security, and education, he said. More importantly, as people were the most important asset of any country, the focus should be on capacity‑building and human resource development. Indeed, NEPAD’s tenth anniversary should be viewed as a turning point from “business as usual” to policy actions and results. On trade, he said that although there had been virtually no progress on concluding the Doha Round of WTO negotiations, ASEAN and NEPAD had a common interest in upholding the primacy of the multilateral trading system, which should feature a stable, transparent and rules‑based structure. He urged renewed commitment to finding solutions to common concerns.
On other issues, he said the African Peer Review Mechanism was an innovative instrument for advancing good governance and socio‑economic development, and he encouraged more countries to join it. It also was important that the Assembly contributed to the larger goal of reaching a successful outcome of the upcoming meeting of the States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Durban, South Africa and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development — or “Rio+20” — summit next year. Turning to malaria, he said that while there had been progress towards meeting the goals of malaria control, the disease remained a leading killer of children under five years old. Urging all countries and partners to show political will in fighting that disease, he supported the recommendations in the Global Plan for Artemisinin Resistance Containment.
With respect to stability and security in Africa, he said it was absolutely vital that Governments, along with regional and sub‑regional organizations, were supported adequately by the United Nations in taking effective measures against such challenges as drug trafficking, organized crime, youth unemployment and extreme poverty. ASEAN supported post‑conflict peacebuilding strategies when dealing with countries emerging from conflict in the region and attached paramount importance to the Peacebuilding Commission. ASEAN also supported initiatives that enhanced youth employment, believing that the Commission could encourage such home‑grown programmes.
MACHARIA KAMAU ( Kenya), speaking on behalf of the African Group, thanked new and traditional development partners for their support of NEPAD programmes. The tenth anniversary of NEPAD this year was a reminder to Africans to strengthen their governance structures, deepen their democratic ethos, reform their investment climate and enhance the quality of their educational institutions. The African Group expected renewed political commitment to support the continent’s development needs and an enabling environment was indispensable in that regard.
The most urgent of Africa’s many priorities were industrialization, infrastructure and agricultural transformation, and human capital development, as well as market access and development of a modern services sector. He said that new and traditional partners should seek to integrate Africa into the global economy through those areas, while the commodities boom should spark a change in Africa’s development orientation from the export of primary products to manufactured or processed goods.
Recognizing the private sector as an economic growth engine for Africa, he said the continent was also plagued by long‑term and interrelated crises, including conflicts. As such, initiatives, including peacebuilding to post‑conflict reconstruction, had been launched on a continent‑wide and regional level. A central theme in the African Union‑NEPAD agenda focused on bringing together peace and security, governance, constitutionalism and partnerships in a way that drove governance and economic development. The African Group would continue to pay special attention to those matters.
On trade, he said Africa’s share of global trade was negligible at 3 per cent, with its share in global manufactured exports close to zero. The Group had put in place measures to boost interregional trade and wished to improve external trade with all its partners. Urging a swift conclusion to the “faltering” Doha Round of trade talks, he said “aid for trade” should be emphasized to improve supply‑side constraints. Foreign direct investment should target labour‑intensive infrastructure projects, include technology transfer and aim to build up the industrial sector, including aeronautics and offshore food processing. Partners should fulfil all their aid obligations in that regard, as well as their pledges to double ODA to Africa. The emphasis also should shift from “aid effectiveness” to “development effectiveness”.
He went on to say that Africa was off-track in achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and concerns remained about education, infant and maternal health and basic sanitation, among others. The NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency’s role as a planning unit aimed at facilitating the implementation of regional and continental programmes, and was central to the way in which the African Union and NEPAD collectively did business. The African Group looked forward to engaging in consultations on the need to create monitoring mechanisms to follow up on all commitments to meet Africa’s needs. With such a mechanism in place, the Group hoped commitments by both African Governments and their partners would be reviewed, possibly by the Assembly’s sixty‑seventh session.
Turning to malaria, which affected over 170 million Africans a year, he said the African Leaders Malaria Alliance was determined to removing that debilitating impediment to progress once and for all. Such efforts had the potential to save $12 billion per year, freeing up resources for accelerated development. It was encouraging that, in high‑burden African countries that had achieved high coverage, the recorded cases and deaths due to malaria had fallen by 50 per cent. Such gains had helped reverse malaria incidence throughout the continent. Finally, he said the Rio+20 conference offered a chance to implement previous commitments on sustainable development. It must aim to achieve progress on its substantive themes and the Group was committed to working with all stakeholders to make it a success.
GEORGE TALBOT ( Guyana), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), paid tribute to the life and memory of noted environmentalist and women’s rights activist Wangari Maathai of Kenya, whose passing had been a loss not only to her native home, but to wider Africa and the world. Ms. Wangari served the cause of peace and sustainable development as a champion for the downtrodden. He also extended congratulations to the three recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, two of them from Africa, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, her compatriot, Ms. Leymah Gbowee, and Ms. Tawakkul Karman of Yemen. “They have distinguished themselves as a potent force for change in the face of towering odds,” he said.
In the tenth anniversary year of NEPAD, CARICOM reaffirmed its support for the Partnership, which represented Africa’s blueprint for socio‑economic advancement for the benefit of the more than 1 billion people who called the continent home. CARICOM’s support for NEPAD was based on a fundamental respect for Africa’s ownership and leadership of its own development process. The success of NEPAD would enable Africans to fulfil on the promise of their potential and of Africa to assume its rightful place in the global economy. Much had changed on the continent since the Assembly’s debate on the issue last year, including momentous developments in North Africa and the Middle East, as people sought to give renewed expression to their quest to higher standards of life in larger freedom.
Those developments had doubtless begun to change the face of Africa. The role of youth in that context would be instructive for future policy in Africa, where on average some 60 percent of the population was under 25. He said the past year had also seen the birth of a new African state, South Sudan. CARICOM countries welcomed it into the community of independent nations and offered support to the South Sudanese people and government as they embarked on the building of the new Republic. CARICOM was deeply troubled by the havoc being wreaked on human life as a result of the devastating famine that had struck the Horn of Africa. A number of Member States made contributions to the humanitarian effort and he urged the international community to ensure that life giving support was extended.
He noted that peacekeeping and peacebuilding were critical to sustainable development, and the success of recent years in peacekeeping in Africa had been encouraging, though the risk of relapse was present. However, Africa was a beacon of opportunity for international cooperation and partnership. The two regions, Africa and the Caribbean, faced a number of common challenges, including HIV/AIDS; while an unwelcome reality, it was an opportunity for exchange of best practice.
CARICOM took note of the progress recorded under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme on the priority areas of agriculture and food security, as well as the actions on development of infrastructure, transport and energy development. He also said that the challenge posed by climate change was a test to our common future. Africa would host the seventeenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in late November. An ambiguous global response was especially urgent. CARICOM was ever mindful of the complex interrelationships between governance, peace and development.
PRENEET KAUR, Minister of State for External Affairs of India, said that NEPAD had made noteworthy progress so far in pursuing sectoral priorities in agriculture, infrastructure, health, education, science, information technology and the environment. Nevertheless, the programme’s tenth anniversary was an opportunity for “sober reflection on unfinished tasks”. As rightly emphasized in the Secretary‑General’s report, the international community needed to step up efforts to bridge the gap between promise and delivery, she said. The shortfall of $18 billion in meeting ODA commitments was therefore a cause of concern. For their part, India and its African partners had transformed their “age‑old and special relationship” into one that was “enduring and multidimensional”, and which was aligned with the priorities integral to the development goals of Africa.
During the second India‑Africa Forum Summit, held in May 2011, India had announced fresh lines of credit for Africa worth $5 billion over the next three years, as well as an additional $700 million in grant assistance for human resource development, technology transfer and other priorities. India had given $300 million to support the development of the new Ethio‑Djibouti Railway line, she said. It was looking at setting up an India‑ Africa Virtual University, which would set aside 10,000 scholarships for African students. Among other new programmes, she also described a proposed India‑Africa Business Council, with a view towards encouraging trade and investment flows. India was already making available duty‑free and quota‑free market access for goods from 34 least developed countries in Africa. India’s private sector had also played an important role in supporting trade and investment flows, she added.
India had contributed actively to efforts to maintain peace and security on the African continent through its six decades‑long involvement with United Nations peacekeeping. Its most substantial presence remained in Africa, she noted, adding that India would also contribute $2 million for the African Union Mission in Somalia. Turning finally to the global anti‑malaria campaign, she stressed that the fact that funding had stagnated over the past two years was particularly worrisome. India urged all donors to step up efforts at the present critical juncture, she said.
MOURAD BENMEHIDI ( Algeria) recalled that the Partnership had been established so that Africans could take ownership of their continent’s political, economic and social development. Such ownership implied a change in relations with the rest of the world to one of truly reciprocal engagement, which would allow the interrelated challenges of peace and security, good governance and the development of Africa’s human and economic potential to be addressed in a coherent manner. That approach over the past decade had led to tangible results in all those areas.
Africa’s will to take leadership in peace and security, had brought progress in preventing, regulating and managing conflicts. As for governance, he said it was widely recognized that democracy was widespread and deepening and that African economies were being increasingly well managed. Significant progress in human development could also be seen in the public expenditures being made across the continent for improved quality of and access to education and health care, he continued. Particular attention had been paid to agricultural development as investment, research and measures to increase production of food crops were key to food security.
Those measures had led to a growth rate greater than 5 per cent over the past decade, surpassing population growth for the first time, he noted. That pace could have been greater still had the international environment been more favourable. The global financial, economic, food and climate crises had affected growth and compromised attainment of some of the Millennium Goals. NEPAD had become the framework reference for partners and international organizations. The challenges of stability, development and the fight against poverty required collective development. The priority areas were investment in job creation, infrastructure, creating markets for African exports, diversification of economies and regional integration. The development of Africa should be seen as an opportunity for the global economy and a contribution to the economic progress of all humanity.
BASSIROU SENE ( Senegal) said it was generally accepted that during the first ten years of NEPAD’s implementation, Africa made significant progress, achieving economic growth and promoting human rights and equality. However, encouraging as those signals were, progress had been slow and difficulties hampered the development of Africa. The situation was less encouraging due to factors such as the food and economic crisis, which had brought Africa to a crossroads in terms of its development. More worrying was that two‑fifths of the African population was poor, and there were many other problems, including maternal and child mortality.
He said that Africa’s development would be hampered unless those and many other issues were addressed. Today, implementation of NEPAD’s sectoral priorities allowed new projects to start, but funding was needed. The promise to increase ODA had not been realized. The Millennium Declaration’s global partnership for development was not living up to expectations. He noted the world would need resolute action and leadership to transform the vision of a prosperous, stable and self‑sufficient Africa into results. Indeed, he said, continuing with business as usual could not be an option, and it would hamper the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and NEPAD.
He said that Senegal welcomed the new direction taken by NEPAD in placing the focus on development through bolstering the continent’s road and railway projects and he believed that had been a key mover as regarding the push towards “an African renaissance”. He urged the international community to support such initiatives. African development would require stability and a durable peace. In that regard, he welcomed the return of Cote d’Ivoire to constitutional order following a “painful period”. He also noted other countries such as Somalia, Madagascar, Tunisia and others in achieving sustainable peace. Senegal appealed to the United Nations to focus on South Sudan’s efforts to attain sustainable peace.
Turning to the important issue of curbing the impacts of Malaria, he said that disease caused the deaths of thousands of Africans each year, and he supported the allocation of money to the further the global combat against it. He noted other crises, such as food price volatility and the global economic downturn, and said that Africa was trying to emerge from misery, as it contained many of the world’s least developed countries.
AHMAD AL-SHAMMARI ( Kuwait) attached great importance to his country’s relationship with Africa. Ten years on from NEPAD’S adoption, he hoped that sustainable development would enable the establishment of a fair and balanced partnership, between African countries and the rest of the world, that responded to Africa’s needs. African countries had made significant efforts to get out of the vicious cycle of debt. Kuwait had subscribed to debt cancellation early on. The Emir of Kuwait had called for debt cancellation at the thirty‑fourth session of the General Assembly. Due to debt cancellation, debt had been reduced from 73 per cent of gross national product (GNP) in the 1990s to 25 per cent in 2010, freeing up funds for poverty reduction and to achieve the Millennium Goals.
Kuwait’s policy was to support African economies through both public and private sectors, he said. That would strengthen the international trade system. Kuwait also contributed to funds and institutions for African development having spent $500 million on those initiatives. It had also supported funds for basic foodstuffs and the fight against HIV/AIDS. African countries should raise the international community’s awareness to the importance of increasing partnerships with civil society and with the public and private sectors. Development was an ongoing process, he said. African countries had gone to great lengths to make African development a global priority, for which peace and security were essential. The international community should scale up its participation in a new partnership.
GARY QUINLAN ( Australia) said that Australia had rapidly expanded its engagement with African countries and institutions in recent years because it recognized that continent’s growing global role and leadership, and the opportunities and dynamism it presented. “Our relationship with the African Union and our development cooperation are important parts of this”, he said, adding that Australia’s development cooperation was focused on supporting African priorities, including those expressed through NEPAD, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Australia sought to make a practical and unique contribution in areas where it had expertise and experience, such as agriculture and food security, maternal and child health, water and sanitation, mining governance and human resource capacity‑building.
He went on to say that NEPAD helped by setting priorities and assisting Australia coordinate with regional and national initiatives. He commended the work of the African Peer Review Mechanism, which provided Member States with a frank analysis of their progress on governance. At the same time, he noted some significant challenges going forward, including the dangerous global economic outlook and stalling of the Doha Round of trade negotiations. Australia would continue to press for an ambitious, comprehensive outcome of that Round that liberalized trade, including agricultural trade. Agricultural trade liberalization, combined with effective “aid for trade” activities in the region would help Africa to trade its way out of poverty. NEPAD could play a role in supporting improved intraregional trade, which, though increased, remained low. NEPAD could also play an enhanced role in assisting to attract private sector investment for infrastructure.
Turning to malaria, he thanked the Secretary‑General and WHO for the report on the Decade to Roll Back Malaria, and acknowledged the global gains, including saving the lives of almost three quarters of a million children across 34 malaria‑endemic African countries. However, more needed to be done to ensure the targets for Millennium Goal 6 (combating HIV/AIDS) were achieved by 2015. He was concerned about the emergence of drug‑resistant malaria in the Mekong region in Asia, and said the cost in terms of lives and economic impact could be significant, particularly if this spread to Africa.
WANG MIN ( China), said that NEPAD had gained more substance and improved its mechanisms in recent years. However, Africa still lagged behind other regions of the world in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Now, at the NEPAD’s tenth anniversary, the international community should use the opportunity to take stock and sum up experiences. First, China believed that assistance commitments must be effectively honoured. While official development assistance (ODA) had increased in recent years, he said, it still fell far short of the committed goals and the actual needs of Africa. The international community, particularly the developed countries, should honour their commitments, increase assistance and support to Africa, and work to help build the continent’s capacity for self‑development.
Secondly, he stressed, the ownership of the African countries should be respected, and the international community should have faith in the wisdom of the Governments and peoples of the African continent as well as in their ability to choose their own development path. Thirdly, active efforts were needed to tackle the challenge of climate change by enhancing the capacity for adaptation. Helping States cope with that phenomenon should be an integral part of capacity‑building for sustainable development. Fourthly, he continued, South‑South cooperation should be strengthened, but considered to be different from — and therefore only a supplement to — North‑South cooperation.
Fifthly, he said efforts should be made to achieve a durable peace throughout the continent. In that vein, the United Nations system should work in coordination and focus on eliminating the causes of conflict, as well as strengthening its cooperation with the African Union. Further, the Peacebuilding Commission should reinforce partnership with the concerned countries, respect national ownership and address the needs of reconstruction and social integration in an integrated way. China, as the world’s largest developing country, had created a “unique mode of South‑South cooperation” with Africa, which it had been supporting since 1956. Further, as an active response to the call to “roll back malaria”, China had carried out effective cooperation with African countries combating malaria, building 30 malaria prevention centres and providing about $30 million worth of artemisinin anti‑malarials.
EBUN JUSU, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, associating with the African Group and the Group of 77 developing countries and China, said NEPAD’s tenth anniversary was an opportunity for deeper reflection on the successes and challenges in actualizing Africa’s transformation agenda. The unprecedented economic and financial crisis had had a much graver impact on the least developed countries, most of which were in Africa and were already challenged to meet the Millennium Goals by 2015. NEPAD’s integration into the African Union had been a “milestone” in advancing Africa’s socio‑economic transformation agenda, providing a window for strategic partnerships to explore cooperation on issues such as debt, climate change, trade and regional integration, to name a few.
On that point, she was encouraged by the implementation of projects such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, as well as others focused on infrastructure, the environment and gender mainstreaming. The African Peer Review Mechanism also had shown the continent’s resolve to promote democracy, good governance and peace and stability. To build on those gains, she urged African countries to increase domestic savings and lessen their dependence on foreign aid. Foreign direct investment aimed at creating public‑private partnerships also was a viable option for addressing unemployment, among other issues. The NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency should focus in the coming decade on improving both Africa’s global standing and its links among regional economic communities.
Sierra Leone, for its part, had made progress in implementing its “Agenda for Change”, she said, which set clear priorities targeting the drivers of growth and conditions for human development in the energy, agriculture, infrastructure and health sectors, among others. Sierra Leone also was intensifying its triangular and South‑South cooperation. Turning to peace and security in Africa, she said the African Union and subregional organizations had strengthened their conflict prevention and resolution capacities, and is taking the lead in peacekeeping operations throughout the continent.
The peaceful referendum in South Sudan, adoption of a new constitution in Kenya, transition of Guinea and Niger from military to civilian rule, and resolution of a post‑election crisis in Côte d'Ivoire d’Ivoire all spoke to the continent’s preparedness to “rise to the occasion”, with much-needed international support, she added. But there still was a need for coordinated partnerships to strengthen countries’ capacity to respond to security threats. As for the Doha Round of trade talks, she called on partners to eliminate trade barriers, allocate 0.7 per cent and 0.15 per cent of their gross national income (GNI) to developing and least developed countries respectively, and address the debt burden of heavily indebted poor countries.
MAGED ABDELAZIZ (Egypt), aligning with the African Group, said the adoption of NEPAD ten years ago evinced a common African resolve to address the poverty and marginalization that had characterized the continent for decades, through an Africa‑owned vision and action plan that was rightly based on accountability and regional integration. “As a founding member of NEPAD, Egypt is proud of the major strides that have been made over the past decade by the African countries”, he said, especially in the areas of agriculture, regional integration, infrastructure and human development. By the same token, the African Peer Review Mechanism, to which 30 countries have joined, representing more than 75 per cent of the African population, was another sign of Africa’s commitment to good governance and respect for human rights.
To consolidate progress, African Governments and their development partners within and outside Africa must build stronger partnerships with the private sector and civil society, mobilize domestic resources and sustain inclusive economic growth that was more broadly shared by all segments of society, he said. Supporting NEPAD’s objectives also required fairer trade terms for Africa, alleviation of the debt burden, increased foreign direct investment and fulfilment of ODA pledges.
On the latter point, he looked forward to consultations on the creation of a monitoring mechanism to follow up on all such commitments. Noting that Africa had seen “profound” changes in recent months, he said that continuing down that path would require more concerted national, regional and global efforts to address such challenges as intra‑State conflict, social exclusion, the unconstitutional change of Government, election‑related violence and illicit trafficking in small arms, small weapons and drugs, among others. There also was a need to focus on existing development strategies to build stronger institutional frameworks better able to tackle peace and development challenges.
Turning to malaria, he said the proliferation of the disease reaffirmed the need for support and sustainable funding to achieve the Millennium Goals by 2015. Eradicating malaria required a comprehensive approach, with national prevention and treatment programmes complemented with sustainable development. Technical knowledge to support such efforts also must be transferred to ensure early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease. In closing, he reaffirmed the vital role of regional organizations in that fight, saying it also was imperative to resolve the trade‑related aspects of existing malaria medications.
DOCTOR MASHABANE (South Africa) said that while NEPAD had made an important contribution to accelerating the pace of development in African countries over the past decade, financial, economic and the most serious food crisis to have faced the continent, as well as climate challenges, threatened continued success. NEPAD had established a Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme as a framework for agricultural development. African leaders committed to raising the share of their national budgets for agriculture to 10 per cent and through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme had called for annual agricultural growth rates of 6 per cent. To that end, the international community needed to support those African efforts by fulfilling their commitments under all food security initiatives.
He further stressed the importance of infrastructure to Africa’s economic and social development. Under the Programme for Infrastructure Development (PIDA), African Governments had committed to strengthening national planning frameworks and reforming the regulatory environment in the areas of energy, transport, water, and information and communications technology, to improve existing infrastructure. South Africa’s president had been elected to lead PIDA, and the country was doing its best to realize improved access to integrated regional and continental infrastructure networks and services. He called for greater investment in agriculture and infrastructure in the continent. He also called for strengthening the role of the United Nations system in supporting NEPAD cooperation and for the international community to come on board to enhance the Partnership’s vision for Africa’s development.
While noting progress in the worldwide fight against malaria, he said that more needed to be done, especially in Africa. Over 90 per cent of the world’s malaria deaths occurred in Africa with an estimated annual impact of $12 billion in lost productivity. Commending the work of international agencies fighting malaria, he said more such alliances were needed. He noted the success of cross‑border initiatives, such as the Lubombo Initiative between Mozambique and Swaziland and the MOZIZA Project, involving Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, which had realized a significant reduction in cases using indoor residual spraying with DDT as the main strategy. DDT had been found to be most effective in control of the malaria vector. Control of that vector was vital for dealing with the disease.
VITALY I. CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said that his delegation had been consistently calling for greater involvement of the United Nations in addressing the challenges facing Africa. The Russian Federation also firmly believed that without the full and active engagement of African countries, it would be impossible to launch a fruitful cooperation on a planetary scale or to establish a stable security system based on the supremacy of international law. He called for a comprehensive and integrated approach to those matters, based on a combination of international support with efficient measures by the Africans themselves. It viewed NEPAD as a set of essential benchmarks, as well as an instrument to ensure the sustainable development of Africa, all within the framework of the existing international mechanisms, including the G8 Africa Action Plan.
One of the major areas of the Russian Federation’s assistance to Africa was the alleviation of the debt burdens of its countries. As of late 2010, some $20 billion of African debt had been written off, he said, and agreements had been reached with a number of countries to use those write‑offs to finance development projects. Among its other support, the Russian Federation had made a $50 million contribution to the World Bank Trust Fund to support vulnerable African countries, $6 million in humanitarian assistance, and $1.8 million to the World Food Programme’s efforts in Chad. It also offered professional training and supported the Education for All Fast Track Initiative, as well as other education programmes. Further, it had pledged to allocate $75 million in the next three years to implement an initiative against maternal and infant mortality.
The key factor to ensuring a prosperous future for the African continent was the prevention and settlement of armed conflicts, he stressed. In that area, recent positive developments — such as the African Union’s work towards establishing an early warning system — still required additional support. Finally, he said, for a more durable peace in Africa, the active involvement of Africans themselves was of utmost importance. Measures should be taken to combat illegal armed factions, strengthen good‑neighbourly relations, suppress mass violations of international humanitarian law and ensure impunity for crimes against humanity, among other priorities.
RON PROSOR ( Israel) said that Africa stood at a turning point, and the international community must urgently move forward to actively partner with NEPAD to build a brighter future for the continent. While great opportunities in Africa were on the horizon, today challenges still endured. There were droughts and famines, hunger and poverty, conflict and instability, all of which acted as obstacles to unlocking the vast potential of Africa and its people. Israel, for its part, had been engaged in African development for more than five decades. In the 1950s, when Israel itself was a developing nation, then‑Foreign Minister Golda Meir had called on Israelis to “mend the world” and to share the country’s growing expertise. He said that thousands of Israeli experts had set out for Africa, including his own parents, and that he had arrived there as a young boy.
Recalling the early days of local partnerships between Africans and Israelis, he said that those connections had “blossomed” into an extensive programme of cooperation, which was overseen by MASHAV, Israel’s agency for international cooperation. Today, successful activities included the creation of a network of prenatal and healthy‑baby clinics in Ghana, teacher training programmes, and the Techno‑Agricultural Innovation for Poverty Alleviation (TIPA) programme, which relied on low‑cost drip irrigation to help farmers produce crops year-round. TIPA’s success in drastically reducing hunger, he said, highlighted the importance of sharing agricultural technology. To that end, Israel would be submitting its biannual “Agricultural Technology for Development” resolution to the Second Committee (Economic and Financial). While African nations had the primary responsibility for their social and economic development, the international community must support and facilitate those efforts, he said, concluding, “let us be big in our dreams and bold in our actions.”
DAFFA‑ALLA ELHAG ALI OSMAN ( Sudan) said development efforts in Africa over the last 10 years had not lived up to his country’s expectations, especially as the continent continued to face obstacles to eliminating poverty. International cooperation must be enhanced to implement NEPAD projects, while commitments must be honoured for Africa to achieve its sustainable development goals. The Secretary‑General’s report underscored the need for African leaders and the United Nations to focus on Africa’s priorities, as set forth in the Millennium Declaration and the Monterrey Consensus. “We need to translate our commitments into concrete action”, he said, calling on the international community to eradicate poverty and strengthen sustainable development in the context of a new and fair economic order.
He went on to say that the role of regional organizations was crucial to building peace in post‑conflict countries, and he called for the implementation of the 10‑year plan for, among other things, enhancing Africa’s peacekeeping capacities, as well as the consolidation of related mechanisms. For its part, Sudan had extensive experience in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Arrangements on resource sharing were of utmost importance and Sudan was working on them with South Sudan. In Abyei, security had been restored and there had been no further human rights violations. “The situation is peaceful” he said, expressing his Government’s commitment to the Security Council resolution adopted this year on the deployment of forces and introduction of Ethiopian peacekeepers into the region until a peaceful settlement was found.
Turning to the situation in Darfur, he said people had been displaced by attacks in that area, noting that Southern rebel forces had lost a mayoral election and had taken up arms. Sudanese Government forces had intervened, in line with Sudan’s constitution, with a view to restoring peace in the South. Refugees had returned home. He called on the United Nations to urge rebels to honour their commitments under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, return to negotiations, renounce violence and give up their arms. That was required for achieving peace and resuming economic development. He reiterated Sudan’s commitment to peaceful conflict settlement. Turning to malaria, he said 7 per cent of Sudan’s total population was exposed to the disease each year. Climate change might have increased its prevalence, as the higher temperatures had led to a longer life for mosquitoes carrying the parasite. In closing, he urged development partners to solve the problem of African debt.
MASUD HUSAIN (Canada) noted Africa’s remarkable growth, including the strengthening of democracy, peace and security, which pointed to a promising future, but African countries continued to face serious problems and much remained to be done. About half of Canada’s development aid went to Africa. Its commitment through the G-8 for food security and agricultural development alone came to over $1.8 billion. During Canada’s term as Chair of the G-8 in 2010, it had assured that Africa played an important role on the agenda in such areas as improved maternal and neonatal care. In addition, “private sector investments had increased aid traditionally paid by our continent,” he said. Canada provided assistance to its private sector for investment in Africa and insisted that its companies observe strict standards.
He said that the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank were vehicles to achieve regional stability and development. Also, Canada had contributed extensively to anti-malarial efforts with a total contribution rising to $5.5 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Canada had engaged with its African counterparts through bilateral contacts and support for African institutions, which had shown clear leadership in addressing peace and security on the continent. Despite the peaceful secession of South Sudan, the situation in the South was fragile, and he expressed specific concern about the situation in the Abyei area. Moreover, humanitarian access to populations in Blue Nile and Kordofan States was constrained. Since 2006, Canada had contributed $885 million to support peace and humanitarian goals in the two Sudans, including for three Security Council-mandated missions. Canada supported African countries’ contribution to enhancing peace and security in the two Sudans.
In the Great Lakes region, Canada supported regional peace through the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. Its contribution to the Democratic Republic of the Congo had totalled some $350 million since 2006, including for long-term development assistance. Canada remained concerned by the humanitarian crisis caused by severe drought in the Horn of Africa. In 2011, Canada contributed more than $72 million to humanitarian agencies for emergency life-saving assistance. It also was concerned at the lawlessness and piracy in Somalia and had worked to stabilize that country. In sum, Canada looked forward to working with its partners to realize Africa’s full potential.
JOHN SAMMIS (United States), calling NEPAD an important African-owned initiative to place economies on the path of sustainable growth, said his Government supported the common vision to achieve the Partnership’s goals in infrastructure, education, health and women’s empowerment, among other areas. He also welcomed efforts by the United Nations, African Union and African Development Bank to assist States in fully implementing NEPAD programmes. Voicing support for efforts to help Africa integrate into the global economy, he said progress in developing infrastructure was particularly important for private sector growth, and in that context, commended the Planning and Coordinating Agency’s work to drive infrastructure gains. He encouraged NEPAD to continue its reviews of those projects.
On food security, he said the United States was committed to increasing agriculture development and had been encouraged by the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme , as well as NEPAD efforts to increase the number of Governments making “country compacts” to increase target growth rates. In the Horn of Africa, tens of thousands of people had died and 750,000 were at risk of death in months without critical assistance. NEPAD efforts had mitigated the impact of that crisis.
Noting that most least developed countries were in Africa, he said some had shown strong growth over the past decade, and in that context, urged that support be given to well-governed African institutions that fostered long-term growth and employment, entrepreneur and business friendly climates, and investment in women and girls, among other things. To achieve the Millennium Development Goals and improve food security, the United States supported an improved comprehensive monitoring mechanism that built on existing processes. That mechanism should be practical and cost neutral. Also, the more than 25 United Nations agencies working with NEPAD must use resources more effectively and respond to NEPAD and African Union needs. The African Peer Review Mechanism should continue to function as envisioned, as it had the potential to foster socio-economic development.
Turning to malaria, he said the United States was committed to addressing the prevention and treatment of malaria, recognizing its negative impact on household incomes and political stability in affected countries. The Global Health Initiative would continue to lead the fight by focusing on broader health challenges, including maternal health and neglected tropical diseases. Through President Barrack Obama’s Malaria Initiative, the United States had made a $5 billion, six-year commitment to tackling the disease. It had spent $500 million in 2010 and $618 million in 2011, increases that had allowed the United States to provide malaria prevention and treatment to 50 million people in 19 focus countries in Africa. He encouraged all donors and recipients to support malaria control through stronger political commitments, and urged African Governments to increase spending on the disease.
PEDRO NUNEZ MOSQERA ( Cuba) said that African independence was linked to Cuban national identity. Cuba had welcomed so many different groups and that is why the people of the island nation attached importance to the Declaration of 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent. The Cuban people were natural inheritors of the culture of resistance in Africa. He said that his country had and would continue to provide human capital to its “African brothers and sisters.” He noted Cuban doctors were working in Africa and were actively involved in the fight against malaria, among other diseases. In addition, Cuba was cooperating in many areas, including setting up early warning systems in Africa. At home, some 2,200 African students were studying in Cuban universities, he added.
He went on to say that there was an intrinsic contradiction in the current international order. While there had been many “bombastic speeches about what we must do,” African countries remained burdened by huge amounts of external debt. Further, there were wars based on interventionist doctrines being waged, aimed at guaranteeing the powerful multinational interests, and they must stop. Moreover, it was high time that the unjust system of trade ceased for it was standing in the way of Africa’s broader development. From the standpoint of the United Nations and the wider international community, Africa required a solution on peace and security on the continent. “We are calling for equal opportunities”, as part of a fairer order. The African people had a right to develop, he said, adding that Africa also required solidarity and respect.
IBRAHIM ASSANE MAYAKI, Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, who also spoke on behalf of the African Union, said NEPAD’s creation had marked a major milestone in Africa’s transformation agenda. “NEPAD is the embodiment of the African rebirth and renaissance,” he declared. For 10 years, countries had implemented comprehensive political and socioeconomic reforms driven by the African Union with a view towards placing the continent on a path of sustainable growth. Africa had demonstrated remarkable resilience, having nurtured its own development agenda, to which it was fully committed. It was taking full control of that agenda, moved by the shared values of ownership, leadership and partnership, and on the basis of the African Union vision for a dynamic and peaceful continent.
Since 2000, Africa had made significant progress in governance and macroeconomic performance, he continued, noting that growth must be more inclusive. Africans had been emboldened by the “wind of change” that had helped to shape the “new Africa”. Under an African Union platform, the continental renewal strategy addressed past challenges and looked ahead to the future. A new path had been charted away from the old development model. “The reality is that Africa has changed and is changing,” he said, noting that NEPAD was now fully integrated into the structures and processes of the African Union. Further, the NEPAD Agency was now the technical body of the African Union, which allowed for implementing the Partnership’s agenda. Urging more international support for Africa’s priorities, he said that over the past decade, Africa had adopted continental policy frameworks to speed regional integration.
Further, Africa was advancing good governance under the umbrella of the African Peer Review Mechanism, he said, noting that other top priorities had been defined, notably in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. In infrastructure, the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative promoted political sponsorship to drive national and regional infrastructure. In that context, he urged development partners to continue working together and through the United Nations to support the implementation of African priorities. A powerful message must be sent to the world that Africa was committed to its transformation agenda. The African Union and NEPAD were part of that equation.
He went on to say that international partners remained overwhelmingly important for Africa and that promoting market access and diversification was required to sustain growth. The global trading system also must transition towards a more equitable regime. Emerging economies in the South had helped to lessen Africa’s dependence on traditional export markets. The Doha Round of trade talks should be accelerated and tailored to meet Africa’s needs. Turning to foreign direct investment, he said African countries had taken numerous reforms to improve the investment climate, and such investment had peaked at $72 billion in 2008.
The international community should ensure that resource extraction benefited the host country so resources could be transformed into productive assets. A critical factor was the primacy of domestic resources for development. Africa was “moving beyond aid” to achieve self-sustaining private-sector-led growth. By way of example, he pointed out that internally generated revenue had improved from $129 billion in 2002 to $472 billion in 2008. Overall, domestic revenue represented 84 per cent of total financing sources for Africa in 2009. Thus, moving beyond aid would help reduce dependence and move towards development effectiveness. “ Africa is the continent of the future,” he said.
Indeed, over the past decade, a new story of steady transformation and growth had evolved and today, Africa reaffirmed its commitment to a global and balanced partnership with the rest of the world. “We are reinforcing the need for effective use of internal and external resources to achieve goals,” he said. “Our future fate is a collective one.” Africa would no longer be conditioned by circumstances, but rather would embrace new orientations and innovations. Africa aspired to be a growth pole; not to be confined to perpetually addressing poverty. Development assistance should be directed at Africa’s real economy to enhance its growth and involve an empowered private sector and civil society. More than ever, Africans were optimistic about their future. The continent was ready to be a key player in promoting global security, and balanced, inclusive growth.
NORACHIT SINHASENI ( Thailand) said that in the 10 years since NEPAD’s adoption, many crises had hindered collective efforts toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. While Africa had shown resilience and made tremendous progress, much more remained to be achieved. He said Thailand would stand firm with Africa to support the goal of economic growth that would allow that continent to reduce poverty. Thailand reaffirmed its commitment to Africa and reiterated its aim to deepen relations with African States as partners in development in all dimensions, based on mutual trust and confidence.
He said that Thailand also supported the implementation of NEPAD’s sectoral priorities and stood ready to share experiences in economic and social development with Africa. Thailand had long been working with African partners to advance Africa’s development agenda, and, for example, in 2010, it had implemented 242 programmes in Africa, totalling some $1.1 million through bilateral, trilateral and multilateral cooperation.
He reiterated Thailand’s firm conviction that development must be people-centred. Thailand supported NEPAD’s founding document’s emphasis on the need for partnership between African Governments and their peoples. It also supported the Secretary-General’s call for the strengthening of mechanisms for participation, inclusion and empowerment of all segments of society in the political and development processes in order to truly achieve sustainable and equitable development. Thailand believed that climate change was a serious threat to food security and sustainable development, and he called for early and adequate funding for adaptation and mitigation measures. In terms of malaria, Thailand was successful in reducing the number of reported cases of malaria by more than 50 per cent between 2000 and 2009. In that regard, Thailand joined hands with neighbours to fight the spread of the disease.
REGINA MARIA CORDEIRO DUNLOP ( Brazil), welcoming Parliamentarians that had travelled a far distance to attend today’s meeting, said that the discussion was an important opportunity to reaffirm support for two initiatives that were central to the achievement of internationally agreed development goals — in particular, the Millennium Development Goals — in Africa. That continent was undergoing a “profound” social and economic transformation, she stressed. In the last few years, Africa had experienced rates of growth significantly higher than those of the rest of the world, she added, noting that six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world were in Africa. The growing diversification and resilience of African economies had contributed to such growth, she added. Yet many challenges remained. There was renewed economic uncertainty around the world, and African economies still relied on basic commodities for the well-being of their peoples.
Brazil fully supported NEPAD, she continued, as it offered an effective framework for development rooted in African priorities. Brazil had been increasingly engaged with Africa, and now had diplomatic relations with all 54 nations, including South Sudan, as well as 37 missions to date. Bilateral ties had prospered, increasing trade from $4.2 billion in 2000 to more than $20 billion in 2010, she said. Meanwhile, Brazil had also expanded investments in transportation, mining and infrastructure in several countries in Africa, and looked forward to working further in those areas.
Brazil fully supported the sectoral priorities established by NEPAD. It sought to work with African partner countries in that respect, she said. In 2010, Brazil had hosted the first Brazil Africa Dialogue, which had focused on rural matters, as well as related partnerships and programmes. Such projects aimed to transfer skills, build local capacity and engage local workers, she said. Further, Brazil was committed to working with the international community, including African countries, to rid the world of malaria. It was focused on monitoring and epidemiology, and was training workers to control and prevent the disease. At the current stage, she added, it was clear that it might be difficult to achieve the agreed goals on malaria unless donors stepped up their efforts. Medicines to treat malaria must be free and readily accessible.
C.L. LASEINDE ( Nigeria) congratulated NEPAD on its tenth anniversary, which was worth celebrating in view of the strong economic growth and the improvement in socio-economic indicators that had been experienced during the period under review. Sub-Saharan Africa was one of the few regions of the world to show great resilience in the face of the global economic crisis. While recovering from the impact of the global economic crisis, many developing countries, including those in Africa, had embarked on macroeconomic reforms capable of transforming their economies and strengthening financial institutions. Those efforts had led to lower rates of inflation and strong GDP growth.
In addition, he said that Africa’s Peer Review Mechanism was progressing gradually, and there had been significant reductions in political tension within and between African States, and he noted the elections in Nigeria, referendum in Sudan, and transitions in Guinea and Niger, as all changing the political space on the continent for the better. Nigeria’s current economic policies were focused on addressing key infrastructural shortcomings as a crucial element in setting the stage for long-term stable growth in an effort to break the past 30 years of uncontrollable boom and bust cycles.
In spite of progress in the political and economic sectors, there were still challenges in the areas of armed conflict, fragility and the erosion of the rule of law and chronic poverty. He also noted human rights violations, terrorist attacks, and trafficking in small arms. Cultivating peace required early identification and appropriate intervention in conflict situations in order to build confidence and trust. “Our goal should always be to present the peaceful alternative as a less costly and more effective way of achieving political and social objectives,” he said. Citing the continent’s formidable health challenges, he noted that while there had been progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS, malaria and other non-communicable diseases were on the increase. Despite enormous efforts, a child still died every 30 seconds from malaria, and that situation must be urgently addressed.
RAYMOND SERGE BALÉ ( Republic of Congo) said that, in past years, Africa had witnessed many initiatives and proposed development solutions that “never saw the light of day”. As a result of such dashed hopes, NEPAD had set for itself major challenges in areas such as regional integration, sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and the integration of Africa into the world economy. His delegation felt it was time to take a “backward look”, he said, in order to “assess the road we have travelled” and accelerate NEPAD’s implementation.
The African Peer Review Mechanism had explored the concepts of African ownership and governance, among others, and had recently expanded its membership to 30 States. Nigeria, for its part, was among the very first of those States to have joined the self-evaluation process called for by the Mechanism — a fact that he stressed demonstrated strong political will among African Heads of State and Government. Congo had also organized a conference in Brazzaville later this year to address, among other things, infrastructure projects and regional and subregional integration. He highlighted the proposal of a “totemic” project to build a bridge linking Brazzaville with Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A study had been conducted exploring such a project, he added, and support from partners would be needed to complete it.
Energy infrastructure was a key factor in development, he continued. There was substantial hydro-electric potential in Central Africa, and the technology was available to harness it. Partnerships to make such energy viable would, therefore, demonstrate true political will and commitment. Other related projects included specific programmes for rural areas and agriculture. Congo had also set up a national coordinating structure for NEPAD with the task of tracking the Partnership’s implementation nationally. While States had pledged previously to implement NEPAD, he said, weak funding and lack of commitment had sometimes hampered those efforts. He urged States to ensure that such hurdles were removed and that more concrete support be given to countries as they worked to implement NEPAD.
WALUBITA IMAKANDO, Director of Development Cooperation and International Organizations in Zambia, said that as the immediate past Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Board, Zambia wished to reiterate that the disease still remained a major public health challenge in Africa, especially among children under the age of five years, pregnant women and the vulnerable. In 2007, Zambia had recorded 4.3 million cases of malaria with over 6,000 deaths attributed to the disease. In addition to its direct health impact, the high incidence of malaria caused a severe social and economic burden on individuals, households and communities.
Thus, he said, the Zambian Government had prioritized malaria in its Sixth National Development Plan (2011-2015) in line with the Abuja Declaration and the Roll Back Malaria targets. Some of the measures that Zambia put in place to combat malaria included: eliminating taxation on malaria control tools including mosquito nets and relevant insecticides; banning the use of monotherapy treatment using chloroquine to artemisinin-based combination therapy; increasing indoor residual spraying to cover over one million households; and scaling up distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to over 6 million.
Other measures included providing intermittent presumptive treatment to all pregnant women; training of health personnel in proper diagnosis and treatment of malaria using Rapid Diagnostic tests (RDT) and artemisinin-based combination therapies; and lastly, strengthening community-based interventions. As a result of those high-impact interventions that the Zambian Government, in collaboration with international cooperating partners had put into place, malaria deaths had been reduced by 60 per cent during the Roll Back Malaria Decade. However, despite the various interventions made to prevent malaria, a number of challenges remained, including erratic disbursements of committed funds by cooperating partners, lengthy procedures in the disbursement of funds and inadequate human resources.
U THAN SWE ( Myanmar) said that today, Africa faced great opportunities and grave challenges in its pursuit for peace and development. To tackle the challenges faced by Africa, NEPAD could be an important tool to address poverty and underdevelopment throughout the African continent, as well as a collective vision and strategic socio-economic development framework for Africa. Since the launching of NEPAD 10 years ago, Africa had achieved great progress in such areas as infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, the environment and tourism, science and technology, and information and communications technology. Africa had rebounded from the global economic and financial crisis despite the slowdown in the pace of global economic recovery. Average economic growth in Africa had been an impressive 5.5 per cent from 2002 to 2010
However, Africa remained heavily affected by the challenges of climate change and food security. In that regard, he shared the view that the international community should increase its support for Africa and help it attain greater progress in the implementation of NEPAD. In order to promote stability and prosperity, the international community should deliver their committed assistance in time. Myanmar and Africa had a deep rooted traditional relationship and friendship. As a member of ASEAN, Myanmar confirmed its commitment to continue building synergies with Africa, under the framework of ASEAN, NEPAD, and other mechanisms such as the New Asian-African Agricultural Development Programme. Myanmar firmly believed that the Peacebuilding Commission could assist countries emerging from conflict in moving forward to peacebuilding efforts by supporting home-based programmes, including on youth employment, vocational training and education to achieve peace and stability.
SUL KYUNG-HOON ( Republic of Korea) said that this year’s tenth anniversary of the adoption of the African Union’s flagship development programme carried great significance. While warmly welcoming the occasion, he said his Government was ready to work with partners in the region in strengthening development cooperation. As part of its own effort, the Republic of Korea organized the Second Korea-Africa Forum in 2009. At the Forum, the Republic of Korea also reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing partnership in diverse fields like green growth, climate change, governance and human capacity. More recently, the Government of the Republic of Korea had decided to provide $5.4 million of humanitarian assistance. For next year, his country would hold the third round of the Korea-Africa programme to assess progress on commitments, and he hoped the continuous partnership would complement the progress made on the tenth anniversary of NEPAD.
In order to draw out more results from development cooperation with Africa, he believed that partnerships should not be limited to traditional players such as donors, recipient countries and international organizations. Instead, further efforts were needed to engage new development partners like emerging donors, civil society, private foundations, and business sectors, among others. In that regard, he drew attention to the upcoming High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held this coming November in Busan, Republic of Korea. That Forum was expected to provide an excellent platform to address that issue. He reaffirmed the belief that Africa held great potential to become a driving force for global economic growth. It was in common interest, therefore, to help Africa to achieve sustainable development through enhanced partnership.
MOHAMED LOULICHKI (Morocco), said today’s discussion was an opportunity to debate different approaches to sustainable human development. Africa had made undeniable strides in conflict resolution, the return to stability, good governance, economic development, and others. However, the growth level had not yet been reached which would enable a stable, higher standard of living on the continent, he said. Therefore, its States were duty-bound to the mechanisms put in place by multilateral partners at the international level.
Having witnessed a series of food and environmental crises, Africa now required more support from its development partners, he continued. Honouring the commitments of the G-8 was of vital importance — in particular for least developed African countries. He urged that such actions be placed at the heart of the priorities of the international community’s programmes aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals. He further called for greater South-South cooperation, which should involve “optimized partnerships”. The international community’s initiatives to put in place such partnerships were positive developments, he added, and regional integration was another great way to capitalize on regional development efforts, allowing countries to build synergies and share their individual capacities.
The role of the private sector was also key, and its increased involvement would enable them to increase capacity and competitiveness. To that end, Morocco supported the completion of the Doha Round of talks, and called upon the major stakeholders to complete those negotiations successfully. Morocco stood ready to contribute further to that cooperation and to broaden the interests of sustainable development in Africa.
JYRKI NISSILÄ ( Finland) said that efforts to improve economic performance and private sector development in Africa had begun to bear fruit, in particular in the context of the ongoing global economic crisis. While many developed countries were struggling, many African countries had shown “enviable” GDP growth. NEPAD was one of the key players in that regard, he said, adding that NEPAD’s active cooperation with other international organizations could further enhance sustainable economic development in Africa. The continent’s economy had to be strengthened, diversified and integrated into the world economy, he emphasized. Finland had been a strong backer of the NEPAD-OECD Africa Investment Initiative, which supported in particular a large-scale programme on Unlocking Investment Potential in Southern Africa. The Partnership assisted members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in identifying and implementing concrete policies reforms to strengthen their investment climate. The programme also entailed four country-level investment reviews, which were currently being undertaken by Zambia and Mozambique. Finland also currently acted as Co-Chair of the Africa Partnership Forum, a high-level multi-partner dialogue.
Turning to the causes of conflict and efforts to ensure peace and security on the continent, he outlined some of the ways Finland was supporting its African partners. It had backed the building of a mediation support capacity in the African Union, and had contributed to the work of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel on Sudan. Together with the South African non-governmental organization ACCORD, Finland had established the African Peacebuilding Coordination Programme, which focused on enhancing coherence and coordination in peacebuilding, with the aim of promoting local ownership in peacebuilding processes. It had also worked with Femmes Africa Solidarité and other partners in various capacities, he said, concluding: “Peace and security is a prerequisite for sustainable development”.
OTHMAN JERANCI (Tunisia) said that today’s discussion was crucial not just to Africa but to all those involved in the adoption of NEPAD 10 years ago. That programme had built up experience at the national and international levels, he said, and had enabled the aims of the African Union to be translated into “visible and pragmatic projects”, including in the areas of eradicating poverty and improving food security. Thanks to NEPAD, Africa had made strides in peace, political governance and economic growth, as well as in the organization of free and fair elections, which were assisted by the African Peer Review Mechanism. In that vein, Tunisia was planning its own free and fair elections in a few weeks, constituting a significant step on Africa’s road to democracy.
Despite such encouraging results, African countries were aware of the need for further efforts to make economic growth more inclusive and effective, as well as to include the private sector to a greater extent. He, therefore, called on development partners to honour their ODA goals. He also welcomed the adoption of a review mechanism for Africa’s development needs, which he stressed should include a greater focus on the implementation and effectiveness of ODA commitments. Tunisia welcomed the increase in international financing to fight malaria over the past decade, he said, noting that the achievement of the aims of the Global Plan of Action affected the success of almost all the other Millennium Development Goals. However, that increase still was not sufficient to meet the objective of eradicating malaria.
Despite considerable progress made in peace, security and development, Africa was still plagued by such challenges as inter-State conflict, the illicit trade in small arms and unemployment, especially among young people. He, therefore, welcomed the Secretary-General’s recent report on the causes of conflict, which had focused on youth unemployment, among other major sources of tension. It was urgently necessary to provide quality education, skills training and decent jobs. He called on development partners to support the efforts of African countries to address the causes of despair among their youth, and to invest in areas such as job creation and poverty eradication.
TOMMO MONTHE ( Cameroon) endorsed the statement made on behalf of the African Group. He said that the publication of the Secretary-General’s recent report coincided with NEPAD’s tenth anniversary and the adoption in May 2011 of the Istanbul Action Programme for the least developed countries. Those and other milestones indicated “a resurgence” for Africa, but also highlighted that the continent still faced challenges in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. He gave an overview of progress to that end, and noted that proposed actions involved, among others, coordinating all forms of aid, bolstering local transit infrastructure, and continuing to pull best practices to reinforce regional integration, promoting public-private sector partnerships, and strengthening the business community.
He endorsed the Secretary-General’s observation that in the context of the current fragile recovery, NEPAD implementation required unwavering resolve and leadership from the African countries and development partners. He welcomed the establishment of the NEPAD Agency for Programming and Coordination. Beginning with coordination of all forms of foreign aid, Cameroon in 2010 embarked upon a partnership strategy for development. In terms of attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, the action taken by Cameroon was to eliminate extreme hunger, spanning promotion of a stable macro-economic framework and reinvigorating the private sector, to providing support for rural populations.
Yet, much remained to be done, including in terms of child mortality and the fight against HIV/AIDS. He welcomed the response of the international community seeking to tap in full the potential of Africa’s development. Further efforts were needed to bolster ODA, foreign direct investment, and trade. With respect to trade, the Doha Round had not made much progress on issues related to Africa. He noted that there was a need for greater participation of women, integration of the climate question, reducing dependence on foreign aid, job creation, and alleviating of foreign debt. The question was how to implement them all, he said, adding that greater commitment from Africa itself was needed.
NEGASH KEBRET (Ethiopia) said his delegation was pleased to note that NEPAD had made progress in owning and leading its strategies and programmes in areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, health, education, and laying a strong foundation for sound socio-economic development in Africa. On the good governance front, NEPAD had also demonstrated its usefulness through efforts to promote, respect and protect fundamental human rights and freedoms and to implement programmes aimed at improving political and economic good governance throughout the continent. In that regard, he noted that 30 countries had already joined the African Peer Review Mechanism, and that 14 countries — including Ethiopia — had submitted reports to that body. He urged those who had not yet done so to accede to the Peer Review Mechanism.
Africa’s commitment to reform was “slowly but surely changing the perceptions of the continent”, he said. However, pockets of conflict and other major challenges remained. African countries had committed themselves to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by devoting large percentages of their national budgets to health, education and other areas. He, therefore, thanked NEPAD for its support in pursuing those goals. The high rates of unemployment and limited access to energy continued to hamper the continent’s ability to create wealth and jobs, he said, stressing that firm commitments were needed from African countries, as well as from the international community. Meanwhile, he said, as noted in the Secretary-General’s report, Africa’s share in global trade and incoming foreign direct investment was only 4 per cent. Ethiopia highlighted the important role that trade and investment would play in promoting economic growth and bringing Africa into the mainstream global economy.
Regarding malaria, whose adverse impacts on the socio-economic development efforts of Africa still presented a challenge, he said that targeting that disease had long been a priority in Ethiopia’s national policies. The Government had adopted a 10-year national Strategic Plan aimed at scaling up malaria control interventions to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in the epidemic within the 10‑year period. Malaria deaths had already declined by 55 per cent since 1990, he added, and outpatient malaria cases had dropped dramatically as well.
PYTRIK DIEUWKE OOSTERHOF, representative of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), welcomed the report of the Secretary-General on the successful progress made in addressing the goals towards malaria control over the past decade. The findings were cause for optimism. Since 2002, IFRC and its 186 member Societies, in partnership with other organizations, contributed to that success by distributing more than 15 million mosquito nets, protecting 25.5 million people and preventing more than 420,000 malaria deaths. As a member of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, IFRC welcomed the positive results as outlined by the relevant report released in September. The findings revealed that working in partnership had been effective and had created a foundation that would allow for even greater results in the years to come.
However, despite the many successes, she said that malaria remained one of the most devastating global public health challenges, which continued to impact the lives of poor, young and vulnerable people and thereby affected the future of many developing countries. In order to sustain the advances made, IFRC welcomed the forward-looking recommendations highlighted in the report of the Secretary-General. As stated by the report, it was important to recognize that people were at the heart of all malaria control programmes. For malaria control programmes to succeed, engagement of communities was essential.
That was why her organization’s contribution to scaling up malaria prevention was focused on social mobilization, communication and direct assistance. Every year, Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies reached millions; the direct delivery of service and active engagement empowered caregivers with increased knowledge. That work would not be possible without the tireless efforts of volunteers, who were able to facilitate behavioural change by combining net distributions with training, which ensured correct and consistent prevention practices. In order to sustain global and national progress, the key message was that communities must own the activities that support prevention and treatment of malaria. Community ownership reinforced positive healthy behaviours and addressed barriers to healthy behaviour change.
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