|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-seventh General Assembly
94th Meeting (AM)
General Assembly, Adopting Resolution, Urges Actions to Mitigate Multidimensional
Impacts of World Economic Crisis on Africa, among Hardest-hit by Downturn
Reaffirming Support for New Partnership for Africa’s Development,
Assembly Recommends Remedial Steps by Continent, International Community
In the final weeks before the start of the next session, the General Assembly today adopted a comprehensive resolution in support of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, known as NEPAD, citing lingering severe impacts of the world financial and economic crisis on the continent and proposing ambitious steps by both Africa and the international community to offset them.
The General Assembly, in the wide-ranging text which sets out its concerns and places the responsibility for addressing them mainly with African countries and organizations, supported by a robust international response, noted that, while global growth was returning, recovery was “fragile and uneven” and required continued support for Africa’s special needs and action to mitigate the multidimensional impacts of the crisis on the continent.
It stressed that the prevention, management and resolution of conflict and post-conflict consolidation were essential for achieving NEPAD’s objectives, and welcomed the support of the United Nations and development partners to African regional and subregional organizations. Also welcome were the efforts of the Peacebuilding Commission in assisting post-conflict countries, particularly the six African nations for which it had established country-specific configurations.
In the context of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis, the Assembly expressed grave concern that Africa was particularly hard-hit, pointing to excessively volatile food and energy prices, as well as the increasing challenges posed by climate change, drought, land degradation, desertification and, among others, floods, all of which impacted the fight against poverty and hunger, and seriously challenged achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Assembly welcomed progress by African countries in fulfilling their NEPAD commitments and encouraged them to continue their efforts towards achieving development goals, strengthening governance institutions and creating an environment conducive to involving the private sector. It recognized the important role that could be played by African regional economic communities.
Among its other provisions, the text encouraged African countries to accelerate achievement of food security, while welcoming their leaders’ commitment to raise the share of agriculture and rural development in their budgets. Those countries were further encouraged to expand local transit infrastructure and maintain the trend of increasing investment in infrastructure development overall.
In formulating the international community’s response, the Assembly urged support for measures to address poverty eradication, hunger, job creation and sustainable development in Africa, including debt relief, improved market access, support for the private sector and entrepreneurship, as well as the fulfilment of official development assistance (ODA) pledges and increased foreign direct investment and technology transfer.
The draft reiterated the importance of trade, emphasizing the need to resist protectionism and to conclude successfully the Doha Round of trade negotiations. It called for a sustainable solution to Africa’s external debt problems, pointing to the importance of debt relief, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Debt Initiative and debt restructuring. It also urged due attention to Africa’s priorities in formulating the post-2015 development agenda.
Recognizing that Africa, which contributed the least to climate change, was one of the most vulnerable regions to its adverse impacts, the Assembly called on the international community, particularly developed countries, to continue to support the continent in its adaptation and sustainable development efforts through, among others, technology transfer, capacity-building and the provision of adequate and predictable new resources, in line with existing commitments.
Further to the text, the Assembly President was asked to convene a plenary meeting at the sixty-eighth session for the purpose of holding a high-level thematic debate on the promotion of investment in Africa and its catalytic role in achieving the continent’s development objectives, including those of the New Partnership. The Secretary-General was asked to promote greater coherence in the work of the United Nations system in support of NEPAD.
Following the adoption, the representative of Equatorial Guinea, speaking in his capacity as Chair of the African Group, applauded the resolution as an important step towards full implementation of United Nations development commitments to Africa. He welcomed the request of the Secretary-General to strengthen the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa and hoped for a spirit of compromise and consensus when considering the programme budget implication in the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).
Egypt’s representative noted the importance of the annual text on NEPAD in supporting Africa’s development needs.
Underlining his support for African development, Canada’s representative welcomed confirmation from the Secretariat that the text did not have programme budget implications, stressing the need for proper consultation of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and the Fifth Committee on any relevant budgetary issues.
A representative of the delegation of the European Union agreed with the statement made by the representative of Canada.
The representative of Fiji introduced the text on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China.
* *** *