International Community Must Honour Aid Commitments, Expand Partnerships for Africa’s Development, Speakers Tell General Assembly
International Community Must Honour Aid Commitments, Expand Partnerships for Africa’s Development, Speakers Tell General Assembly
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-eighth General Assembly
36th & 37th Meetings (AM & PM)
International Community Must Honour Aid Commitments, Expand Partnerships
For Africa’s Development, Speakers Tell General Assembly
Delegates Highlight Successes, Challenges of Race to Meet Millennium Targets
For African countries to continue to amass success stories towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target date, the international community must deliver on commitments, building upon positive developments and promising prospects for economic growth, speakers said during the General Assembly’s joint debate today on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the decade to roll back malaria in developing countries, particularly on the continent.
Some 30 speakers shared their views, with many delegates from African countries emphasizing national development gains and with those from other regions highlighting partnership efforts with Africa, from building highways and pipelines to sowing investments in health and trade. Calls for strengthened support and further cooperation in areas such as food security, fighting diseases and conflict prevention echoed throughout the debate.
“Africa had indeed witnessed a new era of momentum and the foundation for the renaissance of Africa is being laid,” said Ethiopia’s representative, speaking on behalf of the African Group. Since its 2001 launch, NEPAD had matured into the African Union’s flagship development programme, with advances in priority areas including infrastructure, agriculture and health that had promoted stronger African ownership through creative and effective partnerships.
To achieve more, the global situation must improve, he said. Pointing to unmet commitments resulting in the “disappointing” lack of sufficient progress on the Millennium Development Goals, he called on the international community to redouble efforts to ensure challenges were met.
Overcoming obstacles should include partnerships that reflected and supported the continent’s ambitions, said NEPAD Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, speaking on behalf of the African Union. “For Africa to truly become the next growth pole, the mobilization and effective utilization of our own resources is paramount,” he said.
Summing up a common view, Sofia Borges (Timor-Leste), speaking on behalf of the President of the General Assembly, said “NEPAD is a success story”. The Partnership remained a strong framework for pan-African socio-economic development and an essential blueprint for promoting development on the continent, she added.
Emphasizing the strength of his region’s partnership with Africa, the representative of Guyana, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), foresaw much to collaborate on leading up to the post-2015 development agenda. On a similar note, Brunei Darussalam’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said his region had strengthened its relations with Africa and hoped efforts were contributing to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
The European Union’s representative said that regional bloc remained Africa’s most important donor, with 45 per cent, or €21 billion, of its external aid targeting the continent in 2011 in all of NEPAD’s strategic focus areas.
But many speakers underlined that growing progress depended on fulfilling promises. Stating a widely held view, Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs of India, said the international community must remain resolute in its support through sustained cooperation, including the transfer of technology and resources, and it must address the “gaping gap” between promise and delivery of pledged commitments.
Also delivering statements were representatives of Kuwait, United States, Thailand, Russian Federation, Israel, Japan, China, Egypt, Libya, South Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Brazil, Zambia, Algeria, Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, United Republic of Tanzania and Mozambique.
The Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 29 October, to consider the Secretary-General’s report on the necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba and to take action on a related draft resolution.
The General Assembly met this morning to consider the Secretary-General’s reports on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development: eleventh consolidated progress report on implementation and international support (document A/68/222) and on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa (document A/68/220). The Assembly also would hold a debate on its agenda item on the 2001-2010: Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa.
Opening the session, SOFIA BORGES (Timor-Leste), speaking on behalf of the President of the General Assembly, said it was an auspicious time for Africa, which had experienced positive developments with promising prospects for economic growth. While there were undeniable challenges confronting the continent, the African people and leaders were poised to face them as never before. As the Assembly assessed international support for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), it was important to acknowledge Africa’s collaborative efforts to tackle their shared challenges.
“NEPAD, first launched in 2001, is a success story,” she said. The Partnership remained a strong framework for pan-African socio-economic development and an essential blueprint for promoting development on the continent. Through the African Peer Review Mechanism, 30 countries had committed themselves to the promotion of good governance. It was vital that the international community continued to partner with African countries and the African Union on its implementation and on alleviating developmental challenges.
As the United Nations was an integral and committed NEPAD partner, she commended ongoing efforts, including those of the Office of the Special Advisor on Africa. Yet, challenges remained, she said, and it had been widely reported that many African countries were unlikely to achieve most of the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 deadline. In the remaining time before that target date, accelerated efforts were needed and the necessary political will must be summoned. “As we are one united international community,” she said, “let us continue to chart a practical way forward on successfully implementing NEPAD and creating meaningful change for people across the continent.”
PRENEET KAUR, Minister of State for External Affairs of India, said despite positive strides, serious challenges remained, including extreme poverty, hunger, lack of adequate nutrition and conflicts, before Africa could achieve development and prosperity. Addressing those needs required an unwavering commitment backed by action from within and outside the continent. The international community must remain resolute in its support through sustained cooperation, including the transfer of technology, resources and enabling a global environment and addressing the “gaping gap” between promise and delivery of pledged commitments.
The India-Africa partnership was based on historical foundations, she said. For the people of India, Africa was the land of awakening for Mahatma Gandhi and ties continued to be rooted in a history of solidarity against colonialism and apartheid. In September, India and the African Union had launched the Plan of Action of Enhanced Framework of Cooperation, which included institutional capacity building, industrial growth and infrastructure activities. That partnership had become the beacon of South-South cooperation and had the potential to strengthen global governance systems and to democratize multilateral institutions. It was ironic that the Security Council did not have the whole African continent represented in the permanent category of membership, in spite of nearly 75 per cent of its work being focused on the continent alone. Urgent reforms were needed in the Council to address historical injustices by making it reflective of contemporary realities.
GEORGE W. TALBOT ( Guyana), speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), commended Africa’s development gains. Seven of the 10 fastest growing economies globally were based in Africa and the continent as a whole was the world’s second fastest growing region. However, major challenges remained. Africa’s rate of poverty reduction was insufficient to reach the target of halving extreme poverty by 2015. Given the high percentage of young people in its population, the continent also faced increasing pressure from youth unemployment. The burden of disease posed a further impediment to Africa’s progress. Worldwide, there were 291 million cases of malaria in 2010 that caused approximately 660,000 deaths, mostly of children under the age of five living in Africa.
Given these realities, he said, the international community’s partnership with Africa would remain of great importance, not only to Africa, but also to the world. Commitments made to Africa with regard to official development assistance (ODA), trade, transfer of technology and capacity building must therefore be honoured and sustained. The role of South-South and triangular cooperation would be integral to the global response to Africa’s development challenges. Expressing hope that the current stability in most African countries would be sustained and the setbacks to peace and security would be overcome, he supported the United Nations and African Union’s efforts in conflict-prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building. Recalling the “age old” relations between the Caribbean and Africa, he said the two regions would have much to collaborate on in the context of setting forth the post-2015 development agenda.
DATO PADUKA ABDUL GHAFAR ISMAIL (Brunei Darussalam), speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), noted that African countries’ efforts had been thwarted by economic crisis, political upheavals and declining humanitarian aid. ASEAN, in that regard, continued to encourage NEPAD’s efforts to address those concerns, especially by prioritising and mainstreaming issues of health, education and gender equality into African nations’ agendas. It also acknowledged the valuable contribution by the African Peer Review Mechanism to strengthening the engagement between African Governments and their people. At the international level, ASEAN welcomed the United Nations’ constructive role in supporting Africa’s development.
Individually, ASEAN countries had strengthened their relations with African States, he said, expressing hope that such assistance had helped African countries towards achieving the Millennium targets by 2015. Turning to the issue of malaria, he said both ASEAN and African countries had been affected by that contagious disease. ASEAN therefore supported Africa’s efforts to combat malaria and other diseases, including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and its member States stood ready to share their best practices with African countries. He backed the Secretary-General’s call on other countries that were in a position to contribute to continue or redouble efforts to help accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable growth in Africa.
JAN PIROUZ POULSEN (European Union) emphasized the importance of the Africa-European Union Partnership, which was established in 2007 and demonstrated their shared commitment to work toward the common goals of Africa’s 54 countries and the European Union’s 28 member States. Together these two regions represented 1.5 billion citizens. The partnership would be taken to a new level during the Fourth African-Europe Summit scheduled for April 2014 in Brussels. He was satisfied to see Africa realize its huge potential through impressive levels of growth: the African continent was home to seven of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies, with an average growth rate of 5 per cent. The European Union and its member States remained Africa’s most important donors with 45 per cent, or €21 billion, of aid targeting the continent in 2011. This support covered all of NEPAD’s strategic focus areas, including good governance, increased alignment of the development partners, and infrastructure development.
The absence of adequate infrastructure could reduce productivity by 40 per cent, a reason why the European Union had made its programme for infrastructure development in Africa a priority and the European Union-Africa infrastructure trust fund a cornerstone of cooperation between the two regions, he said. The funds included €746 million. Boosting agriculture productivity, food security and resilience was another major priority to help eradicate poverty and tap into Africa’s potential. The European Union also was the African continent’s biggest trading partner, and accounted for one third of its total trade. Between 2005 and 2010, European Union countries were responsible for 43.7 per cent of foreign direct investment in Africa. The Africa-European Union partnership went beyond development to tackle issues such as peace and security. Since 2004, the European Union had provided more than €1.1 billion to the African Peace and Security Architecture and made the Early Response Mechanism operational.
FARAH ALGHARABALLY ( Kuwait) said the international community must step up efforts to help Africa confront its challenges, including initiatives to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In spite of progress made and significant economic growth, nations continued to suffer from poverty and contagious diseases. Given the lack of economic development, there was a need to strengthen cooperation for development. For its part, Kuwait would continue to provide support to developing countries, particularly in Africa. Economic development would help all stakeholders and strengthen the world global economic order.
ELIZABETH BAGLEY ( United States) said NEPAD’s efforts to support its partners were critical to attract a vibrant private sector. She commended its priorities for, among other things, good governance, economic transparency and food security. For its part, United States’ food security efforts on the continent had reached more than 12 million children and reduced hunger. In June, the United States launched the Power Africa initiative, which aimed to add 10,000 megawatts of energy. Public investment catalyzed private investment. Turning to malaria, she said her country had allocated significant funds to fight the scourge, with a goal to sustain and build on successful efforts over the coming decade.
NORACHIT SINHASENI ( Thailand), associating himself with ASEAN and the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said 2013 marked a new chapter in Thai-African relations. A priority on his country’s foreign policy agenda was the Thai-Africa initiative aimed at enhancing Thailand’s strategic partnership with Africa. Thailand had hosted in September 2013 and would again host in February 2014 a meeting between Thai and African leaders to discuss areas of possible cooperation in development. To combat hunger in Africa, his country would exchange information on sustainable agricultural development and food processing with its African partners. To foster human capital development, Thailand would offer scholarships for higher education and fellowships for training. Turning to health, he said Thailand had adopted a proactive policy to “roll back malaria”, forging close cooperation not only with its neighbours in the Greater Mekhong Region but also with its African partners, including Burkina Faso, Burundi, Gambia, Mali and Senegal. Technology transfer projects for the local production of medicine to treat malaria had been successfully implemented. Thailand was more than happy to share its experiences and best practices in development with its African friends, so that their two continents, while geographically far apart, could become even closer through the spirit of cooperation.
DMITRY I. MAKSIMYCHEV ( Russian Federation) said the positive developments on the continent were due in large part to Africans themselves. For its part, Russian Federation had supported ongoing efforts, including NEPAD, with assistance such as debt cancellation and agreements on debt for development with the United Republic of Tanzania, among other countries. Russia Federation had also provided food and emergency humanitarian aid to many countries and States had been given broad trade preferences. It had contributed $100 million towards the global push to eradicate tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. Russian Federation also worked to support conflict prevention activities, he said, calling for increased partnerships between the African Union and United Nations and more coordination action in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Central African Republic.
RON PROSOR ( Israel) said his understanding of Africa did not “come from Hollywood movies or stories in National Geographic”, but from his personal experience of living there during childhood. The nations and people of Africa had made tremendous progress towards prosperity, but they were still facing daunting challenges, including extreme poverty, drought, famine, armed conflict and gender disparity. Particularly, if African women were given the same access as men to vocational training and technology, Africa’s economy would expand by at least 40 per cent. Recalling the history of Israel sharing its nation-building knowledge with the newborn countries of Africa in the late 1950s, he said today his country continued to provide assistance for the continent. For example, Israeli scientists were helping African farmers overcome many of the most pressing problems, such as pests and mould prevention. “Let us strive to ensure a brighter future for all of Africa’s people,” he said, quoting lyrics from the musical superstar Shakira: “This is time for Africa.”
JUN YAMAZAKI (Japan) said his county had hosted the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in June, which aligned its agenda for the coming five years with the priority objectives and initiatives of the African Union and NEPAD. Also at that Conference, Japan committed to providing assistance for Africa, utilizing private and public means up to $32 billion, including $14 billion of ODA. The emphasis was on infrastructure development and human resources development areas where African countries and the Japanese private sector had shown strong interest. Agriculture and food security were also key issues in Africa, and his country would continue to support the efforts of the Coalition for African Rice Development, which sought to double rice production in sub-Saharan Africa to 28 million tons by 2018. Japan had also committed to providing financial support for Africa to address climate change and health issues, as well as aid to improve governance and human security.
TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia), speaking on behalf of the African Group, said the vision of NEPAD was one premised on the need for the continent to take its rightful place in the global system based on a self-defined transformative agenda and ownership. Over the years, NEPAD had matured into the African Union’s flagship development programme, with activities in priority areas, including infrastructure, agriculture and health, which had promoted stronger African ownership through creative and effective partnerships. The African Peer Review Mechanism had enabled countries to learn from each other’s experiences.
“Africa had indeed witnessed a new era of momentum and the foundation for the renaissance of Africa is being laid,” he said, highlighting the recent high growth trajectory. To achieve more, the global situation must improve, including financing for development. Yet challenges to achieving the Millennium Development Goals remained and the economic and climate change crises had had a direct impact on Africa’s progress. Pointing to the unmet commitments resulting in the “disappointing” lack of sufficient progress on the Millennium targets, he called on the international community to redouble efforts to ensure challenges were overcome, with NEPAD’s priority areas at the front and centre. “Africa will continue to do its best to achieve the vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena,” he said.
WANG MIN ( China) stressed that all commitments made to supporting Africa should be honoured, particularly in the areas of ODA, debt relief, trade facilitation and capacity building. South-South Cooperation should also be strengthened. The post-2015 development agenda should feature Africa more prominently, in line with the development needs of Africa and NEPAD priority areas. Meanwhile, the independence and free will of African countries in determining their development paths should be respected. With the continent’s peace and security still being threatened by active conflicts and terrorist activities, the international community should continue to provide support, while at the same time fully respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of African countries. China supported the peaceful settlement of African issues by Africans in African ways. Outlining the various efforts China had made in supporting Africa, he said his country would continue to cooperate with African countries to achieve mutual development. President Xi Jinping had recently announced a series of new initiatives in that regard, including training African professionals in various fields, offering scholarships to African students and increasing the transfer of technologies.
MOOTAZ AHMADEIN KHALIL (Egypt), noting NEPAD’s shift from a sector-based approach to programmatic and thematic activities, said, in that context, that Egypt had proposed an infrastructure project to establish a navigation route from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean through the Nile, serving the economies of Nile-Basin countries. Further, African Governments must build stronger partnerships with the private sector and civil society and mobilize adequate resources to sustain inclusive economic growth that was resilient to external shocks and ensured all segments of society a share in growth’s dividends. For international partners, he stressed the importance of fair trading terms, alleviation of debt, increased foreign investment and greater participation for Africa in global economic decision-making. The Assembly must empower the Office of the Special Advisor for Africa to undertake its mandate. Turning to the elimination of malaria, he said that also required addressing its developmental and social aspects and called for a comprehensive approach by all stakeholders.
REDA DUKALI ( Libya) said that African countries were still facing many challenges that could prevent them from achieving all the Millennium Development Goals, and called on development partners to scale up their assistance. The current impasse in the Doha Round of trade negotiations should be ended and an agreement should be reached to enable African countries to access global markets. It was also important to promote private investment in Africa. Meanwhile, African countries should strengthen their national efforts, particularly in increasing the share of the budget allocated to agriculture and rural development. Given the importance of peace and security to development, international aid from the United Nations system and other partners was also needed in areas such as conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peace-building, post-conflict recovery, rule of law and security sector reform.
DOCTOR MASHABANE ( South Africa) said Africa was transforming. “In comparison from the period after decolonisation when we were cast as the dark and hopeless continent, years later, the narrative has positively changed and we should ensure that this narrative continues to improve with Vision 2063,” he said. NEPAD had and was continuing to transform historical legacies, such as the lack of interconnectedness in the continent. Through NEPAD’s infrastructural programmes, various corridors were being created to boost intra-Africa trade, as well as development within the continent, including the North-South corridor, a road and rail project from Cape Town to Cairo currently championed by South Africa. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, which intended to address the continent’s agricultural development needs, had steadily grown in importance. However, the goal of African people having access to the highest attainable standard of health remained elusive, he said, adding his voice to the call to strengthen the fight against malaria. Stressing that development was not possible without peace he called on the United Nations system to strengthen its cooperation with the African Union and regional economic communities in that regard.
DESRA PERCAYA ( Indonesia) said Africa’s noteworthy progress was challenged by obstacles that needed to be overcome through strengthened partnerships and support. Trade induced growth, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks should strive to strengthen trade rules and avoid protectionism. Indonesia had, through the new Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership and the Non-Aligned Movement Centre for South-South technical cooperation in Jakarta, built a solid base. Public-private and private-private partnerships played an important role in expanding the continent’s creative capacities. However, peace remained fragile in a number of countries and peacemaking, peacebuilding and development needed to be deepened. Turning to malaria, he said a multi-sectoral approach and cooperation beyond the health sector were needed to reach the “zero” goal.
AHMAD WARRAICH ( Pakistan) said Africa was transforming and determining its own destiny by progressing through Africa-owned and Africa-led frameworks such as NEPAD. Projects such as the Trans Sahara Highway and gas pipeline were clear demonstrations of the continent’s resolve to unlock its immense socio-economic development opportunities. He also commended its efforts on health, agriculture, security and elections. Bridging gaps to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and financial gaps for malaria commodities and their distribution were essential and continued and strengthened international support for development efforts were vital. Pakistan would continue to work with partners in Africa in the economic, social and technical spheres in the context of South-South cooperation, including by contributing to peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding. More than 119 Pakistani peacekeepers had died in Africa. The post-2015 development agenda must respond to Africa’s needs and priorities.
HUSSEIN HANIFF ( Malaysia) said relations between his country and Africa had been enhanced within the framework of South-South Cooperation. Citing the March 2013 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) report on the rise of BRICS and Africa, he said Malaysia was the biggest Asian source of foreign direct investment in Africa. The decline of ODA for two years in a row had seriously undermined efforts of least developed countries, including those in Africa, to attain the Millennium Development Goals. In that connection, Malaysia reaffirmed its support for African countries and would continue to strengthen partnerships with them. He welcomed the creation of a roadmap on shared responsibility and global solidarity for the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria response in Africa for the 2012-2015 period. Malaysia had achieved major success in eradicating malaria in urban and other densely populated areas in the country, and was on track to completely eliminate the disease by 2020. Malaysia was prepared to share its national experience in that regard.
KYAW TIN ( Myanmar) said the progress made in the implementation of NEPAD and the success of the African Peer Review Mechanism demonstrated the good leadership and capability of African leaders in achieving peace and development in their continent. At the same time, a strengthened and sustained global partnership still played a significant role in bringing about peace, stability and development to Africa. In that regard, it was worrying to see that the assistance of development partners was declining, with ODA to Africa having dropped from more than $50 billion to $43 billion in recent years. He hoped that the success made in all areas of NEPAD implementation and other ongoing governance and structural transformations would help convince development partners to honour their commitments. Like many African countries, Myanmar was also in a rapid democratic transition. In parallel with its efforts to promote peace, stability and national reconciliation, his country had opened up its economy with bold reforms and liberalization of policies. This new political and economic climate had brought out greater potential for promoting trade and economic relations between Myanmar and its African brothers.
IBRAHIM ASSANE MAYAKI, Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Agency and a representative of the African Union, said the Partnership had played a key role in good governance, especially the African Peer Review Mechanism that promoted, among other things, transparent public policies, and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). As a voluntary mechanism design and implemented by Africans for Africa, membership had increased to 33 countries. Addressing other top concerns, NEPAD had recently endorsed the Sustaining CAADP Momentum, with 2014 declared as the African Union Year for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition. The future of African agriculture was brighter than a decade ago, but more needed to be done.
Increasing social inequalities existed and there was an urgent need to lift about 400 million people out of poverty, he said. While Africa had progressed towards the Millennium Development Goals, challenges remained. A bold African common position was evolving within the High-level Committee of African Heads of State and Governments on the post-2015 agenda. He appealed for the common position, when finalized, to be taken into consideration when shaping the agenda. “For Africa to truly become the next growth pole,” he said, “the mobilization and effective utilization of our own resources is paramount. In this equation, private and public partnerships will advance the ideals of Africa’s transformation.” The international community must be actively engaged in Africa’s peace and development efforts and partnerships should truly be reflective and supportive of the continent’s transformational ambitions. The second decade for implementing NEPAD would benefit from support from all Member States.
SÉRGIO RODRIGUES DOS SANTOS ( Brazil) said his country’s commitment to Africa’s sustainable development was permanent and unwavering, as evidenced by its cooperation and investments in health, agriculture and food security. For instance, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, a state enterprise known as EMBRAPA, continued to provide technology and capacity building to various African countries, with a view to improving access to food and increasing food security and resilience. In the field of health, Brazil had been working with a number of African Governments in order to facilitate access to drugs and treatment throughout the continent. In 2012, the Brazilian Government Health Foundation, or Fiocruz, in partnership with the Government of Mozambique had opened a medicine factory in Maputo that had been producing 21 types of anti-retroviral drugs to combat HIV/AIDS. It was expected that, in two years, production would be sufficient to meet the demands of the whole sub-Saharan Africa. To cure and prevent malaria, Brazil had participated in United Nations and NEPAD activities and had continued to develop joint training and capacity building programmes with a number of African countries for malaria prevention and control and the overall strengthening of national health systems.
MAXIMILLIAN BWEUPE (Zambia), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and China and the African Group, said malaria remained a major public health concern in Zambia, particularly among children under the age of five and pregnant women, with over 4 million cases annually. He paid special tribute to the Secretary-General for his report, and the unprecedented support that malaria-endemic countries, including Zambia, had received in the past decade from the global community for malaria control and financing. However, he echoed concerns over the shortfall in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, noting that increased and sustained contributions to the Fund would assure availability of malaria control commodities, consolidate, as well as prevent the reversal of gains made. His Government remained committed to malaria control efforts, resulting in a 65 per cent reduction in malaria incidences, bringing it closer to achieving the sixth Millennium Development Goal. He called for increased resources for research and surveillance to enhance malaria control, prevent the development of resistance to drugs used in malaria control and resurgence of the disease.
DJAMEL MOKTEFI ( Algeria) said NEPAD had established the strategic framework for pan-African development based on African leadership and ownership. Its implementation had brought about many positive changes to the continent. For example, the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa had made a significant impact on driving regional integration and economic growth through such priority initiatives as the Trans-Sahara Highway project, which would close the missing link from Algeria to Niger. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and the African Peer Review Mechanism were also gaining momentum. However, Africa was still facing huge challenges in attaining the Millennium Development Goals and international support was crucial. He therefore called on development partners to complement African countries’ efforts by delivering on their aid commitments. Africa’s needs and priorities should also be given due attention in the post-2015 global development agenda.
RAYMOND SERGE BALÉ ( Congo) said despite progress, Africa faced many complex constraints. Partnerships were addressing some of the issues, including the situation in the Central African Republic, and he supported efforts relating to peace and security in the region and sub-regions. The Government was implementing its national development programme, which was based on five economic and social development pillars. Many ongoing and planned projects reflected regional cooperation, including the train route linking Brazzaville to Kinshasa and an electricity grid in Central Africa. With agriculture shaping many African economies, challenges in the sector remained for his country. To implement those programmes, the Government aimed at mobilizing effective approaches while relying on external resources, including the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative and the management of oil resources. It was important that the post-2015 development agenda reflected the priorities of NEPAD and Africa.
TOMMO MONTHE ( Cameroon) said the continent had come a long way after the periods of slavery and of colonialism and the “afro-pessimism” of the 1980s. The programme for developing infrastructure was the key to the African renaissance. Ongoing projects were being financed by Africa, including roads, electricity and telecommunications. Cameroon’s efforts included roads, dams and infrastructure for new and renewable energy. His country also committed 10 per cent of its budget to agricultural development and 15 per cent to improve the health sector. Commending gains in education, tourism and information and communications technology, he said the continent had progressed in a number of areas, including the rights of women, children, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. Africa’s gains had not been reciprocated in terms of aid flows, with a drop in ODA. He hoped the most recent pledges would not fall into the rut of promises unkept. Peace and security were other concerns, with the situation in the Central African Republic meriting close attention. Turning to malaria, he said in-house spraying and treated mosquito nets were among the tools to combat the disease while more research was taking place.
USMAN SARKI ( Nigeria) said that in the past, failures in achieving development goals in Africa had largely resulted from the lack of implementation of projects. In that regard, he commended the United Nations, African Development Bank and other partners for their assistance in implementing NEPAD programmes and projects. While acknowledging the remarkable progress made under the NEPAD framework, he pointed out that continued efforts and international support were needed, particularly in the area of infrastructure development. Stressing the undermining effect of conflict on development, he said his country strongly supported the role of mediation and preventive diplomacy in maintaining international peace and security, a theme that had been emphasized in its bid for the non-permanent seat of the Security Council. He encouraged all partners to engage as positive catalysts to achieve a conflict-free Africa. Malaria remained a major public health and development challenge in Africa. His Government had launched an ambitious National Malaria Control Strategic Plan for the 2009-2013 period and had been making significant progress in combating the disease.
NOEL KAGANDA (United Republic of Tanzania), noting that his Government had submitted periodic reports to the Annual Periodic Review Mechanism and had issued its first country report earlier this year, said that challenges remained in translating economic growth into a broad-based, pro-poor and inclusive development. The country was committed to reduce poverty, inequality and youth unemployment through a national action programme. The Government also had allocated 10 per cent of its budget to agriculture to increase productivity and food security. On malaria, he said that 30 to 40 per cent of all outpatient visits in the country were attributable to the disease, but that Government interventions had reduced malaria in young children by 44 per cent between 2008 and May 2012. A comprehensive Government programme to expand access to healthcare was instrumental to the anti-malaria effort, but required partners and support from the international community. He urged the international community and the United Nations to work more closely with the African Union to resolve conflicts and consolidate peace and security in Africa.
ANTÓNIO GUMENDE ( Mozambique) said the steps Africa had taken since the 1990s to modernize its judicial system, consolidate the role of civil society and strengthen the rule of law were a clear indication the continent was on the right path. Sparked by this belief in peace, Mozambique embarked on a democratization process that included a review of its national Constitutions in 1990 and 2004. As part of its development agenda, Mozambique had begun a decentralization and devolution process that aimed to create a more inclusive role for all stakeholders, including local communities. The Government had established the District Consultative Board, which gave local communities a role in governance and an Annual Fund for Local Development, commonly known as the 7 million Fund. This Fund financed food production and initiatives to generate employment in rural and urban areas. Multiparty democratic elections had become part of the Government’s commitment to good governance and the rule of law. Yet this progress was challenged by poverty, disease and disruptive incidents that occurred in post-conflict situations. He urged the international community to move beyond the goal of malaria prevention and reiterated the Secretary-General’s call for the United Nations system, Member States and other partners to strengthen their support for Africa.
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