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At UN Assembly, Ugandan President among African leaders highlighting continent’s unified vision

August - November 2019

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At UN Assembly, Ugandan President among African leaders highlighting continent’s unified vision

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, addresses the general debate of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, addresses the general debate of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak

24 September 2014 – Calling for economic and security partnerships, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the first of several African leaders today addressing the high-level opening of the 96th United Nations General Assembly, highlighted the growing potential of investment and partnerships with countries on the continent.

Mr. Museveni said that Africa is regenerating and “emerging from the long night of decline” and its countries are becoming “more credible partners with any serious actors beyond our shores.”

The Ugandan leader noted that the continent is emerging from centuries of colonialism with a purchasing power of $2.5 billion that is growing at an annual rate of 3.2 per cent.

He said Uganda needs and would welcome “investments, trade access, tourists” and security partnerships approved by the African Union from partners, many of whom are UN Member States.

While at the podium, Mr. Museveni also lashed out at “pseudo and bankrupt” sectarian ideology of religion, tribalism and chauvinism that has fuelled most of African conflicts and is now causing havoc in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Only parasites revel is such schemes,” Mr. Museveni said. “This pseudo-ideology should be banished and treated with the contempt it deserves.”

In his address on behalf of Mauritania, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz also highlighted the many dangers resulting from “the multiplication of hotbeds of tension, terrorism, organized crime and trafficking of drugs, arms and people.”

Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, addresses the general debate of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak

Despite the establishment of mechanisms by the regional peace and security system, the fight against terrorism remains an international responsibility which calls for a close collaboration.

The sudden outbreak of Ebola constitutes another major challenge which needs collective, international action, he noted.

“The international community is invited to join Africans in their hopes and legitimate aspirations for peace, security and sustainable development,” the President said, also making a case for reform of the UN Security Council to include permanent representation of the continent.

He noted that unlike in 2000, when the Millennium Development Goals were adopted, Africa now “speaks with one voice, seeks to create development to become a healthy area free of scourges, wars and conflicts, and where justice, good governance and respect for human rights prevail.”

Some 196 speakers are expected at this year’s annual debate. Meeting on the theme of “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda,” the speakers include representatives from the 193 UN Member States, as well as the Observer State of the Holy See, the Observer State of Palestine and the delegation of the European Union.

In his speech to the Assembly, the President of Chad, Idriss Déby, said his country continued to contribute to peace and reconciliation in Africa, especially in Darfur, Sudan in Mali and the Central African Republic. "This commitment is evidenced by the organization on its territory, of the Amdjaress, Forum for peace and reconciliation between “warring brothers” in Darfur.

 

President Idriss Déby Itno of Chad addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak

"Chad welcomes the organization of the Forum of Brazzaville on reconciliation and inclusive dialogue between the Central African brothers which he took an active part in the search for solutions to the crisis," he added, also welcoming the inter-Malian dialogue and noting with satisfaction the ongoing reconciliation process in South Sudan to bring the South Sudanese "to smoke the peace pipe."

Mr. Déby said the decision to create such mechanisms as the "African Capacity for immediate crisis response," or "Regional Force on the African Sahel-Saharan and Central Africa" comes from the desire to block the road to terrorism on the continent. He also urged countries of the Commission of the Lake Chad Basin to take the necessary steps to operationalize the Joint Multinational Force to fight against the terrorist activities of Boko Haram.

In his address, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of the Equatorial Guinea highlighted to the heavy responsibility that the General Assembly bares in finding solutions to the problems of poverty, hunger, violence, piracy and terrorist activity.

 

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Cia Pak

To combat these issues, the General Assembly must be revised so that its role is “strengthened and revitalized,” he said, noting that the role of the UN body has recently become routine.

Turning to the Security Council, Mr. Mbasogo warned that the 15-member body would not be able to find lasting salutation if it is not governed by rules that respect international justice and interferes in the internal affairs of States. “These interventions interrupt the genuine democratic process of the affected countries,” the President said, adding that these interruptions further fuel divisions and socio-political instability.

We have to clearly differentiate between what supports the democratic process and that which interferes through pressure, leading to intolerance, exclusions and hatred, he added.

To combat the Ebola virus, which is now also before the General Assembly, Mr. Mbasogo said that his Government had donated $2 million to the UN World Health Organization (WHO) to fight the disease. The announcement was made at the UNESCO-Equatorial Guinea International Prize for Research in Life Sciences, which was held for the first time in the capital city of Malabo on September 15.