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Equatorial Guinea
H. E. Mr. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President

25 September 2008

Statement Summary

TEODORO OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO, President of Equatorial Guinea, said he was pleased that the annual debate included the issue of democratizing the United Nations system, including working reforms for the Security Council and Bretton Woods institutions, and funding for Africa’s development.  The world had harboured the hope that peace would be achieved, and he was saddened at the differences separating the rich from the poor; hunger, poverty, war and destabilization among them.

Today, there were new challenges that jeopardized budding institutions in developing countries, he said, and it was necessary to adopt strategies to provide a bridge to a “new form” of cooperation among peoples.  Only the creation of a new world framework for cooperation could lead to peace and stability in all nations.  “The use of force by the strong” had worsened today’s problems, and conflicts had arisen from a clear lack of dialogue.  Long-standing conflicts continued, and new tensions had emerged, including injustice, poverty, climate change and inequality.

Equatorial Guinea believed that such a cooperation strategy must start with reform of multilateral institutions and behaviour of those who, today, held economic power.  Recent endeavours had taken shape with the Millennium Development Goals, and if those were to be achieved, the economic system must be reformed and based on respect for different development models.  The “troubled” global scenario impacted Africa.

Taking up the global food crisis, he said it was inconceivable that in an age of plenty, developing countries lack the basic human right to food.  FAO stated that 80 per cent of the 900 million people suffering from hunger lived in developing countries.  Remedies proposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offered barriers against his country’s products.  The “unbridled free trade” imposed by those institutions had allowed his nation to be “invaded” by highly subsidized food products:  Africa imported what it did not -– but could, with targeted assistance -- produce for its own consumption.  Today, Africa needed solid, united development, based on strengthening of the socio-economic fabric.

On the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), he proposed the creation of an international steering committee, made up of donors and African countries, to implement projects and programmes at regional and subregional levels.  Projects could focus on such issues as HIV/AIDS; funding for energy resources; construction of trans-African infrastructure; launch of an African communications satellite; creation of an African university to train human resources; and provision of soft loans.

In closing, he reminded delegates of their commitments to protect the environment, saying that Equatorial Guinea had made efforts.  He reiterated his Government’s commitment to combat international terrorism and organized crime in all its forms.  Today, the country enjoyed unprecedented freedom, and its people worked in a climate of peace.  Renewing his commitment to promoting and defending human rights, he said his country believed in the United Nations as the only way to build peace, stability and development.

[Source: GA/10754]