– As delivered –
Statement by H.E. Tijjani Muhammad Bande, President of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
3 October 2019
Thanks to Canada and colleagues,
And the organizer of this very important event,
Thank you for the invitation to be here,
I really have nothing new to say, but to simply reaffirm the importance of this event, dealing with mobilizing all of us to address a major problem in society which is the issue of discrimination and inequality and how they are related to rights of human beings.
The United Nations has taken a right step in joining organizations from the grassroots around the world to insist that people of African descent are deserving of special consideration and a whole decade was taken to see whether it is possible to look at concrete things to guarantee inclusion of that category of human beings into all we do: as communities, as nations, as organizations like the United Nations.
For the 74th session of the General Assembly, we have taken the already agreed two goals as our angle and part of this are issues such as poverty eradication, zero hunger, quality education, climate action and inclusion and the key issues we want to focus on and I think the reality of the world is so that this type of model of organization involving governments, private sector organizations, corporate organizations is the only way to deal with this.
There is a gap pf 2. 5 trillion required to achieve the SDGs, this is a huge amount of money, but if we take a look at this in relation to spending, relating to say defense, I think we can do more defense by a system of right of others and get the figure handled very quickly.
I would like to say that in relation to the issue of rights and inclusion, I must pay tribute to Canada, not because Canada is perfect, no society is, but I know in Canada there’s very focused acceptance of limitations, of governance.
Nobody says “Canada is right” in Canada, but you see policies that show that we can make corrections and we can also have a piece of that, listen to very quickly.
I’m not a black Canadian, I used to be one, by some definition but I have lived in Canada and I have seen how Canada as a government operated in Canada and around the world. I think this is the approach.
Let us not deny that there are gaps in terms of policy. let us accept that there are issues, whether dealing indigenous peoples, with new comers, news are very clear and open.I think this is what we should do as societies, and as the United Nations as well, not to deny a problem, let me again not lecture but to simply say that the partnership of civil society organizations related to rights of people of African descent is a very important one and the United Nations has taken this as a matter of urgency and also put it as an element of rights, I think this is the only way to proceed
Thank you very much.