General Assembly Praises African Union’s Agenda 2063, Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals as Comprehensive Blueprint for Africa’s Advancement

GA/11708
16 October 2015
Seventieth Session, 34th & 35th Meetings (AM & PM)

General Assembly Praises African Union’s Agenda 2063, Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals as Comprehensive Blueprint for Africa’s Advancement

Speakers praised the African Union’s ambitious 50-year “Agenda 2063”, which together with its first 10-year implementation plan, the Addis Ababa funding scheme, and the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, was a holistic and coherent framework for advancing and following up on Africa’s development, the General Assembly heard today as it took up the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

Mogens Lykketoft (Denmark), President of the General Assembly, said that from infrastructure development projects to agriculture and food security, commitment to health and primary education and human capital development, African States were demonstrating their resolve to fully implement that development blueprint.

As NEPAD’s flagship governance programme, the African Peer Review Mechanism, should be joined by all remaining African States, said the representative of Sierra Leone, speaking on behalf of the African Group.  Thirty-six countries on the continent had voluntarily adhered to the Review Mechanism, and half of them had been reviewed already by their peers.

Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, NEPAD’s Chief Executive Officer, agreed, calling the Review Mechanism the “epicentre for deepening democracy” and the dissemination of best practices of African Union Member States.

South Africa’s representative, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said there was a need for developed countries to fulfil commitments related to official development assistance (ODA), and also to provide genuine debt relief to least developed countries.

Several speakers discussed their economic and trade partnerships with Africa.  India’s representative, for its part, focused his statement on private-sector investments, noting that Indian companies’ growing investment in Africa now reached $30 to $35 billion in many sectors.  Over the last decade, India’s Government had approved nearly $9 billion in concessional credit for nearly 140 projects in more than 40 African countries and nearly 60 projects had been completed.

Japan’s approach to economic issues facing the African continent was expressed through its regularly-held Tokyo International Conference on African Development, a partnership conference which focused on preserving and enhancing African ownership, and the agenda and programmes of the meeting were decided by listening to the voices of all African States, its delegate said.

Africa also needed foreign direct investment to maintain rapid economic growth, the delegate of Poland noted.  He cited Poland’s technological support for modern agriculture and fisheries in Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria, the United Republic of Tanzania and Togo, and the “Go Africa” joint economic initiative of Polish and African companies to build business partnerships and encourage trade and people-to-people contacts.

But, cautioned the delegation of Libya, with respect to the issue of peace and security in Africa, many on the continent were suffering from a deteriorating security situation, his country among them.  There could be no development without security and vice versa.

Indeed, the most important prerequisite for Africa’s sustainable development was conflict prevention and resolution, the Russian Federation’s representative said in his statement.  African countries should not be dictated to on how they should solve their own problems.  The Security Council had an important role in Africa’s peace and stability, but Africans should solve their problems themselves as they were the most informed of conditions on the ground.

“African problems should be solved by Africa in an African way,” concurred the Chinese delegate, calling also for stronger cooperation with the African Union.

Security issues were also on the mind of the representative of the European Union, who mentioned the migration issue in his statement.  More needed to be done to address the root causes that prompted migrants to leave their homes and families, agreed the delegation of Italy, a country on the forefront of the migration crisis currently affecting Europe.

Delegates also discussed progress on implementing the 2001-2010: Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa.

The United States’ representative noted that its investments in malaria prevention and control were positively impacting the lives of millions of children, pregnant women and families in Africa.

For its part, Zambia’s instituted preventive measures included three key steps — improving surveillance and reporting at health facility level; implementing mass screening and treatment campaigns; and using an active case detection system for community-level surveillance, according its representative.  Thailand’s delegate also focused on malaria issues, noting that his country stood ready to share its strategies that led to a significant reduction in the number of malaria cases and the malaria-related deaths.

Also speaking today were the representatives of Brunei Darussalam (on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations), Algeria, Ethiopia, Thailand, Uganda, Sweden, Jamaica (on behalf of the Caribbean Community), Egypt, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Norway, Turkey, Nigeria and Israel.

The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 19 to hold a joint debate on integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields.

Background

The General Assembly met this morning to hold a joint debate on two agenda items related to Africa.  On the first, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the Assembly had before it two reports of the Secretary-General: New Partnership for Africa’s Development: thirteenth consolidated progress report on implementation and international support (document A/70/175); and the Causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa (document A/70/176).  The second agenda item was entitled “2001-2010: Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa”.

Statements

MOGENS LYKKETOFT (Denmark), President of the General Assembly, said that in 2015, the international community had witnessed the adoption of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and its first 10-year implementation plan, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Those agendas brought together global, continental, regional and national plans into one holistic and coherent framework for advancing and following up on Africa’s development.  Today’s debate was an attempt to reflect on the international community’s collective efforts to partner with Africa and support the continent in its efforts to tackle challenges and maximize opportunities in the areas of peace and security, human rights and sustainable development.

Significant challenges remained, and those relating to malaria were linked to broader development challenges on the continent, he said.  Progress in the implementation of NEPAD was therefore appropriate to consider today.  From infrastructure development projects to agriculture and food security, commitment to health and primary education and human capital development, African States were demonstrating their resolve to fully implement that development blueprint.  Commending the work of the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa, he added that as a new chapter in international cooperation began, the international community had to work together to complete the Millennium Development Goals and lay the foundations for peace, prosperity and sustainable development across the African continent.

RAYMOND THULANE NYEMBE (South Africa), speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said that the main constraint facing Africa today was the lack of adequate resources.  Challenges the continent continued to contend with included rising inequality, and those challenges needed global coordination and partnership to be adequately dealt with.  Africa required more support in its development path.  The Group of 77 was encouraged by the importance placed by Member States on the African Union Agenda 2063.  There was a need for developed countries to fulfil commitments related to official development assistance (ODA), he said, and also to provide genuine debt relief to least developed countries.  South-South cooperation and the private sector were complements rather than substitutes.

Expressing appreciation to all delegations for their constructive approach, he said there was an urgent need to continue developing African Union and institutional capacities, particularly in countries emerging from conflict.  Ways to address emerging issues like terrorism must be found, and the commitment towards that goal by Member States was encouraging.  Over the past 15 years, the world had seen tremendous progress on malaria control and prevention.  Nine countries were on track to reduce malaria incidence by 77 per cent.  Those results meant that child deaths had been averted in Africa.  But many nations still faced challenges in rolling back malaria.  There was a persistent need for the United Nations system, thereunder the World Health Organization (WHO), to address weak health systems.

EBUN STRASSER-KING (Sierra Leone), speaking on behalf of the African Group and aligning herself with the Group of 77, noted that 2015 was a pivotal year in Africa’s development, given the adoption of Agenda 2063.  She commended the United Nations monitoring mechanism’s contribution to Africa’s development, and underscored the need for adequate and regular resources from the Organization’s regular budget to implement the United Nations-African Union Partnership on Africa’s Integration and Development Agenda.  Agriculture remained at the heart of the continent’s development agenda.  In that regard, African Governments sought to sustain the momentum of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Programme over the next decade, including by increasing financial investment in agriculture through domestic resource mobilization, and ending hunger and halving poverty by 2025 through inclusive agricultural growth.  Turning to the African Peer Review Mechanism, NEPAD’s flagship governance programme, she encouraged all remaining African States to join the 36 countries on the continent that had voluntarily adhered to the Review Mechanism.  Half of those 36 countries had been reviewed already by their peers.

Turning to security issues, she said that the continent was committed to addressing the root causes of conflict, including through the African Peace and Security Architecture.  There could be no lasting security without inclusive development.  In that regard, it was imperative that all partners, including the United Nations system, should support the “African Union Silencing the Guns by 2020” initiative.  On health, she said that malaria remained a serious health concern and expressed concern that funding to fight it was inadequate to reach universal coverage of interventions.  Developed countries and other partners must fulfil their commitments towards its eradication.  Although the Ebola virus was largely under control, there was an urgent need to help African countries, especially those most affected by the deadly disease, to improve their health systems.

DATO ABDUL GHAFAR ISMAIL (Brunei Darussalam), speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the Association and Africa shared the same aspiration for the development of their respective regions.  ASEAN viewed Africa’s resilience as a strength and it continued to engage with Africa through NEPAD to address areas of mutual concern, such as poverty eradication, gender equality, infrastructure, agriculture, health and education.  ASEAN also welcomed the valuable contributions the Review Mechanism had made to the continent’s development process.  Individual ASEAN countries had strengthened their relations with African Member States.  Indonesia, for example, this year had hosted the sixtieth anniversary of the 1955 Asian-African Conference, which aimed to revitalize the partnership between Asian and African countries to promote peace and prosperity.

The 2030 Agenda would help guide and support African countries as they met their development priorities, he said.  Overall poverty rates on the continent were still 48 per cent, according to the Africa Millennium Development Goals report.  ASEAN also was encouraged that the African Union had adopted the transformative Agenda 2063 in January.  ASEAN was confident it would improve the well-being of the continent’s population through sustained and balanced economic growth in conjunction with the 2030 Agenda.  A closer economic engagement between the two continents would strengthen relations and potentially boost trade.  Noting how pandemic diseases could affect Africa’s progress, ASEAN commended the valuable role played by the United Nations and the WHO in establishing the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). Regarding the high percentage of malaria cases found in sub-Saharan Africa, ASEAN had supported Africa’s efforts to address malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

JAN PIROUZ POULSEN, a representative of the European Union, said that the Africa-European Union partnership was guided by the interdependence of Africa and Europe, as well as joint responsibilities.  At a recent summit in Brussels, European Union and African leaders committed to defining the post-2015 development Agenda.  Welcoming the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which would help tackle challenges in the world today, he recalled that the true challenge lay in their implementation.  Committed to its partnership with Africa, the European Union recognized the essential role played by NEPAD.

Agenda 2063 and its 10-year implementation plan provided a long-term vision for development, he said.  Expressing the European Union’s commitment to supporting programmes on issues such as agriculture and infrastructure, he added that cooperation on migration was another major area of focus.  A coming summit was expected to agree on a trust fund which would address root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa.  Promotion of the rule of law and good governance as well as respect for human rights was enshrined in the joint European Union strategy.  As long as women were treated as inferior to men, Africa was losing out the potential of half its population and workforce.  Praising progress made by the African Union in addressing security challenges on the continent, he added that the European Union was committed to pursuing cooperation in areas of common interest.

LIU JIEYI (China), aligning himself with the Group of 77, said that African development was important to global peace and prosperity and to implementing the 2030 Agenda.  In fostering Africa’s development, the international community should consider Africa’s unique challenges and should honour its commitments.  Timely, efficient ODA, without political strings attached, was essential in that regard.  It was also necessary to strengthen global governance structures, and democratize the multi-lateral trading system.  On security, he said that “African problems should be solved by Africa in an African way”, and called for stronger cooperation with the African Union.  Strong cooperation was the foundation of China’s foreign policy with Africa.  China’s so called “461 framework” with Africa, launched in May 2014, demonstrated the pragmatic partnership that existed between them.  Chinese President Xi Jinping announced last month that the China-United Nations Peace and Development Fund would pay for greater investment in least developed countries and for projects in 100 developing countries, among others.  Trade between Africa and China had increased sharply to $220 billion in 2014, and investment in Africa stood at $30 billion.  Of the five permanent Security Council members, China had made the largest contribution to peacekeeping missions on the continent.  The annual Forum on China-Africa Cooperation would take place in Johannesburg this year, the first time it would be held on the African continent, and would serve as a blueprint to advance China-Africa cooperation.

SABRI BOUKADOUM (Algeria) said that, with the adoption of the new global development Agenda and its financing framework, combined with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the relevant programmes of NEPAD, the continent was now equipped with the “right tools” to lift it out of poverty, and bring an end to its marginalization from global processes.  However, the progress in Africa had been hampered by several factors, including the Ebola outbreak, natural disasters, climate change and volatile commodity prices.  The adoption of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa was among the encouraging results produced by NEPAD.  On the Trans-Sahara highway and gas pipeline, which would link his country and Nigeria, he confirmed that the 4,500km stretch in Algeria was to be completed in 2016.  Its section of the optic fiber network extending via Niger to Nigeria had been completed and operational.  Africa’s income poverty had dropped from 46.6 per cent in 1990 to 39.6 per cent in 2011, but the pace of reduction remained too slow.  An enabling international environment and a revitalized global partnership were required for Africa to achieve its objectives.

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) aligned with the Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement, said that NEPAD had provided a vision and an over-arching socioeconomic development framework.  Since its adoption, Africa had recorded an average annual economic growth of 5 per cent.  Most African countries were on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal target of halving extreme poverty.  Malaria remained one of the major health challenges facing many African countries, however, and nationally, his country had taken many initiatives to combat the disease.  The Addis Ababa Action Agenda reaffirmed the importance of supporting NEPAD and the 2063 Agenda, he said, calling on development partners as well as the United Nations system to further strengthen their financial and technical support to implement the programmes.

VIRACHAI PLASAI (Thailand) said that, given the similar development paths of Thailand and Africa for many decades, his country was fostering cooperation with many nations there in the areas of sustainable agriculture, public health, education and human resources development.  The common goals of sustainable development could be achieved through South-South cooperation, in particular by exchanging experiences and best practices, consultation and policy coordination of policy direction.  Sustainable growth and development started with a healthy population.  The lessons from the Ebola outbreak should be put to good use.  Regarding malaria and other pandemics, Thailand had pledged $4.5 million from 2014 to 2016 to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and it stood ready to share its strategies that led to a significant reduction in the number of malaria cases and the malaria-related deaths.  Alongside many African nations, Thailand had contributed to conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts, including by participating in United Nations peacekeeping missions in Darfur and Liberia.  The Organization must do more to ensure political and social inclusiveness, respect for human rights and the right to development, sovereign equality, tolerance, good governance and the rule of law.  Towards that end, Thailand was seeking a non-permanent seat in the Security Council for 2017-2018.

BOGUSLAW WINID (Poland), aligning with the European Union’s statement, noted Poland’s contribution to the development of many African countries since their existence.  It had supported decolonization politically, and helped many African countries build their State institutions, educational systems and economies.  Thousands of African students had come to Poland through its scholarship programme and returned to their countries to assume important political and economic positions.  The former president of Mali and Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, and the former Prime Minister and Minister of Health of Namibia, Libertina Amathila, were two examples.  NEPAD’s ambitious initiatives in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, education, health and other areas needed greater financing from international development partners and African Governments.  As an active and responsible development partner, Poland would continue to support Africa in priority areas under the new Multiannual Development Cooperation Plan for 2016-2020: education, employment, sustainable agriculture and environment.  Africa also needed foreign direct investment to maintain rapid economic growth.  Poland supported development of the continent’s modern agriculture and fishery with technology transfers to several African countries, including Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria, the United Republic of Tanzania and Togo.  It also supported the joint economic initiative of Polish and African companies through the “Go Africa” Government programme, which helped to build business partnerships and encourage trade and people-to-people contacts.

INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy) said that the 2015 adoption of Agenda 2063 provided momentum to pursue a greater partnership.  Since the times of the Roman Empire, Italy had been a partner of Africa.  That partnership must keep its momentum.  More needed to be done to address the root causes that caused migrants to leave their homes and families.  Turning to economic issues, he said that developing countries had to benefit more from developed countries’ experience.  To achieve the goal of establishing an Italian development bank, there was a need to work together by sharing entrepreneurial know-how.  Africa was a continent of opportunity in a multipolar world.  It was of the utmost importance for the development of Africa to achieve a conflict-free continent.  The international community had to make efforts to help Africa succeed.  To do so the United Nations could play a critical role.  Italy would continue to do its part.

YOSHIFUMI OKAMURA (Japan) said that as 2015 was the year of development, it was an opportune year to rethink African development.  The topic of today’s discussion was peace and security in Africa.  Japan had been promoting those issues by regularly holding the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, of which the most recent had been held in 2013.  The conference process embodied characteristics that made it particularly valuable in the context of Africa’s development.  It was a partnership conference which focused on preserving and enhancing African ownership, and the agenda and programmes of the meeting were decided by listening to the voices of all African States.  The next conference would be held in Nairobi in 2016.  Economic prosperity rested on prolonged peace and stability.  As his country was elected Thursday to the Security Council for the period 2016-17, he expressed determination to engage in efforts to combat the root causes of conflict.

RICHARD NDUHUURA (Uganda), aligning himself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said the international community had made great efforts to support Africa.  Some countries on the continent had achieved the Millennium Development Goals on education, gender equality and HIV/AIDS, but challenges remained.  Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and malaria had put an enormous strain on the continent’s meagre resources.  The development of vaccines could alleviate that situation.  Whilst the research for a malaria vaccine was ongoing, the disease could be eradicated using proven methods but pharmaceutical wars were preventing that from happening.  On peace and security, he said that conflicts on the continent had retarded development.  Noting the commendable work of the Security Council in that regard, he added it must be reformed to respond to all threats in a timely and effective manner.  On Agenda 2063, he said that in order for it to be achieved, the resources and support of the international community was needed.  On the migrant and the refugee exodus from Africa into Europe, he said that the solution could not be found in the building of high walls but by solving the problem at its source.

BHAGWANT SINGH BISHNOI (India) said the 2030 Agenda’s emphasis on using financial and technological aid to support developing countries and rejuvenate global partnerships was in line with NEPAD’s priorities.  The international community needed to keep Africa’s priorities at the centre of its work as it put the new framework into action.  India had long-standing links with Africa; both had rapidly growing economies with demographic advantages and common development aspirations.  Their multifaceted development partnership represented South-South cooperation in all its dimensions, from human resources to financial assistance to technology collaborations and the deployment of peacekeeping troops.  Since 2011, India had given over 24,000 scholarships to African countries, including more than 300 training programmes at more than 60 institutions.  Indian-African trade had multiplied 20 times over the last 15 years, doubling in the last five years to $72 billion in 2014-2015.  Last year, India expanded its duty-free trade preference scheme for least developed countries, launched in 2008, to envelope 98 per cent of tariff lines.  The unilateral scheme extended to all sub-Saharan countries to help boost their exports to India.  Indian companies’ growing investment in Africa now reached $30 to $35 billion in many sectors.  Over the last decade, India’s Government had approved nearly $9 billion in concessional credit for nearly 140 projects in more than 40 African countries and nearly 60 projects had been completed.  India was hosting the third India-Africa Forum Summit from 26 October to 29 October and 54 African countries were expected to attend.  It would be the first summit since the adoption of Agenda 2063.

GERALD SCOTT (United States) expressed his country’s commitment, as a partner, to promoting food security, access to electricity and public health — investments that would help fuel Africa’s rise for generations to come.  Citing President Barack Obama’s speech to the African Union in July 2015, he reiterated that the challenges of the present time could not be met “without the voices and contributions of one billion Africans”.  The United States’ “Feed the Future” programme focused on increasing crop yields, which led to higher incomes, improved  nutrition, enhanced food security and stronger economies.  Its “Power Africa” programme was mobilizing billions of dollars in investments from Governments and businesses to reduce the number of Africans living without electricity.  His Government was also working with Africa to address the spectre of climate change.  He explained good governance was a central tenet of United States’ foreign assistance programmes, quoting President Obama as saying “nothing will unlock Africa’s economic potential more than ending the cancer of corruption.”  On the President’s Malaria Initiative, launched in 2005, investments in malaria prevention and control were positively impacting the lives of millions of children, pregnant women and families in Africa.  “It is a tremendous success story, yet it is still incomplete,” he said, expressing his Government’s commitment to further reduce malaria deaths.

OMAR A. A. ANNAKOU (Libya) associated with the Group of 77 and the African Group.  In light of what had been said, he noted the necessity of coordinating agendas.  There, NEPAD had a role to play; it could help Africa achieve ownership of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Those Goals should relate to regional and national plans while respecting cultural features.  Despite progress recorded in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the African continent was coping with a number of crises which undermined its ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  It was important for African States to be supported in facilitating investment and the transfer of technology.  With respect to the issue of peace and security in Africa, he noted that many on the continent were suffering from a deteriorating security situation, his country among them.  There could be no development without security and vice versa.  He reiterated the commitment of Libya to the achievement of political and economic stability in Africa, despite the instability his country was experiencing.

VITALY I. CHURKIN (Russian Federation), noting Africa’s significant success in the socioeconomic, scientific and technical development spheres, said that much of the credit should go to Africans themselves.  He attached great importance to NEPAD.  His country was in the lead when it came to debt forgiveness, with $20 billion of African debt written off so far.  In September 2014, the Russian Federation and the African Union signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance political cooperation.  His country was also cooperating with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and planned to enhance cooperation with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.  The most important prerequisite for Africa’s sustainable development was conflict prevention and resolution.  Timely reaction to emerging threats on the continent by the international community was important, but African countries should not be dictated to on how they should solve their own problems.  The Security Council had an important role in Africa’s peace and stability, but Africans should solve their problems themselves as they were the most informed of conditions on the ground.  He called for efforts to address conflicts in Sudan’s Darfur, Somalia, South Sudan and Mali.  The Russian Federation was training African peacekeepers and providing civil aviation equipment and services for peacekeeping missions in Africa.

OLOF SKOOG (Sweden) paid tribute to the leadership of the African Union and the African regional economic communities, underscoring the importance of partnership between the United Nations and regional organizations.  Giving an overview of Sweden’s cooperation with Africa, he said it had evolved into a strong partnership.  Sweden would support the continent’s efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous Africa bilaterally, as part of the European Union, and as part of the United Nations.  Africa’s claim for enhanced representation at the Security Council should be acted upon.  He said that Sweden was an avid supporter of the United Nations.  Tens of thousands of Swedes had served in numerous African peacekeeping missions, including in Mali.  Sweden had provided the sixth largest volume of voluntary contributions to the Organization, and was the largest contributor to United Nations development funds and humanitarian aid.  Underscoring the importance that Sweden attached to ODA, he announced that the country would step up its contribution to 1 per cent of its Gross National Income.

IBRAHIM ASSANE MAYAKI, Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD, said that NEPAD was central to the continent’s transformation and its role was ever more critical in the context of Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals.  Underscoring the importance of gender in Agenda 2063, he said that it was one of the most effective drivers of inclusive growth and the reduction of poverty.  The NEPAD-Spanish Fund for African Women’s Empowerment had benefitted over half a million women since its inception in 2007.  As Africa was the least integrated continent in the world, infrastructure development was a top priority.  Bridging the infrastructure gap was vital for economic advancement and sustainable development and could only be achieved through regional and continental cooperation.

Turning to corruption, he said that the Report of the United Nations High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa stated that the continent lost $50 billion through such flows.  To implement the Report’s recommendations, NEPAD organized the first ever regional dialogue on capacity-building for tax and mining administration officers in the West and Central Africa region.  The programme, designed for senior government officials, would contribute to improving tax policy design and better contract negotiation for extractive industries.  NEPAD was fully involved in advancing the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals and helping African countries meet their targets.  It was important to maintain “coherence and alignment” of the 2030 Agenda with the Agenda 2063 and its 10-year implementation plan.  Underscoring that the African Peer Review Mechanism was the “epicentre for deepening democracy” and the dissemination of best practices of African Union member States, he said that 35 members had voluntarily joined the Mechanism, 17 countries had been peer reviewed and a second-cycle review process was in the pipeline.

E. COURTENAY RATTRAY (Jamaica), speaking on behalf of Caribbean Community (CARICOM), highlighted the fraternal ties between his region and Africa and reiterated CARICOM’s support for an African-owned approach to growth and socioeconomic development.  The Community was heartened by the major development gains in Africa, but noted the challenges to be overcome, including the pursuit of peace and stability, combatting diseases — especially HIV/AIDS and malaria — and a long-term integrated investment approach by its international partners.

He expressed concern that despite extensive efforts in domestic resource mobilization, inadequate financing was a major challenge in all sectors which needed to be urgently addressed.  The international community must complement the continent’s efforts, including through additional financial support, technical assistance and capacity-building.  He urged development partners to step up efforts in meeting their ODA commitments.  Turning to governance, he said that the increased subscription by African countries to the African Peer Review Mechanism was a testament to the efficacy of that instrument in promoting good governance on the continent.  He reaffirmed the regional group’s commitment to collaborating with Africa in addressing the challenges to peace and development.

OSAMA ABDELKHALEK MAHMOUD (Egypt) associated with the Group of 77 and the African Group.  NEPAD represented Africa’s aspirations to take matters into its own hands, and it had received impetus as it became a vehicle of implementation of Agenda 2063.  Calling for increased international support for NEPAD’s programmes, he reiterated the importance of the fulfilment of commitments made to Africa under the agenda.  African development needed, among other measures, technology transfer.  Africa needed the support of the international community in the recovery of illicitly transferred assets.  On the matter of malaria, he noted that nearly half of affected countries were now disease-free.  The international community had to make sure those gains were preserved.

JEANNE D’ARC BYAJE (Rwanda), aligning herself with the Group of 77 and the African Group, said that despite economic crises, conflicts and terrorism, there was hope for the African continent.  Lessons learned from hardship had given the continent tools to confront adversity.  African economies had undergone a rapid transformation.  One million people had been lifted out of poverty in a five-year period in her country and it was on course to meet all eight of the Millennium Development Goals.  Underscoring the nexus between security and development, she said that Rwanda had achieved much in establishing a climate of peace and security for all.  Good governance structures, economic and social development and inclusive development had led to it becoming one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent.  Turning to gender and youth, she emphasized the role of women in the Agenda 2063, adding that youth comprised  more than 70 per cent of the population of many African countries and would play a very important role in the social, economic and cultural spheres.  Investment in job creation was crucial in that regard.  She underscored the importance of honouring ODA commitments.

KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV (Kazakhstan) said his country had given substantial humanitarian aid to the Central African Republic and Somalia, allocated funds to the region during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and was establishing its own overseas development agency, KazAid.  The agency would focus on financial aid and the transfer of knowledge as Kazakhstan also believed in learning from African countries.  Peace, development and security in Africa were a priority in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy and it would be increasingly involved in peacekeeping operations.  Kazakh military observers were now serving in peacekeeping missions in Africa.  Kazakhstan would invest in development to reduce conflicts and strengthen the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office.  Energy would impact the international community’s collective security, he said, and Kazakhstan looked forward to significant African input at the Astana EXPO 2017.  With its theme “Future Energy”, the exposition would showcase innovations in the global energy industry and serve as Kazakhstan’s contribution to the “Sustainable Energy for All” Initiative.  The 2015 Astana Economic Forum’s special session, “Africa as the Next Driver of the Global Economy”, brought experts from Kazakhstan and Africa together.  The Forum’s World Anti-Crisis Plan would hand Africa guidance and require a rethinking of the financial architecture to help produce justice, democracy, competitiveness, effectiveness and international control.

GEIR O. PEDERSEN (Norway) said there were many reasons to be optimistic about the continent’s future, given the great progress made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and strong economic growth there.  But fundamental challenges remained, such as inequality, poverty, unemployment, and its vulnerability to external shocks and effects of climate change.  His country supported Africa’s fight against poverty through investments, trade, capacity-building and aid.  The Secretary-General made a strong case for a holistic approach addressing security, development and human rights.  Yet, more emphasis must also be placed on conflict prevention.  Agenda 2063 was an example of such an approach.  He commended the African Union to make 2016 “the Year of Human Rights and Women’s Rights in particular”.  Norway and the African Union Commission had signed a memorandum of understanding in January, agreeing to strengthen their collaboration in peace and security, democracy and governance, and sustainable development and job creation.  The visions and objectives outlined in Agenda 2063 mirrored those of Norway.

MWABA PATRICIA KASESE-BOTA (Zambia) said that malaria remained a major health concern in her country, disproportionately affecting children under the age of five, pregnant women, the vulnerable and the poor.  Policy and legal frameworks had been put in place to remove obstacles to implementing interventions for eliminating malaria.  Main preventive measures included indoor spraying and long-lasting anti-insect nets.  Her Government had continued to implement three key steps — improving surveillance and reporting at health facility level; implementing mass screening and treatment campaigns; and using an active case detection system for community-level surveillance.  Zambia reduced the number of malaria deaths of people age 5 or above from 31 per 1,000 healthcare facility admissions in 2012 to 18 in 2013.  Her Government aimed to increase access to potential victims through the use of community structures.  To reduce the cost of anti-malaria drugs, forging more partnerships in the local manufacturing of such drugs and insecticide-treated nets was necessary.

LEVENT ELER (Turkey) said that despite the challenges facing the continent there were notable successes and there was greater “African ownership in African matters”.  In 2008 the African Union had declared Turkey a strategic partner.  The Second Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit in Malabo in 2014 had adopted a 2015-2019 joint implementation plan thus cementing their partnership.  Highlighting the nexus between peace and development, he said the 2030 Agenda could not be achieved without security.  Demographic changes on the African continent necessitated the empowerment of youth and women.  Turkey’s cooperation with Africa was through humanitarian and development assistance, by supporting capacity- and institution-building.  Turkey was providing assistance to sub-Saharan Africa, including to Somalia.  He called upon all States to attend the High-Level Partnership Forum on Somalia which would be held in Istanbul in 2016.

HUSSEIN ABDALLAH (Nigeria), associating with the African States, reiterated the need for the international community to continue to pay attention to the nexus between peace, security and development.  As the world became more complex and interconnected, so too did challenges faced by the international community.  In Nigeria, the challenge of terrorism by a faceless group, Boko Haram, had caused hardship and destruction in the northern part of country.  The regional peace and security structure had to be strengthened to respond.  Nigeria had always emphasized regional initiatives to address conflicts in Africa, believing that a multidimensional approach would lead to surmounting common security challenges.  Urging the United Nations to continue to collaborate with NEPAD to achieve development effectiveness, he extolled the African Peer Review Mechanism as a unique self-monitoring tool that should be fully supported by the international community.

DAVID ROET (Israel) said that with 70 per cent of Africa’s population under the age of 30, the continent’s future would be shaped by its dynamic and vibrant youth.  The 2030 Agenda would present a new road map, which would allow the international community to take the necessary steps to rid the word of extreme poverty once and for all.  Israel’s experience showed that the smartest investment that reaped the greatest returns was investment in women and youth.  Reviewing national partnerships with countries in Africa, he said that if the international community could work together to harvest tomorrow’s potential today, a prosperous and peaceful Africa would be guaranteed tomorrow.

For information media. Not an official record.