34th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 70th Session

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16-Oct-2015 02:49:02
General Assembly Praises African Union’s Agenda 2063, Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals as Comprehensive Blueprint for Africa’s Advancement.
Seventieth Session, 34th meeting (AM)

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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.
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