REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE AFRICA GROUP
PERMANENT REPRESANTIVE OF SOUTH SUDAN TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE INFORMAL PLENARY MEETING OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL
TO COMMEMORATE NELSON MANDELA INTERNATIONAL DAY
18 JULY 2019
President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Africa Group. The group is greatly thankful to the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General for organizing this important annual meeting under the theme “Action against Poverty”.
Indeed, Nelson Mandela remains one of the world’s most prolific leader and greatest human being whose legacy continue to motivate the importance of doing good to help humans, other beings and the environment. A visionary of note that aspired to see Africa that is integrated, prosperous and peaceful. Guided by his spirit, Africa continues to fight against poverty as outlined in Agenda 2063.
Mandela would have been proud to see Africa’s collective endeavour in the launching of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which could potentially create economic development in a magnitude not seen before and place the continent firmly on its industrialization trajectory. This is the man who was a keen promoter of African economic integration. Notwithstanding, achieving this vision requires battling with the most pressing challenges to integration, prosperity and peace, including poverty, violence, corruption and inefficiencies.
The world should continue to draw leadership lessons from this global icon and father of democratic South Africa, in order to eventually eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions.
When Nelson Mandela took office, he inherited a fundamentally bankrupt state that had been isolated through economic sanctions, with high levels of unemployment and inequality that persist until today. But under his leadership, South Africa made strides in combating poverty and promoting socio-economic development.
His underlying goal was to deliver on the promises of the 1955 Freedom Charter, which laid out the people’s democratic demands for equality, education, human rights and socio-economic development. It is indeed difficult to find words to describe his huge contribution to the stability and progress in South Africa's early years of democracy after 1994.
Unquestionably, his leadership qualities were tested, but he showed steadfastness in focusing on nation-building and the development of pragmatic economic policy which were critical in building investors’ confidence.
In addressing challenges of poverty, Africa needs to continue to seek collaborations on programmes that would sustainably lift millions of people out of it, like maintaining basic amenities, reliable power supply, health facilities, travel infrastructure and education. Regrettably the continent has continued to experience waves of challenges that present a major hindrance to peace, security and development. As such we should all strive to emulate Nelson Mandela whose’ ethical and moral leadership can be a prerequisite for development and for achieving Agenda 2063 which include
accountable and efficient governance.
In order to defeat poverty, we must recommit to the ideal of a just, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and fair world. We must revive the values that Nelson Mandela stood for. We must demonstrate mutual respect, tolerance, understanding and reconciliation in our relations; which is the cornerstone of the United Nations and above all, we must always remember that it is our individual actions that count most.
I thank you!