GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICA: STATEMENT BY H.E. SABRI BOUKADOUM

New York, 19th October 2018 الجـزائـر Algeria بعثة الجــزائــر الدائمــة لــدى الأمــم المتحدة نیویورك




Madam President,

The joint debate on NEPAD at the UNGA is as you know very important to my continent and my country cherishes this opportunity to share its views with the whole membership. The NEPAD agency remains the technical arm of the African Union, in coordination with other structures of the Union and with regional economic communities.


I start by saying that further to the statements made by the distinguished representatives of Egypt and Morocco, respectively on behalf of the G77+China and the African Group, with which we align ourselves; I’d like to add the following remarks:


We note with deep appreciation most of the findings and recommendations contained in the three reports of the Secretary-General, namely the sixteenth consolidated progress report on implementation and international support, the report on Cause of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa and the biannual report on the Review of the implementation of the commitments made towards Africa’s development.


I wish to thank the Office of the Special Advisor on Africa for the dedication and most valuable work in enhancing international support for Africa’s development. I also wish to commend the work of the Economic Commission for Africa and call for enhanced cooperation in this regard with the African Union.


1/ Regarding the consolidated progress report on implementation and international support to NEPAD, we consider its findings as encouraging since it shows the continued progress made by African countries in the implementation of the NEPAD priorities, particularly in infrastructure, agriculture, education, gender mainstreaming and governance.


2/ As for actions of the African countries and organizations, we agree that infrastructure is an enabler for the continent’s industrialization and regional integration. It is a positive development that the NEPAD Agency is hosting the project implementation for the African Integrated HighSpeed Railway Network, aiming at interconnecting all African capitals.


3/ While there are ideas right now to connect South Africa to Algeria through railway. It is now almost possible to take the car from Algiers to Lagos through the Trans-Sahara Highway project. It aims at linking between themselves more than 400 million people, spread over more than 6 million km2. This project will allow the landlocked countries of the Sahel, including Mali, Niger and Chad, to have direct access to the Mediterranean.


4/ Health issues are also crucial, and we appreciate that 12 of the 55 Member States of the African Union have reviewed or are in the process of reviewing their national laws on medicine regulation in line with the African Union model law. We hope that more countries will undertake this alignment process in the coming years.


5/ We strongly appreciate that the NEPAD Agency continues to support efforts by African countries to achieve gender parity in education and to support the implementation of gender 3 equality and women’s empowerment at the national, regional and sub-regional levels. Algeria is amongst the leaders in its region on this issue.


6/ Coming to the response of the international community, I note with some concern that ODA data for Africa for 2017 were not available at the time of reporting. Let me insist on the importance of having such data in next NEPAD reports. Available ODA data for Africa in the report show ODA for Africa decreasing by 1.3% in 2016. We hope most recent data will be positive.


7/ We agree that in light of the persistent unbalances in African labor markets and high youth unemployment, African countries must take measures to equip students with the requisite skills and training with the labor markets. Youth employment is an important component to prevent conflicts, and this brings me to the report on Cause of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.


8/ The report indicates that the past two decades have witnessed remarkable progress and the emergence of a new African narrative in all areas. Africa is driving its own agenda in rising to meet its peace and development challenges, and this achievement, we believe, is certainly the result of the African Union outstanding efforts. The United Nations and development partners have also contributed to this success.


9/ We noted with appreciation that the Peacebuilding Fund provided seed funding for some components of the UN Support Plan for the Sahel. We would be interest to have information in the next report on what the United Nations and development partners are doing in supporting the implementation of the Algiers accord for peace and reconciliation in Mali. We invite the UN Secretary-General to focus on this aspect in its next report.


10/ We concur that conflict prevention is ultimately about Member States capability to build resilience to violent conflicts. And indeed the UN, the AU and regional economic communities and their respective mechanisms play a tremendous role in those efforts in developing their respective comprehensive and coherent conflict preventions strategies and tools in that regard.


11/ It is imperative for the AU, the NEPAD, the African Peer Review Mechanism, the African Development Bank and the regional economic communities to enhance their work on prevention.


12/ The newly established UN-AU Annual Conference, the desk-to-desk consultations, the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa and the UN interdepartmental task force on African affairs provide without doubt useful platforms for improving consultation, information exchange and joint planning in efforts to foster coordinated support for Africa’s peace and development priorities.


13/ Regarding the third report where impact and challenges are highlighted in four thematic areas critical to the implementation of Agendas 2063 and 2030. Namely industrialization and regional integration; health, water and sanitation; climate change; and financing for sustainable development.


14/ I like first to commend Africa’s traditional, new and emerging development partners.


15/ We agree with almost all the conclusions and recommendations, however regarding health, water and sanitation area recommendation to development partners, we wonder why scaling up long-term predictable and sustainable health financing is limited only to South-South cooperation. We believe that this should be broaden to all forms of international cooperation.


16/ On financing for development, we echo the need for development partners to increase ODA to Africa, in line with the scale of the challenges facing the continent Madam President, Thanks to its immense potential, both in human and natural resources, Africa is the future of the world. Africa is a thriving continent that is on the right tracks despite real and evident setbacks and uncertainties. Africa needs now to jump-start its development and its started to do so thanks to national, regional and continental multiple endeavors. Africa needs to be respected and seen as a partner, and not as a source of problems or a threat to others. History shows that the whole world still owes to repair the woes. Cooperation, mutual respect, genuine partnership and solidarity are more than ever required. I thank you for your attention.

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