GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEBATE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICA: STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE AFRICAN GROUP


Agenda Item 68: New Partnership for Africa’s Development: Progress in the Implementation and International Support

And

Agenda item 13 – Decade to Role Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa

United Nations General Assembly Hall, New York


19 OCTOBER, 2018




Mme President,


I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the African Group and would like to align with the statement that will be delivered by Egypt on behalf of G77 and China.


2. We welcome the SG’s reports on the items under discussion. We appreciate the Secretary-General for his leadership and continued commitment in placing Africa’s agenda at the heart of the United Nations Development System. It is a testimony to the valuable partnership that has continued to exist between the African Union and the United Nations.

Mme President,


3. This year’s General Debate coincided with the Africa Dialogue Series. It presents a valuable occasion to highlight the synergies between the processes and the seriousness that must be attached to the developmental needs of the continent. There is no doubt that UN-AU partnerships for Africa's Development is a key tool in strengthening the complementarities and accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the 2063 Agenda. We are glad that OSAA has adopted a new approach this year for the Africa Dialogue series and we commend their efforts in advancing Africa’s development agenda. Perhaps, this synergy and balance is fundamental to addressing the special development needs of our continent. As such, it should be sustained and improved upon in the coming years.


Mme President,


4. The Group appreciates the valuable analysis, information and policy recommendations contained in the Secretary General's reports. They are critical issues in the debate and advocacy for Africa’s inclusive growth and sustainable development. Since the adoption, by the African Heads of State and Government, of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD has continued to reflect Africa’s vision and strategic framework for political and socioeconomic transformation on various priority areas, including agriculture and food security, climate change and natural resource management, as well as regional integration and infrastructure. NEPAD has remained committed to facilitating and implementing Africa’s priority programmes, and the consolidation of positive policies initiatives already taken my African member States for continental transformation. We seize this opportunity to express appreciation to our development partners for their assistance in the progress the continent has made in the implementation of its various programmes and projects. We further request all partners to support efforts by African countries, to promote and maintain macroeconomic stability including through the facilitation of the development and transfer of technology to African countries.


5. Indeed, the existence of global digital divide, highlight the need for further investment and allocation of adequate resources in order to prevent Africa from being left behind on the path to the “information society” as warned in the SG’s report. We note the findings of the SG’s report particularly the existence of obstacles to the realization of the full potential of the application of ICTS, especially in Africa. The harmonization of the policy and regulatory framework in the ICT sector is gaining momentum in the continent and the African Union is putting much effort in that direction. We therefore, call on the international community to take relevant steps towards achieving a people-centered, development-oriented information society that is comprehensive in its inclusivity, and committed to the Tunis Agenda.


6. The African Group notes with great satisfaction, that the report of the SG emphasized that agriculture remains at the center of Africa’s development agenda. As indicated in the report, Africa has enormous agriculture potential. The continent boosts of the largest share of the world’s uncultivated fertile land, abundant water resources and proximity to transportation links and regional markets. It is therefore natural that Agriculture forms a significant portion of the economies of all African countries. As a sector with potentials to create jobs for African youths and thus improve their livelihoods, we are convinced that with adequate investment, African agriculture can contribute to intra-Africa trade and development, and economic diversification. However, to eradicate poverty, which remains an overarching goal for the African Group, such assistance and investment must be socially responsible, environmentally sustainable, and ultimately beneficial to all including small-holder farmers.

Madame President,


7. The signing, in 2017, of the Joint UN-AU Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security and the follow-up signing in January, 2018, of AU-UN Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, demonstrates the commitment of the two organizations to align their cooperation to priorities areas. In this regard the group stresses the necessity to promote an effective and efficient implementation, follow up and review of both frameworks to maximize its impact and results on the ground. I should like to stress that a multifaceted approach, involving the mobilization of sources and the strengthening of global partnership for development, is required to achieve this lofty objective.


8. Sustainable Development is a collective opportunity and responsibility that should be achieved through multilateral cooperation, the honoring of international commitments and the provision of means of implementation support to developing countries. We are concerned about the growing debt crisis and we request assistance to ensure that our volatility is curtailed. In this connection, we request assistance to strengthen the national capacities of African States to source revenue that can be utilized to boost growth and development. It is also important that Developed countries and ODA providers continue to uphold their commitments, in keeping with their previous undertakings, to scale up ODA efforts.


9. The African Group agree with the Secretary Geeral that illicit financial flows deprives the continent of vital resources for financing its development priorities. Stopping illicit flows and repatriating illicit assets and funds to countries of origin will provide the region with increased resources to finance health, education, infrastructure and critical development needs. We urge development partners to support efforts by the African Union and African countries to bring a stop to this menace through improved transparency in the tax system as well as disclosing the full beneficial ownership structure of companies.


10. The African Group further agree with the SG that disasters and the effects of climate change severely affect vulnerable regions and populations, particularly those from Africa. Africa is essentially as a disadvantaged position in the pursuit of sustainable development. As such, increased international assistance in the areas of financing, trade, technology transfer and debt relief will be essential for supporting African countries in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. We appeal to the international community to enhance support and fulfill its commitments by taking further actions in areas critical to Africa’s economic and social development.


11. We note the negative impact of gender disparity manifesting in culture and norms in some African countries. While the leaders of the region continue to take steps to address this challenge in the interest of all, the African Union, through its various educational initiatives, and the African Peer Review Mechanism shall continue to push in the right direction on this very sensitive issue.


Finally madam Chair,


12. Peace, security and good governance are of upmost priority in all development process. While Africa has experienced a period of sustained economic growth and social progress in the past two decades, the effects of wars and violent crimes still persist. We request the United Nations system, Partners and indeed all Member States to continue to assist African countries emerging from conflict in their efforts to build national capacities, by fulfilling commitments relevant to the achievement of enabling environment for peace, security, and sustainable development in Africa.


I thank you.

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