REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE WORK OF THE ORGANIZATION: BRIEFING ON HIS PRIORITIES FOR 2022
STATEMENT BY THE CHAIR OF THE AFRICAN GROUP,
H.E AMBASSADOR MARTIN KIMANI, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA TO THE UN
21 JANUARY 2022 at 10:00AM
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Mr. Secretary General,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. On behalf of the African Group, I have the honor to offer these remarks on the Secretary General’s priorities for 2022 and the work of the organization.
2. The Secretary General has called for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to be the overarching aim of this year. The African Group concurs, and will support all fair, ambitious and practical efforts undertaken to design and deliver this healing.
3. Africa is experiencing its worst economic recession in 25 years, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic numbers should not hide their meaning. Millions of jobs have been lost. Hope for a better tomorrow has dimmed. The effects are tearing at the social and political fabric that needs strengthening if we are to achieve peace throughout our continent.
4. Recovery for Africa will therefore mean stronger and more shared economic growth. A critical input to achieving it is a surge in affordable and accessible financing in 2022, and in the coming years. Growth, the production of goods and services, and the resulting jobs, are the surest solutions and enablers to solving a host of threats and crises we are experiencing.
5. We urge the Secretary General in his advocacy for recovery to put sustainable development at the heart of our conversation and actions.
6. We left COP-26 in Glasgow with the commitments from Paris not met. What we heard from many leaders of the countries most responsible for climate change differed radically from their delegations negotiating positions. Trust was weak before Glasgow; it became even more feeble after.
7. We urge those states in 2022 to reconsider their positions on climate change adaptation and energy justice for Africa or risk the eventual unraveling of the global response.
8. Many of us in this hall recall the energy and time our delegations poured into crafting and agreeing the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. Let 2022 be a year that recovers our finest selves when we made those commitments for transformative global change.
9. It will need to be a year in which Africa accesses affordable and sufficient funding to strengthen economic production and basic services delivered by competent governments. This will require grant financing and also concerted efforts to lower the risk premiums being demanded of African borrowers that are sharply out of keeping with the actual risk.
10. It should also be the year when the United Nations undertakes every effort to assist Africa achieve the rich promise of the African Continental Free Trade Area.