Mr. President of the 76th UN General Assembly, Excellency Abdulahi Shahid;
Mr. President-elect of the 77th UN General Assembly, His Excellency Mr. Csaba Kőrösi;
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Gutteres;
Excellencies and Dear Colleagues;
1. It is with great honour that I deliver this statement on behalf of the Africa Group of Member States, at this very important informal interaction with the President-elect of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.
2. At the outset, and on behalf of the Africa Group, I would like to congratulate His Excellency Mr. Csaba Kőrösi on his election to lead the UNGA at its 77th Session.
3. The 77th Session of the GA coincides with very trying times because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and more importantly, the war in Ukraine and its attendant food and energy insecurity the world is dealing with.
4. We are hopeful that your wealth of experience would be beneficial in aiding our collective efforts to safely traverse the journey during and beyond these trying times.
5. We are particularly encouraged to note that you personally recognize the enormous weight of the leadership of the UN and your commitment to ensuring that we outlive these challenges and come out stronger. The Africa Group will continue to support the PGA office in that regard.
6. In the same breadth, the Africa Group takes this opportunity to pay tribute to you, Your Excellency Ambassador Abdullahi Shahid, as outgoing President of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly for your decisive leadership, particularly during these peculiar times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
7. Against all odds, during the 76th Session you skilfully charted new grounds for exemplary leadership in crises, and thus set an unprecedented tone that will define the future functioning of our delicate intergovernmental processes in many ways in the years to come on which your successor would build upon.
9. As Africa Group, we have listened very attentively to the President-elect previously during the townhall held prior to his election and we the African Group has also carefully studied the President-elect’s Vision Statement.
10. The Africa Group took note of the pledges, principles and the priorities identified therein as they are aligned with the Africa Union theme for this year: “Nutrition”
12. By way of emphasis, the Africa Group wishes to highlight the following non-exhaustive list of issues which deserve continued attention during the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly:
i) First and foremost, it must be stressed that independence, impartiality and integrity are key to enable the PGA to successfully conduct his functions and responsibilities.
ii) The Development of Africa is a standing integral part of the identified eight (8) main priorities of the UN for many years, as again reaffirmed in many General Assembly resolutions. The Africa Group therefore counts on the good leadership of the President-elect to maintain this dedicated attention on Africa across all the pillars of the programme of work of the organization, including on allocation of requisite resources for the critical programmes.