Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation , Mrs. Ebun Jusu, has been in New York for the past two weeks attending the various debates at Commiittee level of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly . Yesterday, the Deputy Foreign Minister addressed the UN General Assembly at the Joint Debate of The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
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Sierra Leone fully associates with the statements read by Kenya on behalf of the African Group, Argentina on behalf of the G 77 and China and Nepal on behalf of the LDCs.
DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER EBUN JUSU ADDRESSES THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
We join other delegations in thanking the Secretary-General for his comprehensive and forward-looking reports. My delegation further express its appreciation to the Special Adviser on Africa, Under Secretary-General Cheikh Sidi Diarra and his dedicated team for their advisory and advocacy work in promoting Africa’s development agenda.
SIERRA LEONE ‘S DELEGATION AT THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY YESTERDAY : FROM RIGHT-FRONT ROW: THE DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER; MRS. FYLE; SHEKU MISALI; BACK ROW FROM LEFT AMBASSADOR RASIE KARGBO BRIAN LOGAN AND MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY KABS KANU
We are reviewing reports on the progress of implementation of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Secretary general on the Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa, and the Rollback Malaria Programme, at a very crucial and challenging moment in global peace and security, and economic architecture.
IN THIS PHOTO FIRST FROM RIGHT -SECOND ROW-BRIAN LOGAN.
The tenth anniversary of NEPAD provides an opportunity for deeper reflection on the success and challenges in actualizing Africa’s transformation agenda and how to leverage the various opportunities to advance sustainable development in Africa.
Clearly, the entire global community is grappling with the deepening effect of an unprecedented economic and financial crisis – a crisis that undoubtedly has a much graver impact on the developing world. In particular, the least developed countries’ most of which are in Africa remain challenged with the task of attaining internationally agreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the target date of 2015.
Despite the gloom, there are visible prospects in the horizon. With the support of the international community, significant progress has been made in fostering the objectives of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. With accelerated growth over the last decade, improvement in governance, the specter of conflict receding and improvement in leadership, it is clear that Africa is at a critical turning point. Steady progress is also recorded in malaria control and prevention mechanisms with many households sleeping under treated mosquito bed nets. As a further commitment, some African Heads of States, including the President of Sierra Leone, committed to reaching the
United Nations Secretary-General’s goal of ensuring universal access to malaria control interventions launched the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) with the goal of ending preventable malaria deaths by 2015.
The integration of NEPAD into the African Union is a milestone in advancing the socio-economic transformation agenda of the continent. It provides a window for strategic partnership to explore areas of cooperation to address such global challenges as the debt issue, climate change, trade and regional integration and sustainable development.
We are encouraged by the ongoing implementation of NEPAD projects ranging from the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, infrastructure, the environment, gender mainstreaming, education and training in information and communication technologies. At the level of governance, advances in the implementation of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) demonstrate the continent’s resolve and commitment in promoting democracy, good governance, peace and stability in the continent. Worthy of note and commendation is its early warning system of impending threats to peace and stability in Africa.
In order to build on these gains and further strengthen our development strides, we urge African countries to increase domestic savings and lessen dependence on foreign aid. In that regard, Foreign Direct Investment, aimed at creating public private partnerships and a vibrant private sector remains a viable option in addressing unemployment and under employment as well as promoting socio-economic development. Among the key strategic issues, it is important to support continental resource mobilization and public-private partnerships to finance the implementation of NEPAD. African governments, national and regional institutions including the Regional Economic Communities need to be strengthened in their developmental role in support of promoting intra-Africa trade and other key objectives.
In this regard, my delegation calls upon the NEPAD Agency to focus the next decade on implementation aimed at improving Africa’s global standing and on improving the linkages with the continent’s regional economic communities. The February 2010 14th African Union Assembly decision to integrate NEPAD into the structures and processes of the AU added further impetus to the role of NEPAD as the continent’s flagship development programme. Also the establishment of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) as a technical body of the African Union to replace the NEPAD Secretariat as the new Agency performing the role of the main institutional vehicle to deliver the vision and agenda of NEPAD is also a significant milestone.
On our part as a country, despite the present food and economic crises, Sierra Leone has made tremendous progress in implementing its Agenda for Change which is aligned with the UN Joint Vision for Sierra Leone.This development and peace building framework sets clear priorities targeting drivers of growth and necessary conditions for human development in key areas such as energy, agriculture, infrastructure, health, youth unemployment and education. The strategies for delivering these priorities include among other things, improving the capacity of the public service, enhancing public and private sector partnerships as well as our domestic financial system. And it is in this regard that we are intensifying our cooperation within the triangular and South-South Cooperation.
There is an increasing awareness that the responsibility for peace and security in Africa, including the capacity to address the root causes of conflict and to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner, lies primarily with African countries themselves. The African Union, and the sub regional organizations have undertaken to strengthen their capacity in conflict prevention and resolution. They are also taking the lead in peacekeeping operations in the continent. The peaceful independence referendum in Southern Sudan, the adoption of a new constitution in Kenya, the transition of Guinea and Niger from military to civilian rule, resolving post-elections crisis in Ivory Coast, responding to the humanitarian situation caused by drought in the horn of Africa, actively seeking peaceful resolution of the uprisings in some parts of North Africa and the peacekeeping efforts in Darfur and Somalia are clear indications of the continent’s preparedness to rise to the occasion with the much-needed support from the international community and the United Nations.
While these efforts are on-going, we are also witnessing a new wave of challenges involving violent protests and uprisings, trans-national organized crime and narcotic drug trafficking, piracy, issues of governance, human rights and corruption. Furthermore, while the reduction of extreme poverty and hunger remains the main development challenge, most African countries are also grappling with the problem of youth bulge and unemployment, climate change, and inadequate productive capacity. These challenges frustrate efforts by African countries to achieve the MDGs.
Thus, the need to forge coordinated partnerships to strengthen capacities to respond to crises and security threats associated with the above challenges, particularly in conflict and post-conflict countries, remain vital in ensuring durable peace.
It is in this respect that my delegation commends the 2010 comprehensive review of the implementation of the 1998 Recommendations of the Secretary General on the Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa, in the light of new and emerging issues affecting human security in Africa. In that regard, my delegation notes the policy proposals and recommendations in the Secretary General’s present report A/66/214 – S/2011/476.
The Doha Round remains stalled with various international commitments, including those made at Monterrey and Gleneagles, yet to be fulfilled. Slower progress is recorded in addressing poverty reduction, unemployment, environmental sustainability and most health-related goals. And, factors such as the additional burden posed by the adverse impact of the global financial, food, energy crises and climate change; and weak unemployment growth in the continent have constrained achievement of the MDGs. We therefore call upon our partners to intensify efforts in:
Eliminating distorting trade barriers by promoting and facilitating market access to developing countries, especially the least developed;
Delivering on their commitment to achieve the ODA target of 0.7% and 0.15% for the developing and least developing countries respectively; and
Addressing the unsustainable debt burden of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries.
In concluding, allow me to reiterate Sierra Leone’s commitment to furthering the objectives of NEPAD, the promotion of good governance, sustainable peace and development in the continent.
I thank you for your kind attention.