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UN Assembly declares support for new African initiative for continent's development

UN Assembly declares support for new African initiative for continent's development

The United Nations General Assembly today declared its support for a new African initiative for economic development on the continent that stresses peace and stability, good governance, democracy and respect for human rights.

Following a daylong high-level meeting, which saw the participation of 10 African heads of State and Government and senior officials from dozens of other countries, the Assembly adopted a resolution hailing the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) as an African Union-led, -owned and -managed initiative.

"We welcome the commitment of African countries to take effective and concrete measures, [among others], through the establishment of various institutional mechanisms and the development of strategies, for the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development," the resolution said. "This commitment reflects the recognition that the primary responsibility for the implementation of the New Partnership rests with the African Governments and peoples."

The resolution also affirmed that international support for the implementation of NEPAD is essential, acknowledging the support expressed or provided so far and urging the UN and the international community, particularly donor countries, to help with putting the partnership into practice.

In a statement at the outset of the debate, UN General Assembly President Jan Kavan said that with the NEPAD initiative, a new approach was set in motion. For the first time, development needs and objectives were identified and defined by African countries themselves.

"The NEPAD initiative, incorporating a complex matrix of key social, economic and political priorities, is a collective pledge by the leaders of Africa," he said, "based on a common vision and a firm and shared belief that they have a duty to address the development challenges facing their individual countries and the continent as a whole."