The President of the United Nations General Assembly today underlined the need to devote increased financial and technical resources to priority areas of African development, particularly agriculture, to increase the potential of States on the continent to achieve their goals.
Echoing the report of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Joseph Deiss told an Assembly meeting that it is also necessary to accelerate the empowerment of women and the establishment of a business climate more favourable to the development of the private sector in Africa.
“I invite you to consider and comment on all the conclusions and recommendations in the report of the Secretary-General. I believe that it is important to stress that these recommendations call for a true spirit of partnership since they are addressed both to development partners and to African countries,” Mr. Deiss said.
He said that increased monitoring is essential in the five years before the 2015 deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the targets to slash hunger, poverty, disease and a host of other social and economic ills – to ensure mutual accountability and commitments have concrete effects for disadvantaged populations.
In his report on NEPAD, released in February, Mr. Ban said global food and energy crises and climate change, coupled with the financial and economic crises, have eroded economic and social gains made in Africa over the past decade.
He said that the adverse social consequences of these crises are likely to remain for much longer in Africa, even after the recovery gathers pace in advanced countries, and recommended that African countries bear the main responsibility for their own development by continuing to integrate and mainstream NEPAD priorities – such as infrastructure, agriculture and food security, science and technology, trade, and environment – into their national development plans.
The Secretary-General urged the international community to help African countries to address the challenge of climate change by raising the resources needed to support adaptation and mitigation actions.