African States need more support to handle economic and climate crises, UN hears

21 September 2011

Africa needs the support and solidarity of developed countries to activate its economy and provide assistance to victims of climate change, Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo told the General Assembly today.

Mr. Obiang noted that Africa has been hardly hit by the world economic crisis, and that even though the continent has great economic and human potential, Africa’s participation in world markets is still very small.

“Africa needs economic and technological support that is capable of transforming its enormous resources, which will not only contribute to its accelerated development, but will also contribute to the economic stability of its partners,” he told the Assembly’s annual general debate.

In addition to the economic crisis, Mr. Obiang said the African continent is facing the devastating effects of climate change, natural disasters, droughts, famine and diseases that have affected millions.

“The African Union has recently organised a donor conference to support the Horn of Africa victims, [with] Somalia being one of the most affected countries. The African Union is committed to face this emergency, but we still need the friendly hand of the international community.”

The Equatorial Guinean President pressed developed nations to fulfil their obligations to the Kyoto Protocol and to compensate developing countries for the damages caused by global warming.

He also stated that women, children and young people have been hit the hardest by the economic and climate crises and that helping them was essential to ensure future development and progress across the continent.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Obiang also met today, and the Secretary-General reiterated the UN’s commitment to support efforts to settle the long-standing border dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

 

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