Helping developing countries make progress in eradicating extreme poverty is the most pressing issue that the international community faces today, the President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, told the United Nations General Assembly today.
“The annual victims of hunger and diseases, which are mainly in developing countries, surpass the number of casualties caused by military confrontations,” President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said in his statement at the 67th Assembly’s General Debate, which began at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
He added, “The negative effects of illiteracy, lack of shelter and malnutrition, typical of underdeveloped countries, are greater than the effects produced by catastrophes and natural disasters.”
The Equatorial Guinea leader called on the United Nations to adopt special programmes for the world’s least developed countries, so they can build the basic infrastructure needed to boost development in their countries, and stressed that developed countries must commit to support these programmes, which would also serve as a cooperation platform among affected countries.
Equatorial Guinea is making strides in its economic development programme, he noted, adding that the country aspires to become an emerging economy by 2020.
A programme to improve the country’s infrastructure is now in place, the President said, and added that other in-depth political reforms will help accelerate his nation’s rapid evolution and guarantee that Government mechanisms give wide liberties to citizens while also protecting human rights.
In addition, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, like many other African leaders addressing the General Assembly, voiced his support for Security Council reform so that it reflects African membership.
“Africa claims its rights to be included in the Security Council. Africa wants to participate in the decision-making processes that affect its future,” he said. “With everyone’s participation, we would be able to adopt measures that can decrease the tendency of unilateralism and hegemony in international relations and mitigate those policies that threaten peace and sovereignty and oppose the economic and social development of the peoples.”
The Equatorial Guinea President is one of scores of world leaders and other high-level officials presenting their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.