Monday, September 29, 2014

African Leaders Speak at 2014 UN General Assembly - Part III

Nearly every sitting African head of state has spoken during the opening debate of the 69th United Nations General Assembly, or is scheduled to do so.

Here are brief excerpts from the speeches delivered on Friday, September 26, with links to the full reported remarks, in chronological order.

For the speeches by African leaders that were delivered on  Wednesday, September 24, see this previous post. For those from Thursday, September 25, see this post.

His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba

President, Republic of Namibia

"Namibia supports the participation of women in peace-keeping and peace-building efforts around the world. In this context, we call for the full implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security. Presently, Namibia has deployed one of the largest female police contingents to the African Union/United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur."

His Excellency Alassane Ouattara

President, Republic of Côte d'Ivoire

[UN summary] "Africa could not become 'the forgotten continent' in the struggle against terror, he said. Thanking bilateral and multilateral partners that had assisted his Government, he conveyed special thanks to the people of the United States for 'bold and outstanding' measures taken to assist West Africa in conquering Ebola. On the issue of climate change, he noted that final efforts were needed to achieve an agreement in 2015. Today his country was a nation at peace and work. Côte d’Ivoire had regained the confidence of its partners, and thanks to the cohesion of its citizens, economic growth was strong."

His Excellency Alpha Condé
President, Republic of Guinea

[UN summary] "Ebola was a serious epidemic, but it was not necessarily a death sentence. Guinea welcomed the nomination of a United Nations system coordinator in the ongoing struggle against Ebola, and thanked the World Health Organization (WHO), Médecins sans Frontières, the Red Cross and political figures for their support. There was an urgent need to move forward in fighting the disease. On development challenges, the international community had to put an end to poverty which was continuing to hold nearly 2 billion people hostage. That was a question of dignity, justice and equality. While progress had been achieved on the Millennium Development Goals, the digital divide remained, and progress was needed on tackling malaria and HIV/AIDS-related issues."

His Excellency Denis Sassou Nguesso
President, Republic of the Congo

[UN summary] "Africa needed increased support from the international community, he said. That assistance was needed so that Somalia could escape the abyss, Mali could recover its unity, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo would not plunge again into violence. The continent also required help to halt maritime piracy, developing dangerously in the Gulf of Guinea, and reduce the spread of terrorism from the Sahel to the south of Africa. In Central Africa, insecurity was often not only the result of wars and armed violence, but of poverty and diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and Ebola. He was pleased by the solidarity shown by the international community in helping those African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak."

His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

President, Federal Republic of Somalia

"For many, I fear that their experience of Somalia is confined to films like the recent 'Captain Phillips' or re-runs of 'Black Hawk Down'. It is confined to the YouTube scenes of the horrific Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya. It is narrowed down to yet another title on a library bookshelf including the words, 'failed state'. It is limited to reference of a 'long war'.

"But if we were to shrink our gaze to just this small glimpse we would miss the beauty of a very different picture that we are painting right now in Somalia."

His Excellency Ali Ahmed Karti
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Sudan

[UN summary] "ALI AHMED KARTI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sudan, described his country's political transition, noting that President Omer al-Bashir had established national dialogue on such topics as rights, foreign relations, and the economy. The Government and opposition were aiming to agree on a way forward for Sudan. Sanctions against the country should be lifted and its debt forgiven, he stressed, describing the positive role Sudan was playing in the peace and security of its neighbours. There had been no interference when conflict broke out in South Sudan, he noted. Instead, Sudan had provided humanitarian aid and accepted 100,000 internally displaced persons. Efforts were also made to help resolve conflicts in the Central African Republic and Libya, while cooperation with Ethiopia and Egypt continued to ensure universal benefits from the Blue Nile. On Palestine, he urged support for Palestinian demands, saying that failure to protect them fuelled global extremism."

His Excellency Harry Kalaba
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Zambia

"Zambia is also concerned about the insecurity currently being experienced as a result of the instability in Ukraine. We have followed the counter accusations which point to the deep seated divisions and suspicions of a bygone era. Sadly, the human loss has been heavy, as the ordinary Ukrainian is caught in the middle of a crisis that is strongly influenced by foreign factors.

"Innocent civilians from other nations have also been drawn in, through the loss of lives on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. We share in the sorrow of the families and the nations that lost their loved ones in this human inflicted catastrophe. Zambia believes that the ordinary Ukrainian citizens are of the same view and desire nothing but peace, harmony and prosperity for their country. They should be allowed to enjoy these basic human conditions."