Thursday, October 2, 2014

Speeches to the United Nations General Assembly by African Leaders - Part IV

Nearly every sitting African head of state has spoken during the opening debate of the 69th United Nations General Assembly.

Here are brief excerpts from the speeches delivered by heads of state or their representatives on Saturday, September 27, 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. For speeches from Friday, September 26, click here.

His Excellency Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
President, Republic of Mali

[UN summary] "Terrorist attacks were on the rise in Libya, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia and the Middle East, he said, expressing regret that terrorism was taking root under the name of religion. The Malian crisis in 2012 had led to the adoption of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel. Ministers for Foreign Affairs in the region had decided to meet every six months. At the second meeting in Bamako on 16 May, the Malian Road Map had been adopted. He also expressed concern about extremists in Syria and Iraq, particularly the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), calling for the implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions. His country was committed to cutting the flow of illegal light and small weapons, a factor contributing to violence. The Arms Trade Treaty as a genuine step forward."

His Excellency Salva Kiir
President, Republic of South Sudan

"The conflict in South Sudan is purely a political struggle for power -- not an ethnic conflict as reported. The citizens displaced by the conflict, especially in the three States of Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile, have sought refuge in the neighbouring states of Lakes, Warrap, Central Equatoria, and Eastern Equatoria, and in the neighbouring countries. These innocent victims of the conflict urgently need and deserve humanitarian assistance. We, therefore, thank the United Nations, the Government of Norway and the other stakeholders for organizing the Donor Conference in Oslo, Norway, in May 2014, to support our humanitarian needs. We also deeply appreciate and welcome the High-level Ministerial Meeting on South Sudan, which the UN organized in the margin of the 69th Session of UN-GA on 25 September 2014 during which a number of donors made [pledges] of support. My Government is fully committed to render humanitarian access and has taken the necessary measures to facilitate access for Humanitarian Agencies."

Her Excellency Catherine Samba-Panza
President, Transitional Government of the Central African Republic

[UN summary] "On the humanitarian front, she said that the number of internally displaced persons had dropped; 81 per cent had left the camps and returned to their communities. Yet, the situation was generally concerning as it hinged on fragile security. The conflict had cut the country's economic growth rate by 36 per cent in 2013, plunging it into recession. She expressed hope that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on rapid disbursement of funds would put the country on a path of growth. On the political front, she had focused on "disarming hearts and minds" through national reconciliation. The Ebola outbreak and the spread of Boko Haram and the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, terrorist groups in neighbouring Nigeria and Cameroon were also worrying."

His Excellency Prosper Bazombanza
Vice-President, Republic of Burundi

[UN summary] "His Government was preparing for the upcoming presidential and general elections, scheduled to begin in May 2015, he said. Owing to the adoption of a road map for the various political parties, the elections should be transparent, free and democratic. Parliament already had adopted the electoral code. The Independent National Electoral Commission announced the elections schedule last June. Among his Government’s efforts towards good governance was a law passed by Parliament to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission under the 2000 Arusha Agreement. Consultations were under way for the election of its 11 commissioners. In addition, an ad hoc committee for the selection of candidates had been established by general consensus."

His Excellency Oldemiro Marques Balói
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Republic of Mozambique

"The principle of the right to self-determination continues to be central to the full enjoyment of human rights. In this context, the United Nations ought to continue to be engaged in the fulfillment of these rights by the peoples of Palestine and Western Sahara.

"Mozambique reiterates its full support to a just and lasting solution to the problem of Palestine through peaceful means, in accordance with the International Law and all the relevant Resolutions of the United Nations.

"On the Western Sahara, we note with encouragement the new initiative taken by the Chairperson of the African Union to appoint H.E. Joaquim Alberto Chissano, former President of the Republic of Mozambique, as a Special Envoy to the P5+Spain, an effort to step up the search for a solution that will ensure the fulfilment of the right of the Saharaoui people to self-determination, to which Mozambique reaffirms its unconditional support."