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African Union repeats call for lifting of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe at UN General Assembly




Senegal's President Macky Sall addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 20, 2022. / AFP

NEW YORK – Speaking at the 77th Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Acting President of the African Union, said the time is now to change the world.

Sall highlighted that, since the last UN General Assembly, the world has become more dangerous and more uncertain under the combined influence of global warming, security and health perils, as well as the war in Ukraine.

“The theme of this session shows how urgent it is to act together to ease tensions, heal our planet, reduce persistent North-South inequalities, and restore meaning to multilateralism.”

Sall said the Security Council is called upon first and foremost to treat all threats to international peace and security, including in Africa, in the same way.

The terrorism that is gaining ground on the continent is not just an African affair, he added.

“It is a global threat which falls under the primary responsibility of the Council, guarantor of the collective security mechanism, under the organisation’s Charter.”

“Also, we invite the Council to better engage with us in the fight against terrorism in Africa, with more appropriate mandates and more substantial means. Furthermore, the African Union calls, once again, for the lifting of foreign sanctions against Zimbabwe. These severe measures continue to feed a feeling of injustice against an entire people, and to aggravate their suffering in these times of deep crisis.

“In the Middle East, we reiterate the right of the Palestinian people to a viable state, coexisting peacefully with the State of Israel, each within secure and internationally recognised borders. We call for the de-escalation and cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, for a negotiated solution, in order to avoid the catastrophic risk of a potentially global conflict.

“Almost eighty years after the birth of the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods Institutions, it is time to establish a world governance that is fairer, more inclusive and more adapted to the realities of our time. It is time to overcome the reluctance and deconstruct the narratives that persist in confining Africa to the margins of decision-making circles. It is time to uphold the just and legitimate African demand for Security Council reform, as reflected in the Ezulwini Consensus.

“In the same spirit, I recall our request to grant a seat to the African Union within the G20 so that Africa can, finally, be represented where the decisions are taken, which commit one billion four hundred million Africans. I warmly thank the partners who have already expressed their support and invite others to consider our candidacy favourably.

“With regard to economic and financial governance, I draw the General Assembly’s attention to the 2022 Report on Financing for Sustainable Development, produced by some sixty multilateral institutions, including the IMF, the World Bank, the Committee of Basel on Banking Supervision, the International Association of Insurance Regulators and the Financial Stability Board.”

This report identifies shortcomings in rating agencies’ assessment processes and stresses the importance of applying “transparent methodologies so as not to undermine confidence in ratings”.

“We are concerned that the perception of risk in Africa continues to be higher than the actual risk, which increases insurance premiums and penalises the competitiveness of our economies. This is why Africa renews its proposal to the Response Group to the Global Crisis on Food, Energy and Finance so that it undertakes, in conjunction with the G20, the IMF and the World Bank, a constructive dialogue with rating agencies on improving their working and assessment methods.

“In the same spirit, faced with the unprecedented scale of the global economic crisis, the African Union reiterates its call for the partial reallocation of Special Drawing Rights and the implementation of the G20 Initiative to suspend the service of the debt. This unprecedented shock further weakens the weakest economies and makes their liquidity needs even more pressing to mitigate the effects of generalised inflation and support the most vulnerable households and social strata, especially young people and women.

“Added to this is the management of new or old health emergencies, including cancer, a silent killer that continues to claim millions of victims around the world.

Sall further called for mobilisation in favour of the Rays of Hope campaign, of the IAEA, for the reinforcement of the capacities of the member countries, African in particular, in the fight against cancer, thanks to nuclear technologies such as medical imaging. , nuclear medicine and radiotherapy.

A few weeks before COP-27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Africa is renewing its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

“At the same time, we want to reach a consensus for a just and equitable energy transition, as was the case at the Africa-Europe Summit last February, at the enlarged session of the G7 Summit in June, and recently at the Rotterdam Forum on financing for adaptation in Africa.

“It is legitimate, fair and equitable that Africa, the least polluting continent, and the furthest behind in the industrialisation process, exploits its available resources to have basic energy, improve the competitiveness of its economy and achieve universal access to electricity. I remind you that to this day more than 600 million Africans still live without electricity. Let us also work towards the achievement of the objective of 100 billion dollars per year, in support of the adaptation efforts of developing countries, and the financing of the Programme for Accelerating Adaptation in Africa, under the aegis of the AfDB and the Global Centre for Adaptation.

Moreover, we consider the financing of adaptation not as aid, but as a contribution by the industrialised countries to a united global partnership, in return for the efforts made by the developing countries to avoid the polluting schemes which have plunged the planet in the current state of climate emergency. Beyond economic emergencies, I have come to convey the message of a continent determined to work with all its partners, in a relational ethic of trusting dialogue and mutual respect.

“I have come to say that Africa has borne enough of the burden of history that it does not want to be the focus of a new cold war, but rather a center of stability and opportunity open to all its partners, on a mutually beneficial basis. I came to say that we are not ignoring Africa of the problems, which must be pacified and stabilised. But I also came to say that we also have solutions in Africa, with its 30 million km2, its human resources, more than 60% of the world’s arable land, its mineral, forest, water and energy wealth.

“Yes, we have the Africa of solutions, with hard-working governments; a vibrant and creative youth who innovate, undertake and succeed; millions of men and women who work hard to feed, educate and care for their families; who invest, create wealth and generate jobs. This Africa of solutions wishes to engage with all its partners in reinvented relationships, which transcend the prejudice according to which whoever is not with me is against me.

“We want an open multi-lateralism that respects our differences; because the United Nations system, born from the ashes of war, can win the support of all only on the basis of shared ideals and not of local values ​​set up as universal norms.

“It is by working together while respecting our differences that we will restore strength and vitality to the purpose of the United Nations: that is to say, to save present and future generations from the scourge of war, to promote peaceful coexistence of peoples and promote progress by creating better living conditions for all.” – IOL News




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