– Check against delivery –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Acceding Country Croatia*, the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* and Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.
At the 3rd Africa-EU Summit held in November 2010, EU and African leaders renewed their commitments to work together to tackle global challenges (climate change, conflict prevention, good governance) and to address energy, infrastructure, food security, and MDGs as a priority. They emphasized the need to encourage investment, growth and employment, in particular for the young generation.
The EU recognizes the essential role played by the AU and its NEPAD programme in the definition of continental policy frameworks and programs, respecting in full the notions of subsidiarity and ownership, and for monitoring commitments towards African development needs.
Support from the international community must be aimed at assisting African institutions and African countries to develop their own capacities to promote continental, regional and national projects and to mobilise the necessary resources for the priorities identified. Our aim is to support Africa’s political and economic integration, through enhanced trade, a strengthened political partnership, and increased cooperation in promising new areas, and support for institutional capacity building at the national, regional and continental level.
We view the Joint Africa-EU Strategy adopted at the 2007 Summit forms the strategic framework for our steadily expanding cooperation and dialogue with Africa. This partnership is guided by the fundamental principles of the unity of Africa, the interdependence between Africa andEurope, shared values and interest, as well as joint ownership and responsibilities. These are also core principles of the African Union and NEPAD. We welcome the progress made by the AU in addressing the many security challenges on the continent, both through African-led Peace Support Operations (Sudan, Somalia, CAR, and elsewhere) and through the establishment of its Peace and Security and Architecture; the EU has supported these processes with more than 1bn. €uros since 2004. And we look forward to replicating this success story in other promising areas of common interest, such as governance, energy, climate & environment, or S&T and ICTs. We will therefore continue to closely follow the African-owned policy frameworks, and to support their implementation, particularly in the framework of the Strategic Africa-EU Partnership.
Africacontinues to face a huge burden of potentially preventable and treatable diseases, which cause death and untold suffering, while simultaneously blocking economic development and damaging the continent’s social fabric.
We know that malaria – alongside other diseases such as HIV/AIDS – inflict a heavy burden on Africa, particularly women, children and the most vulnerable. Significant progress has been made in the global fight against malaria in recent years, including in Africa. Experience has shown how long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic testing, effective artemisinin-based combination treatment and indoor spraying with insecticide can achieve impressive results, when these actions are underpinned by strong and effective health systems. But progress will rapidly be reversed if we relax our joint efforts. There is still much to do to drive the number of cases and deaths due to malaria down even further. This cannot be achieved without sustained investment and political will.
As the world’s largest donor both in general and in the health sector in particular, the EU and its Member States will continue to lead our collective efforts to target malaria, always seeking the most efficient modes of delivery and working through national governments, the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the UN System and other relevant organizations and mechanisms, including NGOs and the Roll-Back Malaria Partnership.
Combating diseases such as malaria, through strengthened national health systems, is, in our view, one of the most effective ways to alleviate poverty and promote equitable and sustainable economic growth. We need to further invest in the health work force and build capacity to ensure equitable access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care, which will help us accelerate progress towards achievement of MDG 4 (child health), MDG5 (maternal health) and MDG6 (Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases). The EU continues to work closely with African governments to enable them to fulfil their commitment to allocate 15% of state budgets to health, in line with the 2001 Abuja Declaration.
Let me conclude by emphasising that the EU and its Member States remain fully committed to supportingAfricaand Africans in their quest for peace, democratic governance, human rights and sustainable development.
*Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.