16 October 2015, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States delivered by Mr. Jan Pirouz Poulsen, Minister Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Joint debate on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development: progress in implementation and international support; Causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa (item 66 (a) and (b)) and 2001-2010: Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, Particularly in Africa (item 14)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Africa-EU partnership is guided by the fundamental principles of the unity of Africa – the interdependence between Africa and Europe, shared values and interest – as well as joint ownership and responsibilities. At the Africa-EU Summit held in April 2014 in Brussels, EU and African leaders committed to consult and work in partnership to define the post-2015 development agenda, sharing the same level of ambition, and broadly similar priorities for the Agenda: an integrated and balanced approach to the three dimensions of sustainable development; inclusion of governance, peace and security aspects; a Global Partnership mobilising all means of implementation; and credible monitoring, follow-up and review mechanism. I believe this is well reflected in the final outcome.
We welcome the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which will enable us to tackle the interlinked challenges of our world today. And we very much welcome the fact that Africa played an important role in shaping the 2030 Agenda, both through the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which fed into the negotiations and played an influential role; and through key African actors including Amina Mohammed, the Special Adviser on post-2015 development, Ambassador Kamau, Co-Chair of the Open Working Group, and Sam Kutesa, President of the General Assembly, the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, NEPAD, the African Development Bank, South Africa representing G77, to mention a few.
Looking forward, we recognize that the true challenge lies in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The EU and its Member States will do our part. And we are committed to our Africa-EU partnership and to cooperate, as agreed in the Roadmap of the 2014 Africa-EU Summit, to ensure that the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and of Agenda 2063 will be complementary, consistent and mutually supportive.
The EU recognizes the essential role played by the AU and its New Partnership for Africa’s Development in the definition of continental policy frameworks and programs, respecting in full the notions of subsidiarity and ownership. In particular, the Agenda 2063 and its 10-year implementation Plan provide a comprehensive long term strategic vision for Africa’s development. Our aim is to support Africa’s political and economic integration, through enhanced trade, a strengthened political partnership, and increased cooperation, and to support institutional capacity building at the national, regional and continental level. The EU remains the biggest trading and development partner with Africa and we stand ready to continue supporting key pan-African programmes, such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), in addition to our wide range of activities at national and regional level.
Cooperation on migration is another area. The upcoming Valletta Summit is expected to deal comprehensively with the issue of migration, including its developmental aspects. The Summit is expected to agree on a Trust Fund amounting to Euro 1.8 Billion from the EU budget and the European Development Fund, to address root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa.
The promotion of democratic and transparent systems of government, rule of law, good governance, including the fight against corruption, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are commitments enshrined in the Joint Africa-EU Strategy. We pledged to ensure that human rights are fully enjoyed by all, eliminating all forms of discrimination and exclusion of vulnerable segments of society We welcome African efforts to eliminate obstacles that women face in their quest for equal rights and opportunities. As long as women are treated as inferior to men, and are not given a proper voice in politics, in peace and security discussions, or in economic affairs, Africa is losing out the potential of half its population and workforce. In the same vain, children must have a perspective, and education provides the critical tool. It is therefore indispensable to ensure that no children suffers from armed conflict, that all child soldiers are not only released, but also reintegrated. The EU stands ready to support reintegration efforts.
We welcome the efforts made by the AU in building a strong and credible African human rights system and African Governance Architecture meant to guarantee the respect of these commitments by all African states. We also praise the progress made by the African Union in addressing the security challenges on the continent, both through African-led Peace Support Operations and through the establishment of its Peace and Security Architecture. The EU has significantly supported these processes since 2004 with more than 1.6 billion euros. And we are committed to pursuing our cooperation in these and other areas of common interest, as stated in the ambitious Road Map of the 2014 Africa-EU summit.
We welcome the Secretary General’s report on causes of conflict (A/70/176) which underscores that in light of the critical linkages between democratic governance, human rights, durable peace and sustainable development, the UN should continue to increase synergies between the African Peace and Security Architecture and the African Governance Architecture in preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacebuilding and post conflict resolution within the context of the Joint UN-AU Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security.
As underlined in the SG reports, notwithstanding the progress made, Africa continues to wrestle with potentially preventable or treatable diseases, causing death and untold suffering, while simultaneously undermining economic development. Malaria – alongside other deadly virus such as Ebola and HIV/AIDS – inflict a tremendous burden on Africa, particularly women, children and the most vulnerable. Africa should be congratulated for what it has achieved in the fight against Ebola, and for the significant progress that has been made in the global fight against malaria in recent years. Experience has shown that prevention can achieve impressive results, when actions are underpinned by strong and effective health systems. 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 development. As the world’s largest donor to the health sector the EU and its Member States will continue to invest in the health work force and build capacity to ensure equitable access to prevention, treatment and care through implementation of universal health coverage.
Let me conclude by emphasising that the EU and its Member States remain fully committed to working as partners with Africa and Africans in their quest for peace, democratic governance, human rights and sustainable development.
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