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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishanat the 58th Session of the GA on Agenda Item 39 (a and b): New Partnership for Africa's Development and Causes of Conflict, Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa

2003-10-16 00:00

Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation wishes to express our thanks and appreciation to the Secretary-General for his report on implementation of New Partnership for Africa's Development and his report on Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa.

Mr. President,

NEPAD is a major initiative by the African countries to empower themselves by uniting forces with a view to achieving development. It gives expression to their determination, courage and pioneering spirit in taking their destiny into their own hands. In the year under review Africa has made good progress in the implementation of NEPAD. In July 2003 in an effort to ensure the implementation of NEPAD, the African Union held a summit meeting of heads of state and government, which adopted a declaration on the new partnership. We are also gratified that Africa has set up a peer review mechanism, which has by July 2003 already been acceded to by 16 States, with a first batch of 4 country reviews slated for the end of this year. This provides a tool for self-monitoring, mutual review and learning in the implementation of NEPAD. In addition the African countries have established country focal points and carried out regional implementation measures that have brought about encouraging results in agriculture, health, education, environmental protection and infrastructure development. We are confident that through these endeavors the African countries will make historic headway on their path to development and revival.

Mr. President,

Africa's development requires active support and assistance from the international community. In the process of implementing NEPAD, African countries face myriad challenges in resources, debt relief, trade and investment. The SG's report points out that official development assistance to Africa declined throughout the 1990s, falling from $26.62 billion in 1990 to $16.38 billion in 2000. In the past two years, it has witnessed a rebound, but still fell short of the 1990s level. What's more, the tying of ODA is on the increase with procedures getting increasingly cumbersome. There has been limited progress in the area of trade and the lack of progress on key issues of importance and interest to Africa such as market access, agricultural subsidies, trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights and public health are hurting African countries' development. Investment prospects do not offer grounds for optimism either. We wish therefore to underscore the following points concerning future support for African development by the international community:

1. Africa's ownership and leadership of NEPAD must be respected. Externally imposed conditions do not offer genuine solutions to African problems. In many instances, liberalization, privatization, market reform and other readjustment programs not only are incapable of promoting African economic growth but on the contrary have created serious social problems. The international community should therefore fully acquaint themselves with the real circumstances of the African countries, respect their sovereign choices and development strategies and support the African continent's efforts to lift itself up by its own bootstraps.

2. Commitments made to Africa in the Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus and the WSSD Plan of Action must be translated into reality. The international community must genuinely deliver on promises in the areas of debt, trade, ODA and the transfer of technology. African development also requires the creation of a fair and equitable international economic environment propitious to the enhancement of Africa's capacity for self-sustaining development.

3. The prevention and resolution of conflicts are important guarantees for the development of Africa.  Over the past year, positive progress has been in seeking settlements in such countries as the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia. However, uncertainties remain in some countries and regions. It will be an arduous and long-term task to bring about comprehensive peace and stability in Africa. It is the shared responsibility and obligation of all members of the international community to help African countries realize national reconciliation and remove regional conflict. In Africa, the United Nations should play a bigger role in conflict prevention, peace making, peacekeeping, and post-conflict construction and peace. Our organization should strengthen its coordination and cooperation with Africa regional and sub-regional organizations. We call on national governments to attach more importance to Africa, support the African countries in peace seeking efforts, increase assistance to enhance peace process and give priority to capacity building of African countries.

Mr. President,

The consolidation and development of friendly relations with the African people and the provision of support and help to the African states in their economic and social development constitute a centerpiece of China's foreign policy.  China has established Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to conduct extensive and in-depth exchange and cooperation with African countries. The Chinese Government has already signed debt-cancellation protocols with 31 African countries with a total amount of US$ 1.05 billion, accounting for about 60% of the mature debts of these countries. From 15th to 16th of December this year, the second ministerial meeting of the Forum will be held in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. This marks the first Forum meeting to be held on the African continent. The Chinese Government will send a high-level delegation. This meeting will review the implementation of two important programs – Beijing Declaration and China-Africa Economic and Social Development Program. Delegates will also explore new ideas and ways based on the Forum's experience in the past three years so as to enhance cooperation in human resources, agriculture, infrastructure and investment. During the ministerial meeting, there will be China-Africa Entrepreneur Forum and China-Africa Friendship Exhibition.

I wish to conclude by emphasizing that the Chinese Government is ready to continue to support Africa's Development and the implementation of NEPAD through China-Africa Cooperation Forum and other cooperation channels.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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