STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR SOPHIA TESFAMARIAM, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ERITREA & CHAIR OF THE AFRICAN GROUP
18TH JUNE 2021, GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALL
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the African group on this important occasion of the re-election of Mr. Antonio Guterres as the United Nations Secretary General.
The African group extends its heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Antonio Guterres, for his determination and commitment to continue to lead the UN discharge its mandates to bring peace and development to the people of the world, most particularly in these trying times brought about by the Covid-pandemic.
The Africa Group particularly welcomes the UN, under the leadership of the Secretary General for its commitment to working closely with African countries on the vaccine roll-out through the COVAX arrangement. The uneven and unfair distribution of vaccines globally is egregious. Fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, one that prioritize people over profit is the only our only way out from this pandemic. We applaud the Secretary General for his vocal support for patent suspension and technology transfer on COVID-19 vaccines.
We call on the UN to invest more efforts to ease the economic and social fallout of the Covid-pandemic by seeking for debt relief for African countries; more liquidity through a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights and a reallocation of unused SDRs as well as and an increase in resources from the international financial institutions to support developing countries, particularly in Africa.
In the area of climate change, despite Africa’s limited contribution to global emissions, the continent continues to pay a high price for climate change. Here we welcome the commitment of the Secretary General by calling on donors to increase the share of adaptation and resilience to at least 50 per cent of climate finance. However, we call on these funds to be easily accessible and to be channeled to the continent to address the targeted needs c and projected impacts.
As the Secretary General has achieved tremendous strides in enhancing the United Nations and African Union partnership, we urge you to dedicate your tenure to work with the African Union in aligning both the UN agenda 2030 and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
We call for more cooperation and collaboration with the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms to advance peace and sustainable development in our continent.
Lastly, let me take this opportunity to express our appreciation to Mr. Secretary General, for his support to the Office of the Special Adviser for Africa. On this premise, we let me note that more support is needed to enable OSAA play an effective role in advocating for and coordinating the provision of effective and sustained support for Africa’s transformative efforts for inclusive sustainable development. We also welcome your commitment to make the United Nations Secretariat diverse and more representative and encourage you to continue working to improve the proportion of African in senior and other positions.
Mr. Secretary General, we confident you continue stress the need of redressing the past and ongoing injustices that are hindering the effective contribution of Africa to international system—racism, unfair and exploitative financial and trade practices. We cannot achieve a strong United Nations that is able to tackle the multifaceted challenges of twenty first century without a meaningful participation of Africa in its decision-making.
I wish to assure you of the support of the Africa Group as you assume the mantle of leadership.
I thank you.