Development political process top agenda for African leaders addressing UN Assembly

“Instead, we should pursue reforms that have generated unprecedented progress and build on these advances to define the objectives of the development programme for the period after 2015 while strengthening multilateralism and UN reforms,” Prosper Bazombanza told the 193 Member States in New York.Despite challenges, Burundi has made undeniable progress in the areas of education and health through measures of free education and medical care for children under five years of age, the Vice-President assured delegations. Mr. Bazombanza noted that his country is continuing the process for the 2015 presidential and general elections which should be “transparent, free and democratic.” According to the Vice President , Burundi has made significant advances in the field of good governance, including the establishment of institutions such as the Independent National Commission on Human Rights and the Institution of the Ombudsman and that the strategy to fight against corruption.“This is long- term and what is important is that there is a political will to move forward,” said Mr. Bazombanza.He also noted that the mandate of the United Nations Office in Burundi will complete its transfer by the end of the year to the UN Country Team.The Vice-President is one of 196 speakers addressing the high-level General Assembly debate whose focus this year is on the MDGs and the sustainable development agenda that will follow after their 2015 deadline. He is one of several speakers from Africa that will address the General Assembly today. Foreign Minister Oldemiro Marques Balói of Mozambique addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Loey FelipeAlso taking the podium in the Assembly Hall, Oldemiro Baloi, the Foreign Minister of Mozambique, highlighted the importance of multilateralism in addressing the “grave instability and conflicts in the world.” As the UN begins to mark its 70th anniversary year, he called for its bodies to be strengthened so that it can continue to effectively plan its role as the epicentre of multilateralism. “Today more than ever, we must take concrete actions to reinforce the strategic role of the United Nations in the architecture of the global governance,” Mr. Baloi said, in particular the reform of the Security Council.“The United Nations inability to solve conflict situations and political instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe poses a challenge to its authority as the universal entity and multilateral political form to foster dialogue,” he noted. The Foreign Minister highlighted the principle of self-determination which he called central to the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly the rights of Palestinians and people in Western Sahara. “Freedom of choice of political system and of trade is an inalienable right of all states,” he underscored. Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra of Algeria addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Kim HaughtonAlso addressing the General Assembly, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra today urged the international community to intensify the fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel.Mr. Lamamra, whose country is a co-chair of the Task Force on the Sahel, noted regional threats posed by the instability of Mali and Libya.At the request of the Malian parties, Algeria – with support from a strong team of international representatives – is leading the mediation effort between Mali’s Government and groups in the North.“The adoption of a ‘Roadmap for negotiations under the Algiers process’ and the ‘Declaration on Cessation of Hostilities’ have cleared the way for the launch of substantive negotiations, ongoing since 1 September, in order to reach a final peace accord,” Mr. Lamamara said. The launch of these talks coincided with the release of the last two Algerian diplomats held hostage for nearly three years by a terrorist group.Turning to the situation in Libya, the Algerian Minister noted that the establishment of a framework for joint action by neighbouring countries and the launch of an inclusive dialogue for national reconciliation and strengthening of state institutions has raised hopes in a country whose situation has steadily deteriorated over the past three years. “The difficult regional situation requires greater efforts to fight against terrorist groups operating in the Sahel and the interconnections they have established with networks of drug trafficking and organized crime,” he summed up.

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