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28 October 2008 - Plenary meeting Africa’s development - Decade to roll back Malaria General debate - Statement by Mr. Philippe DELACROIX

63rd GENERAL ASSEMBLY Statement delivered on behalf of the European Union by Mr. Philippe DELACROIX, European Union Presidency Coordinator in New York


Mr. President, Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to speak on behalf of the European Union.

[Alignment statement]

My statement will deal both with item 57 (on Africa’s Development) and item 43 (on malaria).

New partnership for Africa’s Development: progress in implementation and international support [item 57]

As underscored at the high-level meeting on Africa’s development needs and in the political declaration adopted last 22 September, Africa has made great strides, both as regards its institutional organization with the development of the African Union (AU) and economically. Nevertheless, the continent still face particularly important challenges. In this respect, the NEPAD, whose ambition is to provide a roadmap for the "renaissance of Africa" is an essential instrument in our opinion, and we are all committed to contributing actively to its implemention it in all its dimensions.

The European Union welcomes the pace of reviews of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). The follow-up to the implementation of action plans subsequent to these reviews is of major importance. The APRM will be at the core of the EU-AU Partnership on democratic governance and human rights. Equal rights should allow women to fully participate in all aspects of economic, social and political life. In this regard, the European Union welcomes the ongoing efforts of the African Union to ensure protection of the rights of women, and recalls the proposals submitted by the NEPAD Gender Task Force, which aim to bring about a number of changes to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

The NEPAD was established to substantiate its action through the initiatives of regional integration, to promote Africa’s economic and social development, alongside security and good governance.

The EU has noted, in the Secretary-general’s report, the progress made in numerous areas, at a national and regional level, with the support of the international community in areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, health, education, training, the environment, information and communication technologies, S&T, gender equality, participation in civil society and the African Peer Review Mechanism. The UE will remain firmly committed to the implementation of the NEPAD, with a spirit of partnership.

Mr. President, The EU supports the on-going efforts towards the strengthening of the cooperation between the NEPAD and the AU. The interinstitutional cooperation is very important, indeed, among the regional organisations, the AU Commission and the NEPAD. The EU supports the proposals towards a better integration between the AU and the NEPAD made by Mr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, this past 10 June in Addis Ababa. Current crises and climate change requires greater coherence of action between the NEPAD and the African Union.

The European Union also encourages the NEPAD to step up its efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.

The EU is fully committed, with no ambiguity, to stay by Africa’s side, as demonstrated by the adoption of the common EU/Africa strategy in Lisbon in December 2007 ; the implementation of this strategy continues actively in all the areas.

The EU is the first development partner of Africa : 62% of the bilateral aid allocated at the regional level by the EU went to Africa. The EU has reaffirmed that it would respect its commitments to the continent

As emphasized in the World Summit outcome (2005), development, human rights, peace and security are intrisically linked. The search for peace on the African continent is also one of the EU priority, as its commitment to conflict prevention and resolution and to peacekeeping and reconstruction illustrates. In 2005-2007, 250 million euros from the African Peace Facility supported the African peace and security architecture and promised additional 300 millions euros over the 2008-2010 period. It is also present to help Africa through the EUFOR operation.

The recent adoption of the resolution on causes of conflicts and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa has enabled progress. The EU remains committed to deal with the causes of conflict and to contribute to a durable peace in Africa.

2001-2010: Decade to Roll Back Malaria in Developing Countries, particularly in Africa [item 43]

I would now like to turn my attention to the Decade to Roll Back Malaria.

Malaria still currently affects 40% of the world’s population. Africa is particularly hard hit, as of the 105 countries afflicted by the disease, 45 are in Africa. Malaria causes great human suffering, and is responsible for over 800,000 deaths per year, 91% of which are in Africa. Furthermore, it is the leading cause of death among young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

However, the consequences of this epidemic are far greater and prove a handicap to the development and stability of the continent. It is estimated that around 12 billion dollars of African GDP are lost annually to malaria. Thus the fight against malaria should be viewed as a global emergency to overcome poverty.

The Secretary-General’s report gives reason for hope as it highlights progress made in eradicating the disease. Some countries and some regions have recorded substantial declines in malaria cases, falling by as high as 50% in Eritrea, Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Zanzibar.

This proves that a strategy combining vector control measures, particularly via treated mosquito nets, and the use of treatments is effective and produces visible and sustainable results.

The EU is aware of the logistical and particularly economic barriers faced by countries when implementing these measures. It strongly supports the work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and UNITAID, which enabled considerable progress to be made as regards access to long-lasting treated mosquito nets and artemisinin-based combination therapy (ATC). Contributions from EU countries and the Commission account for 60% of the Global Fund.

The EU would also like to pay tribute to the role of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, which is essential for coordinating international action against malaria.

Mr. President,

The EU is fully involved in the fight against this scourge, and is determined to continue its efforts. Results achieved in certain countries show that the eradication of malaria is within our grasp. Millennium Goal 6 of halting malaria and reversing current trends is attainable by 2015. To achieve this, we must proceed with our global efforts and bring together governments, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society. Our attention should be focused on vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and particularly children, on whom the continent’s future depends.

Mr. President, thank you very much./.

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