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President Ellen Johson-Sirleaf Speech at AU 5oth Summit

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n respect of differences in resources, capabilities and histories, while each country has something to contribute, the responsibilities of each country to the realization of the new global agenda vary. In our approach, no country is being told what to do: each country is being asked what it wants to do, on a voluntary basis, both at home and in partnership with others.

Statement by H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia
On The Post -2015 Development Agenda
At the African Union 50th Anniversary Summit
Addis Ababa,

May 26, 2013

Mr. Chairman,

Colleagues,

In the last nine months, I have had the honor, along with the UK Prime Minister and the Indonesian President, to serve as co-chair of the United Nations Secretary General High Level Panel to lead the process that would formulate a Post 2015 Global Agenda. We were joined by twenty-four other panelists from all over the world, including four prominent Africans, NgoziOkonjo-Iweala of Nigeria; Betty Maina of Kenya; GracaMachel of South Africa; and FulbertGeroAmoussouga of Benin.

The Panel spoke with people from all walks of life around the world. In all, we heard from over 5,000 civil society organizations in 120 countries across every region. We consulted with experts from multilateral organizations, national governments, local authorities and the academic and scientific communities. We also heard from 250 private companies in 30 countries. We benefitted from the report commissioned by the African Union and the studies from our continental organizations, the African Development Bank and the Economic Commission of Africa, which produced the African Common Position.

After listening to the people of the world, we have put together a draft report that is not only bold and ambitious, but also anchored in current realities with evidence based on global resources and capacities. The available evidence suggests that we can be the first generation to eradicate global poverty. But eradicating poverty is just the start. We need to ensure the fulfillment of human rights and dignity, and put in place the building blocks of prosperity.

In respect of differences in resources, capabilities and histories, while each country has something to contribute, the responsibilities of each country to the realization of the new global agenda vary. In our approach, no country is being told what to do: each country is being asked what it wants to do, on a voluntary basis, both at home and in partnership with others.

The Proposed New Global Development Agenda, in harmony with our common position, requires five fundamental transformations, moving away from business as usual. It aims to:

1.   Leave No One Behind ensuring the inclusion of all persons regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status into basic economic opportunities and human rights;

2.   Put Sustainable Development at the Core – making a rapid shift to sustainable patterns of production and consumption; acting to slow the alarming pace of climate change and environmental degradation, which pose unprecedented threats to humanity;

3.   Transform Economies for Jobs and Inclusive Growth ending poverty, wherever it exists, and improving livelihoods, by harnessing innovation, technology, and the potential of business; by diversifying economies, with equal opportunities for all;

4.      Build Peace and Effective, Open and Accountable Institutions for All in which it is a fundamental shift which recognizes peace and good governance as a core element of wellbeing rather than an optional extra; and

5.   Forge a New Global Partnership which is anchored on our shared humanity, and based on mutual respect and benefit.

The Proposed New Development Agenda calls for a total paradigm shift, a novel way of looking at problems all over the world and thus, finding and bringing new perspectives to its resolution.

For Africa, a continent that has lagged behind in terms of human capital development, the Panel puts forward concepts based primarily on the capacity to effect change and the resources, both of which represent the main ingredients for our development.

Recognizing the success and the importance of continuity with certain indicators of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly as regards poverty, hunger and maternal and child health, the Panel calls for a further push in pursuit of social development by investing in improvements in the quality of education, health and human capital development, particularly focusing on youth, gender equality, access to clean water and shelter.

The Panel calls for attention to the productive sectors to create the endogenous conditions for economic transformation, with focus on inclusive green growth, including agriculture and food security, value addition and infrastructural development.

For Africa, we cannot stress enough the importance of national ownership and the need to reorient the development paradigm away from externally driven initiatives towards domestically inspired and funded initiatives. This can be achieved by strengthening financial intermediation, broadening the tax net and revenue generation capacities, stemming illicit capital flows and ensuring equity in the use of our natural resource capital.

Mr. Chairman,
Colleagues,

I look forward to continue to serve our institution and our continent working with the designated Heads of State and the regional institutions in the formulation of the Post 2015 Agenda when the draft report of the Panel is submitted to the UN Secretary General at the end of the month for subsequent submission to member states.

I thank you

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