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Excellencies Heads of State and Government,

Mr. President of the UN General Assembly,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to congratulate His Excellency Ilham Aliev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Current Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, on having taken the initiative to convene this meeting, devoted to the response of the Non-Aligned Movement to Covid-19.

I hasten to stress that this Conference is very much in line with the tragic reality of the moment. All the countries of the world face, within their borders, the unprecedented challenges of fighting against this pandemic.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,  

The spread of the Corona Virus, since the beginning of this year and its international management, have also confirmed an unfortunate trend observed for some time, the decline of multilateralism, solidarity, cooperation and mutual assistance.

In Africa, we observed that at a time when the world most needed this multilateralism it showed its weaknesses.

The Non-Aligned Movement has been, since its inception at the Bandung Conference, the flag-bearer of solidarity, of friendship between the peoples of this vast entity to face the threats that are today terrorism, transnational crime, climate disaster and now the Corona virus, which knows no borders, race, religion and social class.

If the States, to deal with the emergency imposed by the tragedy, acted individually, or bilaterally, that does not detract from the extreme relevance of global collective action. There will be no final victory against the pandemic but a victory for all of us.

In this global, imperative struggle, the role of the Non-Aligned Movement is crucial, considering the humanism and universalism of its fundamental principles.

All international bilateral and multilateral partners, including the United Nations, are here strongly challenged, so that together, we act, hand in hand, against this new enemy of mankind.

On this ground of the fight against the virus where politics and ideologies have no sway, solidarity must be active, concrete and unwavering. Only by acting in this way, that it will be possible to break the chain of transmission of the virus from one country to another, from one region to another.

However, this necessary condition is not sufficient. We must organise another chain, the chain of solidarity to help, with equipment and pharmaceutical products, the poorest.

I should like to hail the effective action taken by the World Health Organisation and its Director General, Dr. Tédros Adhanom Gebreyesus, to whom I reiterate my support.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Africa, an essential part of the Non-Aligned Movement, has adopted a Strategy to respond to the pandemic, now led at the Continental level by Africa CDC. Among others, this is based on two pillars: a health pillar, and an economic and social pillar. A Special Fund has been established in response to Covid19. In addition, we have no doubt that the pandemic will trigger a serious food crisis in Africa, where food security is extremely fragile.

Whole regions are likely to be threatened by severe shortages and famine. The inevitable fall in commodity prices is already felt. We expect deep disruptions of trade in the world and particularly in Africa.

It is now certain that thousands of businesses will be destroyed and hundreds of millions of people will be left unemployed. It is in this spirit that we have called for the suspension, indeed the cancellation of the debt of Africa. I call upon the Non-Aligned Movement to support us in this struggle.

Ladies and Gentlemen,  

If Africa has so far scored important points against the enemy, it owes it to the courageous preventive measures, taken very early on, by most African States. But we know that the scourge is here, that it is even progressing in certain regions and that in any case, its consequences will be disastrous for structurally fragile economies.

Africa relies primarily on its own efforts and its resilience capacities. This is where its salvation lies.

We are, however, open to international cooperation and highly appreciate the gesture of solidarity attested by our partners. A special mention for China and Cuba which sent men and equipment to support us.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The world is going through one of the most critical moments in its history.

Consequently, the time is no longer for particularism, even less for divisions and games of political influence. It is a decisive time for complementary, selfless action and solidarity.

I strongly appeal to the need for inclusive political and economic governance of the world. We all have an urgent obligation to think about it and promote it effectively. This is the message from Africa that I have come fraternally to convey to you.

I thank you.

Posted by SitroomCom

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