UN calls for efforts to support Africa’s growth
FM highlights role of international organizations in strengthening continent’s voice in global affairs
After a high-level meeting hosted by China, the United Nations Security Council spoke with one voice, urging the international community to give Africa equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies.
Board members agreed to facilitate the transfer of vaccine-related technologies and their intellectual property rights.
They also underscored the need to tackle the root causes and drivers of conflict in Africa and boost the continent’s sustainable growth, according to a statement released after Wednesday’s high-level council meeting.
Less than 2% of the 1.4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered globally have reached Africa, and some countries on the continent face the repercussions of conflict as a result.
The video conference was chaired by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and brought together dozens of leaders and senior diplomats to focus on global efforts to strengthen peace and security in Africa during and after the pandemic.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, warned at the meeting that “the biggest challenge Africa faces is the issue of vaccines” and “it is a very big mistake to think. that the world will be safe as the African continent still lacks protection against the virus. and its variants. “
“On the political front, there have been challenges to support the political processes necessary for the implementation of transitions and peace agreements on the ground to avoid the collapse of many African nations,” he added. .
On behalf of China, which assumes the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month, Wang made a four-point proposal that aims to help Africa overcome disparities in tackling the virus, alleviate its deficit of peace, to reduce the gaps in economic development and to correct the inequity in global governance.
In particular, Wang stressed the role of international organizations such as the UN in coordinating the improvement of public health, the deployment of peacekeeping, the promotion of ceasefires and the strengthening of the voice. African countries in world affairs.
He warned against unreasonable interference imposed by forces outside the continent on African nations, and called on developed countries to meet their obligations and take tangible steps to reduce and exonerate debt, aid to the development and transfer of technology.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the meeting that the pandemic crisis “is fueling many of these factors of conflict and instability.”
He warned of the “serious economic fallout from the pandemic,” citing forecasts that Africa’s economic growth this year could be 3.4%, compared to 6% globally.
Wang also revealed that China and Africa are willing to jointly launch a partnership initiative to support Africa’s development in the face of a pandemic that has only occurred once in a century.
According to the initiative, the international community should strengthen its support in areas such as the fight against COVID-19, post-pandemic reconstruction, trade and investment, debt relief, food security, poverty reduction and alleviation, as well as the fight against climate change. like industrialization.
“China invites more countries and international organizations, especially Africa’s traditional cooperation partners, to join this initiative,” Wang said.
A recent survey conducted in 18 African countries by Afrobarometer, a pan-African research organization, showed that up to 60% of Africans believe that China’s economic and political influence on the continent is positive.
At a summit organized by France on Tuesday to boost funding for Africa, Deputy Prime Minister Han Zheng called for resuming development momentum in Africa in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting win-win cooperation – winning for its economic recovery.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday that China has always been a strong supporter of Africa in “its fight against the virus, a proactive participant in its growth and prosperity, and a forward -effective guard of its peace and stability ”.
“We would like to weather the storm and stay in the same boat as our African brothers, join international partners for cooperation and play a positive role in promoting peace and security in Africa,” he added. .