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Top UN official urges for common solutions to guide African development
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19:51, June 27, 2008

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African countries should make use of common solutions and regional and international cooperation to guide and drive national actions for development, atop UN official said here on Friday.

Abdulie Janneh, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, made the remarks when addressing the opening ceremony of the foreign ministerial meeting of the African Union (AU) Executive Council in the Egyptian Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh.

He said the best way to spur Africa's wide-ranging and complex development is unity of purpose, policy coherence and effective use of limited resources to build more stable, integrated, competitive and diversified economies.

The AU Executive Council meeting comes "at a time when Africa faces great challenge from the possible impact of current developments in the international economic scene," Janneh noted.

"Indeed, the recent encouraging economic performance of Africa is being threatened by global economic emergencies in the food and energy markets and the prospect of stagflation in key industrial economies," said the top UN official.

Developments are closely linked to negative effects of climate change and can undermine political stability and the scaling-up of efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, he added.

He reiterated the necessity of both emergency and long-term responses to confront the critical food security issue, which was first affirmed at a recent high-level conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy.

He also called for stepping up investments, mobilizing resources, and reducing restrictive and trade distorting agricultural support policies, as well as strong and decisive policy measures to tackle climate change.

Janneh termed water as an essential requirement for sanitation and health in households and human settlements, in addition to its important role in power, transportation and irrigation.

He also stressed the importance of collective safeguarding of peace and security in every corner of Africa in the continent's development.

The two-day session of the Executive Council is due to tackle peace and security, progress of political and economic integration and progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Africa, as well as human rights, legal and health issues in the continent among others, according to the meeting agenda.

Under the theme "Meeting the Millennium Development Goals on Water and Sanitation," the 11th AU summit is scheduled for June 30 and July 1 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Source: Xinhua



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