Several African leaders were at the UN on Wednesday 21 September. It was on the occasion of the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations, which opened on Tuesday, September 20 at the headquarters of the international institution in New York. At the UN, African leaders are making very unusual speeches. These resonate as a challenge to the international community on a number of issues including climate change in large part and its consequences.
Urgent economic rescue plan for Africa
William Ruto is the first leader to stand at the UN tribune. For the Kenyan president, Africa is the continent most affected by climate change, and therefore a major victim. “Africa needs an urgent economic rescue plan,” he says.
”I join other leaders in calling on the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other multilateral lenders to extend pandemic-related debt relief to the most affected countries, particularly those affected by the devastating combination of conflict, climate change and Covid-19. ”
The war in Ukraine and its consequences addressed by Zambia
For his part, the Zambian president was more interested in the hyperinflation that is shaking the world as a direct result of the war in Ukraine.
“Zambia joins other governments in expressing particular concern about the ongoing war in Ukraine. While we stand with all those affected, both within Ukraine and in neighboring countries, we also take this opportunity to highlight the far-reaching negative consequences of this war, particularly on the prices of food worldwide, fuel, fertilizer and other essential commodities.”
Nigeria talks about global warming
The failure to meet the promise of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, which impacts Africa, is the main point raised by the Nigerian president. According to Muhammadu Buhari, the emission of greenhouse gases in Africa and other developing countries is almost small compared to the large so-called industrialized nations.
“Africa and other developing nations produce only a small share of greenhouse gas emissions compared to industrialized economies. Yet we are the hardest hit by the consequences of climate change, as we see in this prolonged drought in Somalia and the unprecedentedly severe flooding in Pakistan.”
In addition to these major concerns, other important topics such as the fight against terrorism or the end of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe are discussed.