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Archbishop regrets setbacks to progress in Africa

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, told the plenary session of the 59th United Nations General Assembly of "the duty of the international community, especially the more powerful countries, of redressing the economic imbalances that penalise Africa".

The session was dedicated to the analysis of the progress and the international support for NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) and for the initiative to stop malaria in the next decade in developing countries.

In his speech the nuncio referred to recognised that the continent "is doing more and more, notwithstanding the many adversities it faces and the lack of means to overcome them."

He also spoke of the positive results obtained due to the cooperation of the United Nations and different African organisations, among them, the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS).

"Management of conflicts in Western Africa also deserves special mention. The current trend in harmonizing international, regional and sub-regional levels is not only a measure of the success achieved by the members of the African Union; it is a success that contains valuable lessons for the solving of crises in other parts of the world and for the reform of the UN itself."

Archbishop Migliore sais this management in solidarity of Africa's affairs by Africans "will allow important advances in the provision of basic necessities - clean water, food, housing, access to health care and reduction in the spread of malaria and HIV".

He expressed regret that "the recent Councils of Governors of the IMF and of the World Bank, as well as the meeting of the Ministers of Finance of the G-7 which preceded them, failed to agree on the total cancellation of debt of the 27 poorest countries. At least it can be said that consensus was reached for the first time in history on the necessity of eliminating such a debt."

Archbishop Migliore: Progress and setbacks of Africa (Vatican Information Service 20/10/04)

Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations

21 Oct 2004