Remarks by Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th session of the General Assembly, on Africa’s development

Interactive multi-stakeholder dialogue on the review of the implementation of commitments made towards Africa’s development

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21 July 2023

Madame Deputy Secretary-General,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Once again, Good morning and thank you for joining today’s dialogue.

With this biennial report, Africa, a continent comprising of 54 Member States, is finally receiving the attention it deserves.

It is a high quality report, what we have in our hands.

It is evidence-based, very well structured, and many thanks to the authors for the authors of the report who prepared it for us.

Our discussion today should also be rooted in evidence, in solidarity, and in science.

These factors are essential for fostering collective action to safeguard Africa’s hard-earned progress and advance the achievement of the SDGs.

The report of the UN Monitoring Mechanism offers concrete recommendations to bolster collaboration.

They address gaps in the implementation of the transformative development goals set forth both in global and regional plans.

In this regard, let me emphasize three key points:

Firstly, the report introduces a new methodology and a novel system-wide approach that places an emphasis on financing for development.

With Africa’s urgent needs for buttressing its efforts to mobilize adequate funding for reaching the SDGs across the continent.

Indeed, the report sheds a stark light on significant implementation gaps in financing commitments.

On the one hand, African countries have made progress in increasing domestic resource mobilization.

On the other, public spending inefficiencies result in an annual loss of a staggering $70 billion.

In addition, illicit financial flows are said to drain a total of $88 billion from the continent every year.

Combined, it is $158 billion.

There is a pressing need to enhance the capacity of national tax administrations and to strengthen international tax cooperation to curtail the damage caused by these flows.

Moreover, Official Development Assistance falls significantly below the agreed targets outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

It is crucial that we work together to fully and promptly fulfil ODA and climate finance commitments so that Africa’s SDGs financing gap could be bridged.

It is not the solution, but it is an important part of the solution.

Secondly, addressing gaps in implementation requires an approach that is comprehensive and expands the policy space.

This means:

– reforming the global financial and economic architecture,

– alleviating mounting debt burdens,

– promoting industrialization, and

– reversing the decline of Africa’s share in global trade.

Thirdly, we should also recognize the pivotal role of energy as a catalyst for structural transformation and sustainable development in Africa.

Inadequate access to electricity costs Africa between 2% and 4% of its GDP annually.

The continent’s energy demand is escalating, driven by urbanization, population growth, and industrialization.

We must respond by ensuring sufficient, affordable, and reliable access to electricity.

Energy affordability can be greatly improved by promoting energy access for low-income households and addressing the gap between urban and rural areas.

The road to a fully resilient Africa will not be without challenges – we know that.

It will require substantial investments in people, infrastructure, and coping mechanisms.

But what it demands first and foremost is unshakable solidarity with Africa.

Solidarity both from within the continent and from the global community.

Solidarity based on the understanding that the prosperity of our world, and the security on our globe can never be complete without sustainability in Africa.

Revitalizing the global partnership for development and boosting international support to this continent are indispensable for reaching the SDGs – and not only in Africa!

Dear Colleagues,

I wish you fruitful deliberations during today’s meeting.

And my parting message is as follows:

Let us help Africa rise.

Let us help Africa transform.

Let us see Africa rise.

Thank you.

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