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25.05.2005 General News

UN reaffirms support for Africa

By GNA

Accra, May 25, GNA - The UN on Wednesday reaffirmed its support to the efforts of the African Union (AU) to improve on the lot of Africans and broaden the democratic rights of Africans.

Mr Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General said in a message to mark Africa Day that the AU " continues to strengthen its institutions for conflict prevention, resolution and management."

"The process of democratic consolidation continues to gain impetus, with many countries achieving successful transfers of power through open electoral processes", he said.

Mr Annan said the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development was gathering pace, with progress in other policy decisions such as the African Peer review Mechanism to which 25 countries on the continent are signatories to.

The Secretary General however expressed regret that " much of Africa, especially South of the Sahara, continues to suffer the tragic effects of violent conflict, extreme poverty and disease. In Darfur, attacks and displacements have continued, and at least 2.6 million people are in urgent need of assistance.

In too many countries, poverty and the huge burden of disease, in particular the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, are inflicting widespread suffering and reversing hard-won development gains, leaving Africa behind the rest of the developing world in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr Annan said this year could well be a crucial year for Africa and in September, world leaders would gather for a Summit at the United Nations to review implementation of the Millennium Declaration. He said that Summit should be a time of decision, including bold action in response to the special needs of Africa.

Mr Annan said, " in larger freedom I have put before the UN membership, wide-ranging recommendations for helping Africans in their quest for security, development and human rights".

He said the General Assembly's dialogue on financing for development in June, the G-8 Summit meeting in July, and the September Summit all offer important opportunities to generate more international support for Africa's development. 25 May 05

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