AU Summit: UN General Assembly president tips African leaders on development

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - It is vital for African leaders to ensure that the improvement of living conditions of the poorest populations is sustainable, current United Nations General Assembly president, Joseph Deiss, said here Sunday at the opening of the 16th ordinary session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU).

Observing that throughout the past decade, several African countries featured among the world's most vibrant economies and capital flows to the continent weathered the global crisis, Deiss cautioned the leaders, saying: "All these positive elements, however, should not blind us to the fact that Africa's progress, in both political and economic terms, remains fragile."

He said the AU and the continent's sub-regional organisations were driving forces of integration and progress and that the potential of the African economy was beyond doubt.

"But the realisation of that potential risks being hampered by political instability, corruption, or bottlenecks in infrastructure," Deiss pointed out, suggesting that for the progress achieved in reducing poverty to be secured, it was essential that economic growth should not be jeopardised through the immoderate use of resources.

"For economic progress, it is essential that fundamental rights, including property rights, be guaranteed and that sound market structures be put in place, thus ensuring that civil society can grow and exercise its rights. These are necessary preconditions for stimulating investment, creating jobs and mobilising domestic resources," he said.

Deiss added that the rule of law, respect for human rights and democratic institutions were essential to empowerment and stability, and indispensable prerequisites for the continent's attainment of political and social maturity.
-0- PANA AR/VAO 30Jan2011

30 january 2011 14:41:08




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