Panafrican News Agency

Gambia calls for normalisation of Cuba and US, endorses one-China policy - Barrow

Banjul, Gambia(PANA) - President Adama Barrow said here Thursday his country had called for the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States, an official source said here.

President Barrow said Gambia also fully endorsed the One-China policy, adding that it looked forward to stronger, mutually beneficial international cooperation with the People’s Republic of China.

The Gambian leader made the statement in a debate at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

“We endorse the work of the International Criminal Court, and call on the United States to revoke the sanctions imposed on the Court and its officials. Respect for the rule of law benefits all democratic states.

“Furthermore, we renew our interest in the case filed at the International Court of Justice on the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar. In this endeavour, we count on the support and efforts of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation and all genuine partners to ensure that justice is served in Myanmar,” President Barrow said.

On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he called on the international community to take into account the Arab Peace Initiative, and undertake peaceful and genuine dialogue on a two-state solution.

President Barrow further said The Gambia subscribed to the UN-AU Partnership on Peace and Security in Africa, stressing that in spite of its troubles, Africa contributed to global peace and security, thus deserving the support of the international community, particularly the UN.

He gave the assurance that The Gambia would continue to meet its commitments under the Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) Initiative.

He appealed to the international community not to relent in its efforts to restore peace and stability in Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and other trouble spots.

“I submit that The United Nations and regional organisations should do more to disrupt the activities of all armed terrorist and criminal networks. In addition, the African Union’s efforts to silence the guns on the continent deserve continued international support for greater peace and stability on the African continent,” President Barrow said.

He pointed out that The Gambia’s economy had shrunk to 2 per cent of GDP, and it continued to contract.

“Our tourism sector, which is a major employer and foreign exchange earner, is devastated, and unemployment is increasing rapidly.”

He said in this complex situation, his government had, with the support of partners, instituted social protection programmes to ease the adverse impact on his people, adding however that these interventions were not sustainable without external support.

“Implementation of our National Development Plan, 2018-2021 has been hampered by the pandemic. As the UN Decade of Action for the implementation of Agenda 2030 has been undermined by the outbreak of the pandemic, it is essential and most urgent to accelerate the implementation of our global commitments on Financing for Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” he said.

“Developing countries, such as The Gambia, will continue to require support packages or bailouts from the United Nations and the international community in order to survive the ongoing economic decline.”

President Barrow said The Gambia reiterated the strong call by the African Union for debt relief or debt cancellation, enhanced access to global finance, reduction of transaction costs on remittances and increased global solidarity and partnership.

“We hope that the unique circumstances and challenges of the Least Developed Countries, especially countries in transition like The Gambia, will be accorded special and speedy consideration,” he said.


-0-     PANA    MSS/RA   24Sept2020