Below lies the highlights of a speech given to the African Union by a leader of a Western "power." After reading through the topics covered - malaria, African partnership, climate change, globalization, governance and a laundry list of rouge states - try to tell who gave the speech.
Africa is at the heart of my country's development policy, says the speaker in a October 4, 2007 speech.Here are the highlights:
The scale of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis on your continent is a human disaster. It is a brake on the development of entire states and societies. And above all, it means ineffable suffering for those afflicted and their families, for their friends and acquaintances. We thus have to improve the healthcare systems and make progress towards the goal of near-universal access to preventative measures, to medical treatment and to care. To this end, the G8 want to make available a total of over 60 billion US dollars in the coming years. [My country] has stated its willingness to raise four billion euro by 2015.
More than 50 percent of the development assistance for Africa is provided by the European Union and its member states.
It is therefore naturally very important to us that development cooperation funds are spent in a sensible, targeted and efficient manner…I call for a policy between the EU and Africa that goes well beyond classical development assistance as we know it from the past. Our cooperation will be built on the premise that we will only be able to solve most of the problems and challenges ahead by working together – to establish stable, democratic and free political systems, fair and free world trade, reduce poverty and curb disease, prevent political radicalization, terrorism and civil war, slow climate change, protect our resources and livelihoods and make greater use of renewable energies. I see that our agendas are the same in many of these areas.
The United Nations Millennium Declaration provides a framework for action that enjoys international legitimacy, having been adopted by the UN.
Climate protection is equally something we can only tackle together…We in the industrialized countries know that we have to meet ambitious emission-reduction targets and must of course help the developing countries pursue a similar route in the long term, so that sustainable development can become a reality. This will involve investment and technology transfer on an unprecedented scale. In the future, energy supplies will have to be based to a large extent on renewables such as solar and wind power. Africa must profit from these developments. We as industrialized nations must of course also support the countries of Africa in adapting to climate change, which is already making its impact felt, in some places dramatically.
I am convinced that we politicians can shape globalization. Actively participating in globalization results in more growth and thereby also increases the chance of greater prosperity. Protectionism is inevitably linked to a reduction in growth. This is equally true for developing countries and industrialized countries. The World Bank's studies have recently corroborated this once again.The bad news
- Zimbabwe:We are deeply concerned about the developments there, about the threats and victimization, the intimidation of the Opposition, the demolition of slums and the constant human rights violations. We cannot just sit back and watch. In my opinion, it is above all the states of southern Africa, i.e. the states neighbouring Zimbabwe, that are called upon to act.
- Sudan/Darfur: Of course, it is the Sudanese Government that should be the first to take action, but the African Union and the international community must also be ready to step in. UNAMID must be deployed as quickly as possible, and will then hopefully have the desired effect – as we have discussed today. That is our joint concern.
- Somalia: It poses a considerable threat to the region and beyond. The national process of reconciliation must be pushed forward and a political solution found. I therefore call on all parties to the conflict to reach an agreement. We would be glad to offer our help, and will provide it as and when we are asked.
- Nicolas Sarkozy of France;
- Angela Merkel of Germany;
- Gordon Brown of Great Britain.
Am I being naive in saying this speech could have been given by a handful of leaders? Other than the references to climate change (and to Africa's relationship with Europe), George Bush could have given this speech. Another quiz. Should we thank Western leaders for:
- The consistency of their message;
- The agreement of Africa's problems;
- Their vanilla proposals.