Sheriff Musa Hydara
President Adama Barrow Thursday emphasized that the current cost-of-living crisis across the world was a wake-up call for an immediate global response to alleviate the suffering and poverty that held nations to ransom.
He said the global inflationary trends, food insecurity, and the energy crisis compounded the natural disasters that continued to cause havoc around the world, adding that “the need for relief grows by the day, yet global efforts appear to be less and less effective”.
He made this statement at the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York.
“In the thick of all the complexities confronting world leaders, we must underscore the centrality of the United Nation’s unique role and potential to make a huge difference in the lives of the people.
“Durable solutions that match the magnitude and intensity of the never-ending challenges remain the Assembly’s greatest challenge,” he said.
“The situation calls for new perceptions, new approaches, new partnerships, renewed commitments, and increased resource levels equal to the scale of both current and emerging challenges.
“To recover as a global family, we must muster the requisite courage and political will, and take advantage of the opportunities that go with the global crises,” President Barrow pointed out.
He welcomed the establishment of the Secretary-General’s Global Crisis Response Group and eagerly looked forward to concrete action-oriented recommendations and solutions.
“As one of the hard-hit developing countries, The Gambia stands ready to cooperate with the Group to find real solutions for immediate relief,” he noted.
President Barrow commended the entire UN body for the continued support to the country’s peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts, noting that The Gambia had come a long way from dictatorship and transitioned into a true multiparty democracy.
He said following the 2021 Presidential Election and the Legislative Elections this year, the consolidation process was gaining momentum.
“We will step up reforming and strengthening our national institutions to sustain a robust democracy where human rights and fundamental freedoms underpin our national policies, programmes, and development efforts.
“As we prepare to end the current electoral cycle with the 2023 Local Government Elections, we are proud that The Gambia now has multiple political parties and vibrant civil society organizations, with a sharp rise in public participation in national affairs,” he said.
“Amid the socio-economic challenges that beset our nation, characterized by reduced tourism engagements, inflation, food, and energy insecurity, and modest economic growth, we are developing a new National Development Plan (NDP) 2022-2026, to succeed the current NDP,” he added.
According to him, with this new Plan, his government seeks to advance the pursuit of national priorities, including the Sustainable Development Goals and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, and therefore, solicit the support of the UN system, as well as their friends and development partners.
“Our goal is to recover and grow our economy, transform digitally, and consolidate our democratic gains. Our resolve is to uplift our people from poverty, secure their livelihoods, and create new avenues to transition into a prosperous, peaceful, and stable nation.”
He added: “Because the youth and women form the greater majority of our population, the Government will continue to empower them. Like all other genuine nations, we are committed to the global consensus that no country should be left behind in this Decade of Action,” President Barrow said.
He added: “Despite its size and economic status, The Gambia is at the forefront of fighting climate change through ambitious national action plans, and we look forward to participating effectively in COP27 in Egypt and the Fifth United Nations Conference on Least Develop Countries (LDCs) in Qatar.”
President Barrow said accelerating development in Africa hinged on addressing the underlying causes of insecurity and underdevelopment, saying that “as a continent, our collective goal is to have a peaceful Africa where the people enjoy the dividends of peace, stability, and prosperity”.
He stated that African governments were committed to silencing the guns on the continent as a strategic objective and for this reason, “we ask the United Nations and the international community to shoulder their fair share of the burden of the African Union peace endeavours”.