Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s video message for the opening session of the sixth Tokyo Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), in Nairobi today:
Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to greet the first TICAD summit to take place on the African continent. I thank His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya for hosting this important gathering. I commend the African Union for its strong ownership and I thank His Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan for his generous support and leadership for African development.
The timing of this Summit is ideal. It follows global agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Agenda and the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as Africa’s adoption of the historic Agenda 2063 and its first 10-year implementation plan.
TICAD is closely aligned to these agendas. Africa’s growth prospects remain strong. African regional and subregional organizations are playing more active roles in preventing and responding to conflict.
Last month, African leaders launched the African Passport. I welcome the decision of African leaders to strengthen the African Peer Review Mechanism and to develop an African Human Security Index. These efforts deserve the steadfast support of the international community.
Africa faces formidable challenges, including declining commodity prices, the fragility of health systems, social instability caused by radicalization, exclusion, youth unemployment, climate change and gender inequality.
TICAD VI can point the way towards solutions. I commend all the co-organizers, including my Special Adviser on Africa, Maged Abdelaziz, for their strong commitments to the TICAD process.
The United Nations will continue to do its part in advancing the TICAD agenda and supporting Africa’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Together, we can ensure that no one, and no African, is left behind.
Source: United Nations