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At 71st UN General Assembly: Biya Tells World Leaders, Time For Commitment, Action Is Now 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai

President Paul Biya

President Paul Biya

The President of the Republic of Cameroon, Paul Biya, has told world leaders that in order to achieve the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, the time for commitment and action is now.

President Biya made the call September 22 in New York, while addressing world leaders at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.

The general debate at the session centred on the theme: “The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World.”

Maintaining that it is no longer a matter of promises, Paul Biya told the leaders: “…let us get organised to ensure that the SDGs fare better. Since it is about ‘transforming our world and leaving no one behind’, let us then find the wherewithal to realise our ambitions,” he stated.

According to him, such wherewithal is in three categories notably political, financial and moral. He said “our political will should be constant and not wax and wane according to circumstances; [and] our contributions [financial] should be predictable, certain and adequate. This will require unprecedented mobilisation.

The [moral] principle of the duty of solidarity among peoples should be reaffirmed and observed,” he outlined.

He commended Mogens Lykketoft, former President of the UN General Assembly, for the work done and paid glowing tribute to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, for the achievements he recorded during his two terms within a particularly challenging difficult global context.

To the incumbent President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, Biya said “my country welcomes your decision to place your tenure under the banner of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It therefore hails the holding of this debate on the SDGs nine months after their adoption. The SDGs, it should be recalled, constitute the first global agenda that considers development in all its dimensions: security, economic, social, human and environmental.”

To Biya, the originality of the 2030 ambitious agenda which requires everyone’s genuine involvement lies in the fact that it goes beyond the conventional indicators of economic growth for it truly focuses on human progress, humanity’s heritage, commonwealth, security for all, etc.

“Under this agenda, our common goal is to alleviate poverty and to leave no one behind. It is a challenge that we have set for ourselves and that we must take up together in order to respond to the expectations of our peoples and in short, the summons of history.

“Mr. President, as you are aware, we have, in the past, adopted agendas, declarations and action programmes which raised great hopes in the world among the youth, women and men in the cities and in the countryside. They heralded a new world of peace and shared prosperity.

“Nonetheless, the agreed actions have only been partially implemented. We deplored this whenever we had to, right here: we failed to honour all our commitments, especially financial. We did not fulfil all the hopes and aspirations of our people,” President Biya noted.

He acknowledged that the efforts to be deployed will encounter obstacles including persistent conflicts and rising terrorism. Mentioning the war against terrorism which Cameroon engaged over the past three years, Biya, once more, reiterated that this new type of threat to peace and development requires a collective response, collective determination and action.

Picking out goal 16 of the agenda for sustainable development, which focuses on the promotion and advent of peaceful and inclusive societies, Biya hoped that it will help us to efficiently fight Boko Haram.

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