Speech by Abdoulaye Mar Dieye during the Roundtable of Niger Development PartnersDec 13, 2017
Roundtable of Niger Development Partners
Speech by Abdoulaye Mar Dieye
UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa
Paris, France, 13-14 December 2017
Your Excellence, Issoufou Mamadou, President of the Republic of Niger
Honourable Heads of State,,
Our meeting today is being held at a particularly auspicious time. Only yesterday, more than 60 Heads of States of the world gathered here in Paris to keep the flame alive in our common struggle against climate change. Today, the Sahel Heads of State will hold talks with their French counterpart and other partners on the issue of the Sahel, particularly as concerns security. Last week, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 2391, which marks a true leap forward for peace and security in the Sahel.
And the tragic events, dehumanizing the lives of young migrants in Libya still resonate in the depths of our memory and severely challenge our collective conscience. A denial of the rights, freedom and hope to young people who only want to satisfy their legitimate aspirations for a better future.
Peace, security, climate change, sustainable development, migration and youth employment! These are the issues that we need to resolve if we want to achieve the 2030 Agenda of the community of nations and the 2063 Agenda of the African Union.
The Sahel is a central locus of all these interconnected issues. And Niger is not far from the epicentre of these multiple and very often recurrent crises.
Through its Economic and Social Development Plan (PDES), which we will examine today and tomorrow, and which is of a very high quality, Niger wants to prove – and will prove – that we can exit the Sahelian vortex, and that the Sahel can truly rise again like a Phoenix!
Indeed, the Mandé Charter, which is harboured deep within all of the Sahel, was already proclaimed in 1222! We just have to revive it to rediscover the grandeur of yesteryear! And it is against this backdrop that we salute the project for society and the vision underlying this plan that is submitted to us, and that wants to build "a resurgent Niger for a prosperous population". And it is clear to us why this Paris Conference is called "the Renaissance Conference”.
Here I would like to reaffirm the strong commitment of UNDP and United Nations agencies to support Niger in this new development path.
I would like to call on all the public and private partners present here to invest in hope and in the future, and to finance the Niger Plan; such an investment promises massive rates of return, not only in financial terms, but also in peace, development, security and the environment.
Finally, I would like to encourage and welcome the fundamental reforms that the Government intends to launch for the establishment of a new social contract, especially those relating to the structural transformation of the economy, the demographic transition, the expansion of fiscal space, the economic empowerment of rural women, the promotion of schooling for girls, and the overriding priority of youth employment. It will also be necessary to pay special attention to border and crossborder issues – in short, optimal management of large territorial spaces, which are a major feature of Sahelian countries.
I wish you all every success in our work together, and I thank you all.