JOÃO MANUEL GONÇALVES LOURENÇO, President of Angola, said the only way forward to fight the pandemic was through combined efforts, without distinctions between rich and poor or social categories. “It is shocking to see the disparity between some nations and others with respect to availability of vaccines,” he said, noting that most of the population in Africa had not received the first dose. He went on to call for recognizing the COVID-19 vaccine as “a good for all humanity”, which should be equitably distributed on a global scale.
Noting the negative impact that the pandemic had had on the living conditions of the country’s people, he said that Angola was seeking solutions to help mitigate its impact, including in terms of financial responsibilities towards creditors.
Turning to Angola’s efforts to contribute to peace and stability in Central Africa, in the Great Lakes Region and other parts of the continent, he pointed to his country’s experience in “seeking solutions for disputes through dialogue and understanding between conflicting parties”.
He went on to express concern over the use of military force in some African countries to prompt changes in institutional order, which did not receive “an appropriate and sufficient reaction from the international community”. Citing activities of extremist groups in the African Sahel, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique, he urged the international community to strengthen its capacity to respond to these dangerous acts as well as to condemn the rise in the use of mercenaries. The United Nations, African Union and the international community, must encourage the Ethiopian authorities to find better ways to put an end to the conflict in the Tigray region, and counter the threat of a humanitarian catastrophe before it becomes too late, he said.
On climate change, he pointed to the frequency and ferocity of natural hazards, which required “concerted efforts” to protect planet Earth which has been sending “increasingly clear signals that she is not happy with how we treat her”.
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