MAHAMAT IDRISS DÉBY ITNO, President of Chad, noted that developing countries, especially in Africa, have been deeply impacted by COVID-19 due to their structural vulnerabilities. The persistence of the virus requires mobilization to amplify response efforts. However, inequality in access to vaccines is great, with rich countries having achieved 50 per cent immunization and poor countries only 2 per cent. Indeed, only 2 per cent of vaccine doses have gone to Africa. It is incomprehensible that some countries stockpile vaccines, he said, stressing that nations not immunized will be the source of virus spread and new variants.
Developing countries are already facing recurring obstacles, such as debt burden, a lack of access to resources, unfair trade terms and the collapse of the tourism sector, he continued. African nations are also affected by the non‑fulfilment of commitments under the 2030 Agenda pertaining to assistance, he said, calling upon international partners to honour their commitments to vulnerable countries.
The lack of prospects in the Sahel region prompts young people to pursue extremist ideologies, he cautioned. Recalling the death of Chad’s former President, he reported that his country is undergoing a period of transition. A broad-based Government was put in place and a road map for transition was adopted in July, focusing on strengthened security and defence, inclusive dialogue, good governance and the rule of law. However, the $1.3 billion cost of the transition plan is out of Chad’s reach and will require support from partners. For the sake of unity, a special technical committee was established to facilitate and include military forces in the national dialogue. In that context, he urged Chadians outside the country to return without fear.
Making note of Chad’s border with Libya, he said his country is suffering the full brunt of the crisis there. The Security Council established a direct link between the withdrawal of foreign fighters in Libya and unrest in Chad, he said, urging the international community and the Council to take measures for the establishment of a supervisory mechanism for a planned and coordinated withdrawal of those elements. Chad is counting on the United Nations to lead the process and mobilize resources necessary to finance it, he said. Indeed, the increase of terror attacks on G5 Sahel security forces threaten the very existence of States in the region. For its part, Chad aims to pool efforts to better adapt to the changing situation on the ground and organize its meagre military resources. In that context, there is a need for greater, multifaceted support for the joint forces and their member States, namely granting the G5 Sahel a mandate under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to ensure its sustainable funding.
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