AZALI ASSOUMANI, President of Comoros, welcomed the waves of solidarity, demonstrated during the pandemic, and praised scholars and researchers for their contribution to the development of the vaccines. Pointing to the severe economic impact of the pandemic, he noted that the health care crisis had further deepened the gap between rich and poor, accelerated inequality and disturbed the equilibrium of national economies, all of which could be tackled with solidarity and multilateralism at heart.
He went on to call for guaranteeing better representation for developing countries in the United Nations and particularly for those of the African continent, which include both areas of dynamic economic growth and conflict. Making note of the territorial dispute between France and the Comoros over the island of Mayotte, he highlighted a “willingness on the part of both parties […] to maintaining a frank and constructive dialogue with the view to arriving peacefully at a lasting and respectful solution […]”. Spotlighting several other disputes to which the international community should pay special attention, he pointed to “the overall necessity of thinking about innovative and lasting solutions, which look beyond short-term geopolitical stakes”, while underscoring the importance of consensus as well as efforts aimed at conflict prevention and resolution.
Natural hazards do not spare any country, however, small islands and developing States are among the most vulnerable and will require the greater attention of world leaders, he said. Indeed, States such as his face many other dangerous phenomena — maritime piracy, human trafficking, illegal fishing and the plundering of the sea’s resources — “barbaric acts”, which are a threat to global security.
Nationally, he said, his Government initiated political dialogue bringing together “the men and women of the Comoros Islands around central goals, namely, peace, security and national unity”, in order to guarantee socioeconomic development of the country. To increase the trust of his country’s population in the justice system, his Government established a superior magistrate council, which has worked towards giving the country an adequate political and legal framework.
On the pandemic, he said that the Comoros has seen two waves of the virus and is in the green category of States. The Government plans to vaccinate 80 per cent of the population by the end of 2022, while continuously sheltering the population from the food crisis caused by COVID-19. For its part, during the presidency in the Indian Ocean Commission, the Comoros helped to successfully manage the pandemic in the member States by establishing a regional plan for a blue economy and a strategy for relaunching regional economies. The pandemic weakened the commitments made by the Comoros in the Paris Agreement, he said, encouraging the international community to “find ways and means to move forward with the Paris commitments and to fund the various projects that we have established for the Emerging Comoros Plan”.
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