General Debate
    His Excellency
    Hassoumi Massoudou
    Minister of State
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    Statement summary

    HASSOUMI MASSOUDOU, Minister for State and Foreign Affairs of Niger, said many gains laboriously obtained by developing countries have been jeopardized against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The prospects for recovery and growth are becoming further complicated as vaccine availability remains very low.  Welcoming the work of the COVAX Facility, Niger has — through the adoption of bold measures — nevertheless been able maintain a positive growth rate in 2021.  Advocating for the proposed moratorium on the debt of poor countries, especially those that were already in debt distress before the pandemic, he called for a new paradigm to support the development needs of the world’s poorest nations, as well as high quality and dynamic partnerships, and the liberalization of trade.

    Spotlighting the climate crisis’ severe impacts on Niger and the broader Sahel region — which is suffering cycles of drought, flooding and resource scarcity — he described the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report as a resounding call for action.  The global community must mobilize ahead of COP26 to respond, including by adopting a common position on such issues as technology transfer and support for developing countries to meet their climate change goals.  The fragility linked to climate change remains a factor that exacerbates conflict, he emphasized, noting that Niger is surrounded by a hotbed of instability, where terrorist groups have proliferated in the years following the 2011 foreign intervention in Libya.

    Despite its modest resources and large territory, Niger — along with support from bilateral and multilateral partners — has been able to ward off attacks by armed groups and begin repatriating communities displaced by conflict, he continued.  Calling attention to ongoing attacks by terrorist groups against schools in West and Central Africa, he noted that nearly 5,000 schools have been forced to close in recent years.  He called on the international community to honour its commitments to support young peoples’ right to education.  His country remains committed to building human capital in support of peace, development and the rule of law.  Outlining its various educational reforms, he also drew attention to the need to reform the United Nations to make it more inclusive and more representative of the richness of humanity.  In particular, he expressed strong support for efforts to reform the Security Council in line with the common African position, as laid out in the Sirte Declaration and the Ezulwini Consensus.


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