MARC HERMANNE GNINADOOU ARABA (Benin) said that over the past seven years his country has been implementing major reforms linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. “The efforts made allowed us to go from a growth rate of 4 per cent in 2016 to 7.6 per cent in 2019,” he stressed, adding that his Government has put in place measures aimed at eliminating poverty and strengthening human capital, including urbanization and urban sanitation, access to energy and potable water, education and health care. Recalling the successful organization in January 2023 of free and transparent legislative elections, he said: “It is no secret that, politically speaking, the West African subregion is grappling with political instabilities and governance problems and the security threat has intensified in several countries, due to the combined action of terrorism, violent extremism and piracy.” Resolving these problems requires subregional and international cooperation, as well as an ongoing commitment to sustainable development and democracy, he noted, highlighting the alarming effects of climate change, the war in Ukraine and the political upheaval in certain countries. “The United Nations must remain for the people of the planet a beacon of hope, solidarity and humanism and we must preserve it at all costs and strengthen it,” he stated, urging for the overhauling of the three pillars: the United Nations, the multilateral trading system and the global financial architecture.
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