MAHAMOUD ALI YOUSSOUF, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti, noting omnipresent lack of trust and suspicion impacting international cooperation, observed that — instead of fostering an integrated multilateralism — there is a tendency to “group together into clubs”. This “minilateralism”, he said, results in implacable resistance to change in international institutions, compounded by fossilizing inequality and worsening geopolitical competition. While this is not irreversible, it does require massive investment to create a multilateral system that would account for current geopolitical realities and reinforce close cooperation. Further, such a system would be fair and representative — where both the powerful and less-powerful alike can find their place — and feature an Organization that can credibly respond to the challenges of the moment. “We must not give into the temptation to give up,” he urged, calling for improved debt sustainability, reform of multilateral development banks and a strengthened global financial-security net.
He then reported that, despite a deteriorating global economic situation, Djibouti has made notable progress in reducing malnutrition, managing the pandemic and aligning national policy with the Sustainable Development Goals. The Government also prioritizes poverty-reduction, sustainable economic growth and access to potable water and sanitation. Additionally, as a country in a region vulnerable to climate change, Djibouti is investing in renewable energy and adaptation. In addition to large-scale projects in geothermal energy, the country inaugurated its first wind park, which will provide 60 megawatts of clean energy. This is the first international investment project of note in the national energy sector, and he said it should serve as a model for future private investment in this area. He also detailed Government efforts to improve health-care services and education opportunities — particularly in remote areas — along with investment in transportation infrastructure to strengthen regional connectivity and trade.
Turning to regional issues, he underlined the importance of the battle being waged to liberate Somalia from Al-Shabaab. Somalia is at a critical stage, he stressed, calling for the provision of international support to that country “commensurate with what weighs on it”. Welcoming the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement in South Sudan, he called for its accelerated implementation. In Yemen, the Security Council must find a sustainable way out of the crisis and facilitate the conclusion of an inclusive peace agreement. He nevertheless welcomed the transfer of oil from the Safer tanker as an example of model international cooperation, stating that the coasts of the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula would have been “completely polluted” if the region and the world had not acted quickly. He also called for immediate action to address increasing despair and uncertainty over the lack of a political horizon for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and underscored his country’s commitment to find a peaceful settlement to the border dispute with Eritrea.
Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Djibouti, also stressed the need for strengthening multilateralism and international cooperation. There is a tendency to “group together into clubs”, he said, adding that this “minilateralism” results in resistance to change in international institutions, compounded by worsening inequality and geopolitical competition.
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