“More than ever, the issue of security, peace, the environment and health is entering a critical phase. However, the warning signs are being ignored in favor of economic, geopolitical and geostrategic interests,” he said through an interpreter.
This year’s General Assembly theme is A Turning Point: Transformative Solutions to Interlocking Challenges.
Keep your commitments
For Mr. Touadéra, protecting the environment is one of the interconnected challenges that countries must address.
“It is time for the biggest polluters to meet their commitments, in particular the implementation of the Paris Agreement, as well as international solidarity for climate justice towards the most vulnerable populations,” he said.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how global public health “is a must for all nations without exception.”
“Paradigm shift” in health
The President said the Central African Republic welcomes the “paradigm shift” underway in the health sector and the unprecedented dynamic of solidarity that has accompanied it, including access to vaccines for polio, COVID-19 and soon malaria.
He reported that the country has achieved polio-free status while 50 percent of the target population is vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I commend and encourage the World Health Organization (WHO) preparedness initiative for health emergencies,” he continued. “That
Central African Republic is proud to be the initiator and the first pilot country to help tangibly improve our ability to fight epidemics.”
development at risk
However, the national “march towards development” has been slowed by severe safety and health crises, exacerbated by the continued lack of international financial support. This has disrupted agriculture, forestry and mining.
“As a fragile state, faced with food insecurity and a glaring lack of material and human resources, the Central African Republic continues to make enormous sacrifices to improve its macroeconomic management and tax administration,” he said.
“With the support of its partners, my country has been able to implement ambitious reforms to strengthen revenue mobilization and optimize public spending.”
The CAR expects the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restore the suspended expanded credit facility. The move will help increase domestic resources and enable the digitization of small tax revenues.
However, other challenges such as developing a resilient and diversified economy and supporting the education system still require solutions.
He reported that the Central African Republic was the first country in Africa to adopt Bitcoin as a reference currency and digital payment system, and the first in the world to unanimously pass a law regulating cryptocurrencies.
“This ambitious and innovative initiative represents a tremendous opportunity to reposition the economy to improve prospects and transform the fortunes of the people of Central African Republic at this time when we must open ourselves to new horizons and solutions that… go beyond the conventional,” he said.
Restoration of State Authority
Mr. Touadéra added that the Central African Republic, with the support of international partners, has implemented several bold reforms and initiatives to strengthen the rule of law and restore state authority across the country.
In addition, “bold actions” by the government to combat impunity, along with the implementation of a February 2019 peace agreement and other measures, have helped ease tensions and build trust.
He added that the Central African Republic abolished the death penalty in June this year. A law to combat trafficking in human beings and a child protection code were adopted in August.
The President also addressed the UN Security Council resolution passed in July that eased the arms embargo on his country. Resolution 2648 also condemned attacks by armed groups on civilians.
“I also noted with satisfaction the Council’s position against transnational trade networks that continue to supply armed groups with all kinds of weapons. I welcome the significant progress that has enabled a significant lifting of the arms embargo imposed on our defense and security forces,” he said.
“I would like to pass on the gratitude of the people of Central African Republic to all friendly and fraternal countries who strongly support our call for a full and complete lifting of the embargo.”
However, Mr Touadéra said he regretted “the maneuvering aimed at legitimizing armed groups and insidiously maintaining the embargo”.