I thank the President of the UN General Assembly and the President of ECOSOC for organizing this very important meeting. And I also thank the panelists for the valuable insights.
Many if not all of the most pressing challenges of our time can only be addressed in close partnership and cooperation with African countries and societies. It is in this spirit that Germany remains strongly committed to partner with Africa, also in the context of making progress in the African continent’s development agenda.
To give you a few focused examples, with a view to the limited time:
We have been speaking a lot on the global food situation within the last years, take the Global Food Summit as a prominent example, but also and in particular recently with prices in basic commodities and energy skyrocketing. Africa has been hardest hit by this crisis, which has been exacerbated by Russia’s unlawful aggression against Ukraine.
At the G7 Summit, chaired by Germany in June 2022, we were able to mobilize additional funds of USD 4.5 billion for providing food security worldwide and intend to do more. We also decided to build a platform for global cooperation. Along with the G7 and its Global Alliance for Food Security Germany strongly supports the UN Global Crisis Response Group, set up by UN Secretary-General back in March.
But of course, this will not be enough as these efforts rather address the big short-term challenges. In the end, the food security for our planet can only come from sustainable and long-term agricultural food systems around the global. This, we will have to tackle together.
My second point refers to health. Under German bilateral cooperation, we are supporting the strengthening of health systems in Africa. Strong health systems contribute to the resilience of societies, and enable just access to health care and to improved mother-child health and family planning. We have seen that the pandemic has undermined the progress in sustainable development and has disproportionally affected women and girls. We are in this boat together and we have to continue to cooperate, such as in the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria. I am glad that we have been able to tackle these challenges under the G7 Presidency as well.