PRESIDENT TINUBU JOINS WORLD LEADERS IN PARIS TO TACKLE ISSUES OF POVERTY, DEBT, MACRON, GUTERRES CALL FOR NEW WORLD FINANCIAL ORDER

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FGN

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Thursday in Paris-France joined world leaders on the consensus for redesigning the global financial architecture, which will favour poverty reduction, debt restructuring or cancellation, and more consideration for vulnerable countries affected by climate change and Covid-19.

The President arrived at the venue of the event, Palais Brongniart, at 8.59 am (Local Time), for the opening ceremony of the High Level Summit for New Global Financing Pact and he was received by the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna.

Welcoming the world leaders to Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron, said the Summit would focus on drawing up a new financial order that will scale up finances and support developing countries for energy transition, poverty reduction, while respecting the sovereignty of each nation.

The French President noted that African countries had been at the receiving end of the major global challenges, with debt hangovers that hamper growth and development.

“Covid-19 pandemic brought lots of difficulties and now we are faced with the war in Ukraine that has been draining resources that should be channeled into human development,” he said.

Macron told the leaders from 50 countries, multilateral institutions and the private sector that justice and fairness must be imperative in redesigning the new world financial architecture, with more focus on the most vulnerable.

The French President listed four elements for consideration by the leaders, starting with an acknowledgement that reducing poverty would require collective efforts, with a more diverse and comprehensive framework.

“We must admit that no country can succeed alone in reducing poverty and protecting the planet,” he added.

Macron said the framework should be relevant to each country, and subregional roles included, with clear responsibilities and benefits, while multilateral institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank must be re-engineered to be more people and solutions driven.

The French President noted that the private sector must be carried along in the new pact that seeks to harmonise growth, as they control most of the financial instruments that need to be liquified for more even development, especially on health, education and food security.

On behalf of the African countries, the President of Niger Republic, Mohammed Bazoum, said the new pact must be “urgent” and “essential” to Africa, and the framework should be “just” and “robust” in reflecting the reality of developing countries as partners.

Bazoum said the challenges of impoverishment and desertification had stimulated unrest in most countries, affecting peace and stability in sub-regions and the continent.

“In Africa, we need support for infrastructure, health, food security and education,” he stated.

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, told the gathering of leaders that the high level summit would need more mobilisation and political will for redesign and implementation.

The UN scribe said many countries were still struggling from effects of Covid-19 and climate change, and the war in Ukraine had heightened sufferings.

Guterres said some African countries had been unable to service their debts, with indications that generations might be affected.

“African countries,” he said, “were not properly captured in the global order.”

He said the new global financial pact must address fragmentations and frustrations, and enable the kind of change that encourages debt relief, suspension of repayments, change of business models and more commitment from development banks, with guarantees.

The UN scribe said leaders must look beyond reforms, and accept the need for transformation.

“We are at a moment of truth and reckoning, and we can make it a moment of hope,” Guterres said.

Climate Activist, Vanessa Nakate, from Uganda, who called for a moment of silence for the helpless and hopeless across the world, said broken promises cost the lives of many in developing nations.

The Presidents and leaders of multilateral institutions and the private sector at the Summit went into syndicate sessions to discuss the new financial architecture.

President Tinubu will on Friday participate at the summit, which will unveil a New Global Financing Pact and mechanism for implementation.

FGN