Seventy-seventh Session,
16th Meeting (AM)

Reviewing Progress in Implementing Major Conference Goals, Speakers in General Assembly Focus on Education Reforms, Doha Action Programme, Africa’s Industrial Development

Delegates offered input on the Transforming Education Summit, the Doha Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2022-2031, follow-up to the Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome, as well as progress in implementing the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016–2025), as the General Assembly met today to review how major United Nations conferences and summits are carried out and ways to help strengthen the United Nations system.

Speakers considered the report submitted by the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on the progress in implementing the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016–2025) (document A/77/271) as well as the Secretary-General’s report (document A/77/187), prepared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), on efforts to implement Assembly resolution 75/155, entitled “Literacy for life:  shaping future agendas”.

Abdulrahman Abdulaziz F. A. Al-Thani (Qatar) said the Transforming Education Summit provided positive momentum, promoted ambition, accelerated transformation and ensured quality, inclusive education for all, especially after the challenges created by the pandemic.  Through its role on the preparatory Advisory Committee and holding regional consultations, Qatar views education as a priority and will help achieve sustainable development, he said.

Turning to the upcoming Doha Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2022-2031, he viewed its ambitious tools and instruments as a reform road map to address the challenges faced by those countries.  The Government of Qatar looks forward to hosting the second part of the fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in March 2023, he said, stressing that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help those nations deliver on a better and brighter future for their citizens.  Qatar has contributed $551 million for development and humanitarian assistance projects and will continue to work with strategic partners and United Nations agencies to address urgent global issues.

Osuga Takeshi (Japan) urged the Assembly to review the follow-up to the Millennium Declaration and the 2005 World Summit Outcome.  The United Nations has been severely damaged by the aggression by a permanent member of the Security Council against its neighbour, he noted.  To restore trust, Member States must strengthen the United Nations, using the visions and principles of the Charter, while upholding the rule of law.  The Council must consider every peaceful settlement of dispute and reform so future generations can enjoy peace and prosperity.  As an incoming non-permanent member, Japan will do its utmost to ensure that the Council and the Assembly function effectively in making the rule of law prevail, he said.  It is also high time to move to text-based negotiations on Council reform, he said.  Moreover, the Council should meaningfully discuss issues such as the global food and energy crisis, climate change, oceans, space and cybersecurity to strengthen the peace, development, security and human rights nexus. 

On strengthening the Assembly, he called for using existing fora to make Assembly debates and discussions more relevant to impending global issues while streamlining agendas and working methods.  He also called for greater attention to the complementarity between the Council and the Assembly and the strengthening of the Secretary-General’s role.  Japan has high expectations that the High-Level Advisory Board and other stakeholders will make useful recommendations and “instil new life” into the discussions on strengthening multilateralism, he emphasized.

Spotlighting Africa’s advancement, Xolisa Mfundiso Mabhongo (South Africa) called for African Governments to work with the international community to foster economic growth and development.  African countries were experiencing impressive growth rates before the pandemic, he pointed out, adding that manufacturing and industrialization are key to the region’s future and African countries should work to increase the continent’s share of that global sector.  The African Continental Free Trade Area has created a wider economic area governed by common rules and standards, ensuring the free movement of goods and services through lowered tariffs and establishing a dispute resolution, he noted. 

Turning to the theme “literacy for life”, he called for national, regional and international partnerships to implement the Transforming Education Summit’s outcomes.  The education sector must make resources and redesign the teaching and learning implementation framework to include structural interventions, which address learner health and well-being.  Public funding allocated to education should be sufficient to ensure that the rights of children and adults to inclusive and quality education are realized, he stressed.

The Assembly will meet again at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 11 October, to resume its eleventh emergency special session.

For information media. Not an official record.