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President Biya challenges Delegates
President Biya challenges Delegates

08 octobre 2014

In his opening speech, the President of Cameroon, Paul Biya without mincing words called on the delegates to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to push governments and organizations in respecting resolutions.

Often, resolutions reached in the international scene such as the CPC are ignored or are vaguely implanted by some so called “strong and rich countries” of the world. Such lack of interest on issues affecting the rest of the world especially poor countries does not augur well with President Paul Biya, and according to him it is only through commitment to binders that goals can be achieved.  Hence he did not hesitate to call for a change. “It behooves you to plead with national and international authorities to honour their commitments. It is your bounden duty to work towards giving such commitments force of law in your respective countries” he advised the delegates in his opening speech, acknowledging that the massive turnout of Commonwealth Members of Parliament is an eloquent testimony of their interest in fostering solidarity among the peoples they represent.
The Yaoundé conference is reflecting on the developing challenges of the future when the development agenda of the UN comes to an end in 2015 after 15 years, hence the theme, “Repositioning the Commonwealth for the Post-2015 Development Agenda”.
The lofty goals also known as millennium development goals set in 2000 are yet to be attained though efforts have been made. “Fifteen years following the adoption of these goals, it must be acknowledged, unfortunately, that they will not be achieved by 2015 as agreed,” the President noted.
Reason why the Head of State said efforts will have to be stepped up. “These appreciable efforts notwithstanding, it should be admitted that much remains to be done in key areas. Hunger has not been eradicated, poverty reduction is extremely slow, unemployment, especially among the youth, remains a thorny problem and health coverage remains inadequate,” he told the delegates. Such efforts must reflect the common position of nations especially the developing countries. To this end, Africa has tabled its own position at the ongoing United Nations summit aimed at formulating new development goals.
“African countries have prepared a common position which proposes the alignment of the Agenda with national and international development programmes, fully consistent with the African Union’s 2063 Agenda,” President Biya confirmed the oneness of Africa.
With commitment and a common position, other threats could jeopardize the attainment of such set goals. “They are interwoven with those of peace and security, as there can be no development without minimum security and stability,” he reminded the delegates. Note; the conference is holding at a time when the world is faced with these two challenges. “Several parts of the world continue to witness political, economic and social crises. Armed clashes abound. There are repeated and senseless terrorist attacks and acts of maritime piracy which challenge the international community,” President Biya situated the conference.
Unfortunately, the pain of some countries is not shared by all and it was important for the Head of State to recall the absence of federated action especially on the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus.
“Within months, it (Ebola) has already claimed thousands of lives in Africa. The virus poses a real threat that transcends State boundaries, while the international community is yet to find an appropriate response to contain it,” he told delegates openly. Proof, the issues of Ebola is not an item on agenda of the 60th commonwealth Parliamentary Conference.  
Besides lessoning the parliamentarians, he saluted in particular delegates who flew in from afar and those who are setting foot on African soil for the first time.


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