CRAFT LAWS THAT RESPOND TO NEEDS OF PEOPLE,
NEW YORK, 8 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following message from Secretary-General Kofi Annan was delivered to the Parliamentary Forum on the New Partnership for Africa's Development today by Zephirin Diabré, Associate Administrator, United Nations Development Programme:
It gives me great pleasure to send my greetings to this forum on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). I would like to commend the Speaker of the National Assembly of Benin, the Honourable Adrien Houngbedji, as well as all the staff of the Assembly, for seizing this opportunity and organizing this important event.
The NEPAD is first and foremost a partnership between African leaders and their peoples, and between States within Africa. The NEPAD also envisages a new partnership between Africa and the international community, especially the highly industrialized countries, based on mutual respect and interdependence, as well as transparency and accountability, including peer review and performance monitoring among both African countries and international partners.
Parliamentarians have a critical role to play in translating this ambitious vision into concrete and measurable initiatives that will improve the lives of the African people. As their representatives, you must craft laws that respond to their needs and aspirations; you must show your commitment to democracy, good governance and effective public administration; and you must serve as an institutional bridge between the State and civil society. Indeed, increased participation by Africans in the decisions affecting their lives will be a key factor in the success of NEPAD and the development of the continent.
This forum offers a timely opportunity to discuss NEPAD and to explore the most promising ways to move forward. The United Nations system is strongly committed to providing the fullest possible support to this endeavour. In that spirit of partnership, please accept my best wishes for the success of your deliberations.
* *** *