Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Calls for End to Delays on UNESCO-Obiang Life Sciences Prize

Pastor Micha Ondo Bile, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea's (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophonie, has called on UNESCO to proceed with the Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Life Sciences Research before the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Minister Ondo Bile reinforced Equatorial Guinea's longstanding commitment to humanitarian aid and the prize's purpose to lessen the suffering of peoples worldwide, particularly in Africa.



(To read Minister Ondo Bile's speech in its entirety, go to:
http://qorv.is/xlb)

During his speech, Minister Ondo Bile said: "The people and the Government of Equatorial Guinea believe that this is the appropriate time and place to once again express its deep concern for the unfair and irresponsible attitude by certain figures and NGOs working against the laudable and humanitarian initiative to create the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo prize to motivate and encourage action by the world's scientists in scientific research for the conservation of life."

Minister Ondo Bile called on UNESCO to "without further delay, materialize the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo international prize for research in life sciences" in accordance with the decision which was adopted unanimously by all Member States of the Executive Board of UNESCO in October 2008. Further, Minister Ondo Bile reminded the Assembly that "this contribution of USD $3 million, is directed at the international scientific community and aims to find solutions and remedies to the major pandemics and diseases that plague the world today in general and, particularly, the African Continent."

As a part his speech, Minister Ondo Bile recounted Equatorial Guinea's record of humanitarian contributions to countries experiencing hardships, from natural disasters and economic crises, including:

  • Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (for the Chernobyl accident in 1986)
  • Federal Republic of Nigeria (for the oil pipeline explosion in the town of Jesse 1998)
  • Republic of Cameroon (for the Naos Volcanic Eruption)
  • Central African Republic (for aid of its economic crisis 2003-2004)
  • Niger (for the famine in 2007)
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea (for the support of its economic crisis)
  • United States (for Hurricane Katrina)
  • Republic of Cuba (for the effects of hurricanes in 2008)
  • Republic of Bangladesh (for the tsunami disaster)
  • Republic of Haiti (for hurricanes and floods in 2008 and 2010)
  • Republic of Sao Tome and Principe (for economic crisis)
  • Republic of Algeria Democratic and Popular (earthquakes in 2005)

The Foreign Minister further questioned the motivation of UNESCO to delay the Obiang Nguema Mbasogo prize, considering that despite (1) the great need that exists in the international scientific community; (2) its potential to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable communities, particularly in Africa; (3) having been duly approved by Member States that make up the Executive Board of UNESCO; and (4) the unanimous decision of Members of the International Committee on the Award to name three international scientists as winners international (mostly from developing countries), the prize still remains blocked today.

Most recently, as part of Equatorial Guinea's efforts to improve health in the country and promote scientific research on the African Continent, President Obiang announced the donation of USD$1.5 million from the Government of Equatorial Guinea to the World Health Organization, as well as the delivery of a headquarters facility for the organization to expand its work in the country. President Obiang also recently signed an agreement with the African Union for the creation and installation of the first Headquarters of the African Center for Science, Technology and Innovation in Equatorial Guinea.



Statement By The Honorable Minister Of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation And Francophonie Of The Republic Of Equatorial Guinea

Pastor Micha Ondo Bile

TO THE SIXTY-FIFTH REGULAR SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF

UNITED NATIONS

NEW YORK, September 27, 2010




Mr. President,
Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Mr. Secretary General,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have the great honor of speaking at the Sixty-Fifth Ordinary Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, on behalf of His Excellency Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President and Head of State of Equatorial Guinea, who for multiple and high occupations of the State, has not been possible to take an active part as he would have liked, in this August Assembly.

On behalf of the Government and people of Equatorial Guinea, I wish to first offer my most sincere congratulations to His Excellency. Mr. Joseph Deiss, and his unanimous election as President of this regular session of the General Assembly. We wish you much success in the direction of the work and deliberations of this session.

Our gratitude also extends to other elected officers and in a very special way, our admiration and respect for the Hon. Dr. Ali Abussalam Treki, outgoing President and distinguished African diplomat, who has played a major role as President of the sixty-fourth session and led us to begin this new session with plenty of optimism.

Mr. President,

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea reaffirms its firm commitment and adherence to the ideals, principles and objectives of the Organization of the United Nations. And in that context, I greet the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and I reiterate the gratitude of the Government and people of Equatorial Guinea for his wise leadership in managing this great organization, and particularly appreciate his vision and the opportunity that has able to identify and select the seven (7) current world strategic issues that should deserve more attention from all Member States in this Session.

Equatorial Guinea is optimistically participating in the work of this Session with respect to the eventual and gradual solution to the problems facing humanity today in general and on the African continent in particular.

Especially, the fact that the nineties saw several initiatives to promote sustainable development, which have been promoted through major global conferences and summits, addressing issues like Population and Sustainable Development, Food, Environment, Development Finance, among others, and in the context of this session of 2010, the review of implementation, and monitoring the results of those conferences and summits, such as the Millennium Summit.

What has happened in more than ten years after these summits, particularly, the Millennium Summit? As rightly pointed out in previous speeches in this Assembly, it makes no sense to continue doing things the same way and expecting different results.

Mr. President,

Unfortunately, both the Report of the Secretary General as the statements issued in recent days by the various delegations at the High Level Meeting on the Millennium Summit, suggest that instead of improving, the number of hungry people has increased, remained at higher levels than the number of people living in poverty, and the environment has degraded causing severe climate events, such as natural disasters including, constant floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc., which have caused devastation in several countries and heavy losses to the livelihood of their populations.

As if the above phenomena were not enough, acts of international terrorism have increased, organized crimes and cross-continental piracy and the acute economic crisis is affecting the entire international community.

All these phenomena highlight the need for greater awareness and coordination of all nations on the planet.

We should all concentrate our efforts, energies and resources on measures to promote and maintain peace and security in the world, promote a healthy environment, active cooperation to eliminate nuclear weapons, and combat terrorism and international organized crime.

We must work closely to forge a world where there is a participatory and equitable spirit between men and women in which the reform of the Security Council allows greater representation, participation and decision making that reflects the will and the interests of all countries and regions of the world, big, medium or small.

Mr. President,

In previous speeches, the importance was highlighted of, and I quote: "each UN member country is clearly responsible implied here within the United Nations to respond to the urgent issues concerning the world today.”

This call, Mr. President, is what inspired His Excellency the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to propose the creation of an international award for scientific research in the fields of life sciences at the General Conference of the Organization of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2007. This contribution of USD $3 million, is directed at the international scientific community and aims to find solutions and remedies to the major pandemics and diseases that plague the world today in general and, particularly, the African Continent.

Surprisingly, Mr. President,

  • despite the great need for the international scientific community,
  • despite its potential to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable communities particularly in Africa,
  • despite having been duly approved by member states that make up the Executive Board of UNESCO, and
  • despite the unanimous decision of Members of the International Committee on the Award, to name three international scientists as winners international (mostly from developing countries),

this prize is still blocked today, simply because it is an initiative of an African leader.

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea denounces the manipulations and maneuvers of the new UNESCO administration against the humanitarian initiative of the People of Equatorial Guinea. As a Member State, it seems unprecedented and somewhat disturbing that a decision of the Executive Council of a United Nations institution is not executed by the Secretariat.

Most worrisome is that the manipulations and injustice of certain undeclared interests have become apparent within organizations within the United Nations, and is unfortunately the case of UNESCO, where we believed all member countries had the same consideration and equal rights.

The determination and humanity of the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to help solve the problems that plague humanity speaks for itself. Among the physical donations and consumer goods offered in the past, we could mention, among other things, the donations sent to:

  1. Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (for the Chernobyl accident in 1986)
  2. Federal Republic of Nigeria (for the oil pipeline explosion in the town of Jesse 1998)
  3. Republic of Cameroon (for the Naos Volcanic Eruption)
  4. Central African Republic (for aid of its economic crisis 2003-2004)
  5. Niger (for the famine in 2007)
  6. Democratic People's Republic of Korea (for the support of its economic crisis)
  7. United States (for Hurricane Katrina)
  8. Republic of Cuba (for the effects of hurricanes in 2008)
  9. Republic of Bangladesh (for the tsunami disaster)
  10. Republic of Haiti (for hurricanes and floods in 2008 and 2010)
  11. Republic of Sao Tome and Principe (for Economic Crisis)
  12. Republic of Algeria Democratic and Popular (earthquakes in 2005)

Mr. President,
Dear Delegates,

It is for all the aforementioned acts that the People and the Government of Equatorial Guinea believe that this is the appropriate time and place to once again express its deep concern and concern for the unfair and irresponsible attitude by certain figures and NGOs working against the laudable and humanitarian initiative to create the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo prize to motivate and encourage action by the world's scientists in scientific research for the conservation of life.

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea asks that without further delay, the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo international prize for research in life sciences materialize in accordance with decision 180 EX/57 which was adopted unanimously by all Member States of the Executive Board of UNESCO in October 2008.

Mr. President,

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is a sovereign independent state, ruled by a democratic and pluralistic political system that respects the fundamental rights of individuals, without discrimination of race, ethnicity, gender or creed. These principles are enshrined in the Basic Law and the laws that underpin the legal system of our country, which guarantees and promotes individual and collective freedoms for the citizens of Equatorial Guinea, which provides punishment for offenders likely to undermine the rule of law.

Indeed, the Constitution of Equatorial Guinea gives prominence and privilege to human rights and fundamental freedoms, as long as it is based on the United Nations Charter and its principles and objectives underlying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Therefore, our country has begun the process of judicial reform, and has ratified several international conventions and treaties on promotion and protection of human rights as an integral part of our legal system, while the Government over the last ten years has made great progress in updating and adaptating legislation, legal and administrative requirements for the promotion and protection of civil and political rights, as well as social, economic and cultural.

In addition to these constant and strenuous efforts, several other measures and actions have been taken by the Government of Equatorial Guinea to strengthen enforcement of existing laws in the country in order to promote human rights and the rule of law, especially, the recent enactment of the new Organic Law of Judicial Power, which determines the comprehensive organization of the judiciary and the administration of justice in Equatorial Guinea.

Mr. President,

In recent years, the world's nations have witnessed a resurgence of acts of terrorism and violence, in particular, since the tragedy in this historic and beautiful American city of New York on September 11, 2001. Such actions have led the fight against terrorism to become one of the priority themes of international and national policy in all countries.

Within this context, the United Nations and international law have defined a series of stringent requirements that states must obligatorily meet in order to ensure an effective fight against this global scourge that affects all States equally without distinction of nationality or borders.

In particular, we must take into account resolution 1373 (2001), and those related, by the Security Council of the United Nations, which represents a significant milestone in the international fight against terrorism. In effect, this resolution which imposes on States a series of obligations, including to incriminate certain behaviors, such as the financing of terrorism, or recruitment of members of terrorist groups.

Therefore, the implementation of international standards in the fight against terrorism, especially in terms of criminality, not merely an internal criminal policy decision, but the fulfillment of their obligations under international law in general.

Our country has been repeatedly the victim of terrorist attacks in the past five years, so that the Government of Equatorial Guinea has placed the fight against terrorism as a priority in its Action Plan for national development, while condemning in the strongest terms acts of terrorism, whatever its motivation or origin, since it constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.

Equatorial Guinea remains true to its commitments and is convinced of the need to continue the efforts being made in relation to the Millennium Declaration and in accordance with the principles of the United Nations aimed at overcoming the many challenges of development.

However, the current situation requires closer cooperation, more dynamic and efficient, sincere and coordinated, that excludes all conditions, and coordinated support and solidarity with all political forces in developed countries, in order to promote shared prosperity and a better future for all countries.

Mr. President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me conclude, on behalf of the Government of Equatorial Guinea, we renew greatest desire that the current design and conduct of international affairs be amended – which are showing often exclusionary attitudes of certain States and regions – through a stronger and sincere commitment of all the international community in favor of the ongoing United Nations reform, aimed at strengthening multilateralism.

Only then we will have established a solid foundation for a lasting world peace and security, a prosperous world now and a sustainable legacy for future generations.

THANK YOU

Friday, September 24, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Diversifying Energy Resources

Construction of Djibloho Hydroelectric Plant nears completion

As part of the country’s effort to diversify its energy resources and improve electrification nationwide, Equatorial Guinea (República de Guinea Ecuatorial) has undertaken the construction of the Djibloho Hydroelectric Plant on the continental region, near the city of Añisok. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo visited the plant to witness the positive developments as the plant reaches completion in November 2011.

President Obiang, accompanied by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Forestry, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, and the Minister of Mines and Energy, Marcelino Owono Edu, toured the hydroelectric plant and received technical explanations about the various facilities. Sinohydro Corporation Ltd., a Chinese company, began construction of the plant in March 2008.

The Djibloho Hydroelectric and Distribution Plant will generate over 220 kilowatts to supply electricity to the mainland region. This ambitious project, whose first phase is expected to be delivered in 2011, is funded entirely by the Government of Equatorial Guinea and is one of the largest infrastructure investments thus far.

This visit follows President Obiang’s recent trip to the city of Aconibe, accompanied by the First Lady, Constancia Mangue de Obiang. During his stay in Aconibe, President Obiang chaired ground breaking ceremonies for a total of 26 social projects, funded entirely by the government at a cost of more than XAF$2,200 million francs. The projects include the construction of a new Aconibe health center, drinking water capture and storage facility, a new school, local government offices, 24 social housing projects, and of several roads in the center of the city and surrounding villages.

This effort is part of the Equatorial Guinea’s multi-year program to upgrade and enhance the infrastructure of the country. The government’s Horizon 2020 development plan, put in motion by President Obiang, has made infrastructure development a central goal to drive the country to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Committed To Achieving Millennium Development Goals

Renewed Global Cooperation Will Overcome Set Backs From Global Economic Crisis

Speaking at the Sixty-Fifth General Assembly of the United Nations, Equatorial Guinea’s (República de Guinea Ecuatorial) Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophonie, Pastor Micha Ondo Bile, outlined the progress his country has been making toward meeting the UN’s goals as well as made a call for optimism in overcoming the challenges currently being faced by all nations.

(To read Minister Ondo Bile’s remarks in their entirety, visit: http://qorv.is/elb)

“The global recession has complicated the way toward 2015, but we must not lose sight of the important and in some cases, significant progress achieved so far by some countries,” said Minister Ondo Bile.

Minister Ondo Bile, speaking on behalf of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who could not attend the UN session due to official duties, detailed numerous activities the Government of Equatorial Guinea has taken, such as the creation of the Social Development Fund with assistance from the Agency for International Development of the United States of America (USAID). The Fund's main objective is to improve social services and provide needed human resources training.

“The financing of this fund is secured with funds of the Government, and an amount of $15 million has already been made available to USAID for technical assistance, and the Government has committed to allocate another $72 million the first phase of implementation of concrete projects…representing 0.8% of GDP according to reliable IMF data sources,” Minister Ondo Bile said.

In addition to such internal investment, Equatorial Guinea has also been contributing substantial financial allocations to the development of activities to promote sustainable human development, including: $3 million UNESCO Prize for research in life sciences, and the African Union for implementation of the Pan-African Center for Science, Technology and Innovation worth $3.6 million.

“The Millennium Development Goals are to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea a serious commitment to sustainable development,” Minister Ondo Bile said. “It is for this reason that my Government has taken a series of economic, legislative, legal and administrative measures to enforce the implementation of the Millennium Declaration.”

Equatorial Guinea’s 2020 Development Plan Guiding Country Toward Emerging Economy

At a high level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals during the 65th United Nation’s General Assembly, Equatorial Guinea (República de Guinea Ecuatorial) demonstrated it’s ongoing commitment to overcoming the challenges posed by the global economic crisis in achieving the goals set out in the Millennium Declaration.

During his remarks to the Assembly, the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophonie, Pastor Micha Ondo Bile outlined various initiatives the country is undertaking to comply with its own Horizon 2020 development plan, which includes many of the benchmarks set in the UN Millennium Development Goals.

“To mitigate the effects of poverty and meet the Millennium Declaration, the Government of Equatorial Guinea has embarked on a strategic planning process long-term development, which has led to the holding of two national economic conferences,” said Minister Ondo Bile.

In recent years, Equatorial Guinea’s economic performance has been particularly outstanding, in large part to the discovery and operation of major oilfields. In order to diversify and ensure sustainability of the country’s economy – once reliant mainly on timber and cocoa exports – the government has convened two National Economic Conferences and defined new directions for economic and social policies to move the country toward an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

The “Horizon 2020” development plan, set in motion by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in 2007, outlined 5 major goals:

  • Invest in strengthening economic growth;
  • Strengthen the development of structured investments;
  • Promote and strengthen the development of social policy actions;
  • Ensure a transparent social climate; and,
  • Develop the prospects for better monitoring and evaluation of poverty and living conditions of households.

“The vision of sustainable development by 2020 adopted by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea means achieving the Millennium Development Goals through the multiplication of our efforts, expanding the sources of production and training human resources to achieve appropriate levels of growth for a competitive economy, capable of eradicating poverty and hunger, as defined under the current Action Plan for the Development of Equatorial Guinea by Horizon 2020.”

One of the government-wide efforts to meet all the Millennium Development Goals set by United Nations, the Malaria Control Project on the Island of Bioko, funded by the government and a private consortium led by Marathon Oil Corporation, showed a reduction in infant mortality in nearly one third of the population. Equatorial Guinea's Island of Bioko achieved the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals for the reduction of child mortality by 2015 far ahead of schedule.

Numerous other initiatives in education, healthcare, infrastructure and economic development are underway in Equatorial Guinea to meet the Horizon 2020 and Millennium Development Goals.

Official Statement by Pastor Micha Ondo Bile, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Francophonie for Equatorial Guinea

Delivered on September 21, 2010 during the UN’s High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals

United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY



Excellencies, Mr. President and Co-President,

Your Majesties Excellencies,

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government
Mr. Secretary General,
Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great honor to speak at this important high-level meeting on behalf of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who because of many official duties has not been able to attend this important meeting personally and in whose name we direct our warmest congratulations to the Honorable President and Co-President and other officers, responsible for directing the discussions at this Third Round Table on the theme Promotion of Sustainable Development.

Our presence at this meeting highlights the strong commitment of Equatorial Guinea to multilateralism in general, and the principles and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations in particular. It is in this context and on behalf of the President of the Republic, the Government and people of Equatorial Guinea, which I extend my warmest greetings to Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, and I renew our appreciation for the hard work in management and service of humanity and sustainable development.

This high-level meeting is devoted specifically to discuss the Millennium Development Goals, and is for all of us a great opportunity to give new impetus to achieving these goals.

Therefore, I congratulate the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, for the brilliant initiative and this high level meeting, and for the detailed report, which clearly illustrates the path over the last ten years and that which still remains to be done to reach the finish line successfully. It presents another important opportunity to renew the commitments made by the international community since 2000 during the Millennium Summit and to review progress and strengthen our commitments in order to give a decisive final push in order achieve these goals by 2015.

Also, we understand that this high-level meeting provides an opportunity to chart the way forward, establishing a "road map" or realistic Program of Action, with specific measures to accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

Mr. President and Co-President,

The Report of the Secretary-General stresses once again that the goals and objectives set in the Millennium Declaration have not been achieved as desired by us all, and most of the countries, especially developing countries, and those least developed, are generally marginalized in the global economy, and affected by extreme poverty.

Progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals has always been undermined by a series of negative factors, including among others, declining flows of official development aid, severe structural handicaps, falling commodity prices, and for some countries, violent conflicts or post-conflict situations and natural disasters. The global recession has complicated, moreover, the way to 2015, but we must not lose sight of the important and in some cases, significant progress achieved so far by some countries.

The economic crisis left about 50 million people in extreme poverty. The number of children reaching the age of five worldwide has increased steadily, although this progress is not fast enough to achieve the target set in the Millennium Declaration.

Instead, the events that have occurred and the delays experienced since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000, dictate that we must revitalize the consensus among all countries on the challenges and key priorities for action, and that consensus become collective action.

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea understands that in the context of implementing the Millennium Declaration, a series of decisions must be made that jointly involve and encourage all states to implement their commitments made in 2000 and in 2005, in which we proceeded, first, to review compliance with the Millennium Development Goals. These are policy decisions, measures and reforms that should lead all states, and can be applied to mobilize the political will of all countries of the international community and its allies, and also the willingness of all partners firmly committed to fight for the cause of development.

We should all be guided by the needs and expectations of each country and all people in the world. In a world of interconnected threats and opportunities, we should respond effectively to these challenges in the interest of all nations, and particularly of African Nations.

Mr. President and Co-President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Millennium Development Goals represent for Equatorial Guinea a serious commitment to sustainable development. It is for this reason that my Government has taken a series of economic, legislative, legal and administrative measures to enforce the implementation of the Millennium Declaration.

During the past ten years, the economic performance of Equatorial Guinea has been particularly outstanding, thanks to the discovery and operation of major oilfields.

However, the development of oil production has relegated to the background all the traditional sectors of the national economy. Equatorial Guinea's economy now relies mainly on oil, which represents about 95% of GDP and exports. Timber and cocoa, the main sources of the economy in 1990, have almost disappeared, thus the timber which accounted for 40% of exports in 1990, today represents only 1%. This implies the dependence of our economy on oil and its fragility.

To mitigate the effects of poverty and meet the Millennium Declaration, the Government of Equatorial Guinea has embarked on a strategic planning process long-term development, which has led to the holding of two national economic conferences.

The second of these conferences was held in November 2007 under which our Government has established strategic guidelines and priorities that shape and sustain the "Plan of Economic and Social Development and Poverty Reduction in Equatorial Guinea for Horizon 2020.”

In a concrete way, the second National Economic Conference of Equatorial Guinea has defined the main directions of economic and social policies to reduce poverty strongly in Equatorial Guinea for Horizon 2020, which is structured around five (5) major axes, which are: (i) Invest in strengthening economic growth, (ii) Strengthening the development of structured investments, (iii) To promote and strengthen the development of social policy actions, (iv) Ensure a transparent social climate, and (v) Develop the prospects for better monitoring and evaluation of poverty and living conditions of households.

The vision of sustainable development by 2020 adopted by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea means achieving the Millennium Development Goals through the multiplication of our efforts, expanding the sources of production and training human resources to achieve appropriate levels of growth for a competitive economy, capable of eradicating poverty and hunger, as defined under the current Action Plan for the Development of Equatorial Guinea to the Horizon 2020, established by our Government in 2007.

Instruments such as the Social Development Fund (SDF), created by the Government of Equatorial Guinea in 2006, under the diligent assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), are strategic initiatives by our country to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The fund aims to improve social services made available by the Government for the benefit of the population, to facilitate their access to quality basic public services, ensuring sustainable human development and a well-protected environment.

The Fund's main objective is to develop the capacities of the institutions of the social sector ministries and the training of human resources of Equatorial Guinea in developing methods and procedures, management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects.

The financing of this fund is secured with funds of the Government, and an amount of USD $15 million has already been made available to USAID for technical assistance, and the Government has committed to allocate another USD$72 million for the first phase of implementation of projects, which is over five years, representing 0.8% of GDP according to IMF data sources.

My Government is agreeing to contribute substantial financial allocations to the development of activities to promote sustainable human development. To name a few, the contribution made to UNESCO for a prize for research in life sciences, worth USD$3 million and to the African Union for implementation of the Pan-African Center for Science, Technology and Innovation, worth USD$3.6 million. In addition, there are several other financial contributions that have been made in recent years to the Secretary General, the Agencies and United Nations to support the strengthening of their activities.

Mr. President and Co-President,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The above measures are to confirm the strong commitment of my country to move towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially to in fully meet those targets set in recent international conferences sponsored by the international community in the economic, social, and related fields. The application and coordination and follow-up results, are the main purpose of this high-level plenary meeting during this 65th Session of General Assembly.

Mr. Chairman and Co-Chairs

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has not been exempted from the global financial and economic crisis, which has had serious impact on all economic activity in Africa, reversing the process made towards achieving the development goals for the continent.

In several countries of our continent, including Equatorial Guinea, the crisis has slowed progress toward the Millennium Development Goals, as well as toward achieving the development goals set by the African Union, under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

The cause of development and especially the fight against poverty and hunger plaguing the world today can only be achieved through extensive, deep and sustained international cooperation among states, with strong commitment and support from agencies of the United Nations, including the private sector and civil society.

The "Global Partnership for Development" (UNDP) should therefore be based on mutual responsibility and accountability, calling on developing countries to strengthen their economic structures to fight corruption, promote the growth driven by the private sector and maximize the availability of domestic resources to finance national development strategies, while developed countries must necessarily and legitimately support these efforts with a substantial increase of 0.7% of Official Development Assistance.

The need for compliance with the objectives of financing development is becoming increasingly evident in the current global economic crisis where developing and poorer countries are bearing the brunt of that crisis, and how it holds back the progress made toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

In our humble opinion, the Millennium Development Goals detailed in the Millennium Declaration in 2000 can be met by 2015, but only if all stakeholders now break with routine, dramatically accelerate and scale up our commitment. To achieve the Millennium Development Goals, there is an absolute need for greater solidarity within the diversity among all states and institutions that comprise the international community.

Thank you.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Investing In Healthcare

Voice of America (VOANews.com) reports that Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Health, Francisco Pascual Obama Asue said the government is working closely with the World Health Organization and putting up health infrastructure as well as implementing a host of health programs geared towards improving the health of Equatorial Guineans.

The Minister of Health said “the first investment began in 1996, and since then the government started investing in hospitals and other health centers. In Bata on (the coast), a very modern hospital was built called La Paz and it actually has all the modern technologies and is staffed by Israeli doctors. There also are a number of health centers under construction,” reported Voice of America (VOANews.com).

As reported by Voice of America (VOANews.com), Minister Obama Asue said the government has adopted the recent WHO resolutions as part of the administration’s efforts to improve public health for its people. Equatorial Guinea recently hosted a WHO regional committee meeting in the capital, Malabo.

In addition, the Minister of Health was quoted saying, “the government has been working hard to improve public health for its citizens in projects such as a malaria program, reproductive program with the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), cholera and measles vaccination campaigns, social development fund, and new hospitals,” according to Voice of America (VOANews.com) reports.

Voice of America (VOANews.com) reports the WHO resolutions adopted, included: (1) establishing an African Fund for Public Health Emergencies, (2) Addressing major determinants of health., (3) reducing harmful use of alcohol (which calls on member states to develop and strengthen national policies and international evidence to adopt and implement regulations and legislation to create public awareness about the damage from alcohol), (4) using cyber health in the African region, which requires member states to promote political commitment and awareness in this area, and (5) strengthening routine immunization activities for polio eradication in the African region.

Minister Obama Asue said the government has taken measures to curb the abuse of alcoholism among the youth, reports Voice of America (VOANews.com).

“The government has issued a law forbidding the consumption or sale of alcohol to minors that is those under the age of 18 years old. The government has put in place an increase in the tax in the importation of alcohol into the country. And the government is working with the World Health Organization to receive technical assistance to develop and design new policies on the abuse of alcohol and how to prevent it.”

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Focuses on Improvements In Education

Ministry Puts New Measures in Place as 2010-2011 School Year Begins

In the nation's effort to build a better society through improving the education of its people, Equatorial Guinea's (República de Guinea Ecuatorial) Minister of Education unveiled a new set of standards and requirements for educators for the coming year.

The Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Filiberto Ntutumu Nguema met with principals, teachers and education professionals from schools in Malabo to present the new work plan.

Minister Ntutumu Nguema was joined by Deputy Minister of Education, Secundino Nvono Avomo, Secretary General of the Ministry, Miguel Esono Masogo, and the Counselor to the President for Education, Ondo Esono Asangono Anselmo, gathered with the directors general of the Ministry of Education, district directors and inspectors, principals, teachers and other professionals in the education sector. The purpose of the meeting was to guide the education sector staff on the new system of work and requirements.

During the meeting, Minister Ntutumu Nguema stressed the importance of education in society. "Thinking about general education," one of the highlighted themes, focused on education as the main road to success and teaching as the best vocation one can have. Minister Ntutumu Nguema cited several factors that affect the quality of education, including: teachers and professors, educational infrastructure, educational tools and adequate school buildings.

The next theme cited, "Planning, educational management and legal tools to regulate the functioning of education" focused on new directives for the schools and encouraged the schools to focus on planning and programming. The application of new rules for the 2010-2011 school year were discussed during the meeting, including:

In order to maintain school safety and encourage learning:

• Let peace reign in all schools, including the directors, teachers and students and avoid any conflict
• Prohibit all sharp material such as scissors, razors, etc. and impose expulsion of one week for violation
• Fights between peers require a one month suspension

With regard to discipline:

• The director must remain in their assigned location daily
• Attendance and punctuality, both for the directors, teachers, and for the students, is required
• Any dispute between students and teachers can lead to expulsion

For a quality of education and training it is recommended:

• Conduct training seminars
• Teachers must present the agenda for their classes at the beginning of the course
• Objective assessment of students
• Cleanliness and order in schools
• All students must wear uniforms
• Prohibit all vices and unhealthy behaviors such as counterfeiting grades, sexual harassment, alcoholism, smoking, prostitution among students, etc

At the conclusion of the meeting, Minister Ntutumu Nguema addressed the topic of "School fees" and reminded those present that tuition is free in both the primary and high school levels. He also reminded those present that parents can voluntarily contribute to to the Association of Parents and Students at a cost of 1000 francs CFAs for primary school and 2000 francs CFAS for high school.

Education is one of the priorities outlined in Equatorial Guinea's "Horizon 2020" development plan, which was set in motion by President Obiang to move the country toward a sustainable and emergent economy. The plan includes the construction of new schools and teacher training.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Seeks Foreign Investment in Agriculture

Ghana Agrees to Provide Assistance to Develop Cocoa Production

Equatorial Guinea's (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo concluded his visit to the Republic of Ghana where he met with President John Evans Atta Mills to discuss cooperation and assistance to develop the Equatorial Guinea's agricultural sector. This visit follows President Obiang's recent trip to China and Korea where he signed cooperation agreements and courted business leaders about investment opportunities in his country.

(To see video of President Obiang on his visit to Asia and foreign investment, go to: http://www.youtube.com/equatorialguineanews#p/a/u/0/K_loxdRB3hQ)

During his visit to Ghana, President Obiang reinforced the country's message of peace, solidarity and teamwork "in order for our two states to achieve development goals." Both states share common interests in the Gulf of Guinea and the reciprocal exchange of goods and materials. President Obiang referred to the need for both countries to work together to maintain peace and security in the world.

The two delegations signed a joint statement that sets out several agreements in various sectors such as agriculture, education, promotion of women, fisheries, transport and hydrocarbons.

President Obiang also recalled that Ghana and Equatorial Guinea are two countries linked from colonial times to the point that the seeds of cacao – the product that is now one of the main resources of Ghana – were brought from Equatorial Guinea. President Obiang visited places of interest in Accra, such as the Institute for Research and Transformation of Cocoa and Coffee.

As part of the effort to promote development of and investment in the agricultural sector, Minister of State for Agriculture and Forestry, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue recently gave instructions to create efficiencies throughout all departments of the country's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Before departing Ghana, President Obiang visited the embassy of Equatorial Guinea, where he held a meeting with Equatorial Guinean students studying in different colleges and universities in Ghana. During the visit, a representative of the group of students voiced their concerns and challenges they are experiencing. President Obiang advised them to "avoid bad habits that can alter your path and destroy your mind. You must be useful in helping to defend the country and to be helpful for the future." President Obiang offered the group of students a sum of 50,000 euros to help cover their needs during their stay in Ghana.

President Obiang of Equatorial Guinea Travels to Asia To Boost Foreign Investment



President Obiang recently traveled to China and Korea where he met with both country's heads of state and signed cooperation agreements and courted business leaders about investment opportunities in his country.

Monday, September 13, 2010

UNESCO Ranks Equatorial Guinea Highest Adult Literacy Country in Sub-Saharan Africa

International Literacy Day Celebrates Culture and Education

Equatorial Guinea's (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) efforts to improve education have been successful and recognized by UNESCO with recent data that ranked it as the highest adult literacy country in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 93% of the population.

The Ministry for Social Affairs and Promotion of Women celebrated the International Literacy Day, established by UNESCO in 1967, to promote culture and education as the main foundations of society and its development. This is a part of a broader effort by the government to improve public education for its citizens.

In Equatorial Guinea, as in many other African countries, the International Literacy Day has been dedicated to improve the literacy of women, with the theme "Literacy and Empowerment of Women." The objective is to fight against the marginalization of women and to achieve a better social and economic future for all the country's citizens.

According to data released this week by various organizations, illiteracy was estimated at 23% of the world's population, compared to 45% in the 1950s. However, by 2010 it is estimated that the illiterate population in the world be more than 850 million people, including 500 million women. Today there are over a hundred million children not attending the school.

The International Literacy Day reminded Equatoguineans that literacy is indispensable for development and health, democratic participation, communication and access to information, and to be able to express and claim their rights.

As part of the government's efforts to promote culture and literacy, the National Library of Equatorial Guinea is sponsoring a national literary contest, the Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Literary Award, in which all Equatorial Guinean citizens, both students and adults can participate. The annual contest is aimed at promoting culture and raising the level of literacy in the society.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Enhancing Public Education With Improvement of Teaching Force

The Governing Board of Equatorial Guinea's (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) Ministry of Education, Science and Sport recently met to discuss the status of education and sport in the country. The multi-day sessions were part of Equatorial Guinea's efforts to evaluate the current education system and institute policies for improvement.

The meetings were chaired by Filiberto Ntutumu Nguema, Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Education, Science and Sport and attended by the thirteen directorates. They examined various action plans in the education and sport sector and set out measures to improve teaching and the availability of resources.

Also discussed was the Ministry of Education's plan to promote sports culture through the implementation of soccer leagues in schools, towns and provinces throughout the country.

Education is one of the priorities outlined in Equatorial Guinea's "Horizon 2020" development plan, which was set in motion by President Obiang, to move the country toward a sustainable and emergent economy. The plan includes the development of new schools and teacher training.

Equatorial Guinea Developing Agricultural Sector

Equatorial Guinea's (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) Minister of State for Agriculture and Forestry, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue met with directors of the Ministry's various departments to discuss how to streamline functions and processes as part of modernization efforts to stimulate growth of the country's agricultural sector.

In his remarks, Minister Nguema Obiang gave instructions to create efficiencies throughout all departments of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. This effort is part of Equatorial Guinea's work to promote development of and investment in the agricultural sector.

This move is consistent with the actions of President Obiang, who in a recent official visit to Ghana, met with his counterpart President Mills to discuss cooperation and to seek assistance to develop its agricultural sector and boost private sector investment.

Equatorial Guinea's fertile soil and tropical climate are conducive to high yield agriculture. The country produces a diversity of crops today, including coffee and cacao and other products such as lumber and coconut oil. The country also has extensive coastline and fisheries and untapped mineral resources.

As the backbone of many African economies, agriculture is at the forefront of Equatorial Guinea's efforts to diversify its economy and meet the goals of the government's Horizon 2020 development plan. The country is working to become an emergent and sustainable economy by 2020.

The Executive Board of the Ministry also presented a report of planned activities for the National Day of Independence celebration on October 12.