VP ALUPO TELLS 78TH UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY THIS WILL MAKE UNSC MORE MEANINGFUL TO AFRICA
Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo has called for reforms in the United Nations Security Council so as to make it more representative and capable of addressing current and emerging global challenges.
She says such reforms would also help address the historical injustices committed against the people of Africa.
“As we mark seventy-eight years of the existence of the United
Nations, we yearn for a revitalized organization capable of addressing current and emerging global challenges. We believe that multilateralism remains a fundamental and crucial mechanism for addressing our common challenges together as nations in solidarity” she said.
Alupo who led Uganda’s powerful delegation to this important meeting sitting in New York, pledged the country’s commitment to work together with the entire membership of the United Nations towards making it fit for purpose and relevant to prevailing times.
“In this regard, Uganda remains committed to the reform of the UN Security Council to make it more representative and to address the historical injustices committed against the people of Africa as spelt out by the Common African Position and enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Declaration” she said.
PEACE AND SECURITY
She noted that since Peace and security are fundamental and crucial in achieving Sustainable development, there is need to reflect on the original purposes of the United Nations and work to resolve what she termed as man-made conflicts and global insecurity through cooperation, diplomacy and peaceful means.
Alupo said in this regard, Uganda has continued to work with partners to support and advance peace, stability and security initiatives in the region and beyond so as to eliminate terrorism, mistrust and other conditions that undermine development. She cited some of the initiatives where Uganda remains actively involved such as those under the African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), East African Community (EAC) and International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), adding that Uganda’s involvement is based on the fundamental values of multilateralism.
The Vice President commended the UN member states and development partners for their support rendered to Uganda which is hosting large numbers of refugees from within the region and ranks as one of the top refugee hosting countries. She added that government is working closely with the UN and partners to address the root cause of displacement. She said Uganda remains committed to shoulder its responsibilities and obligations in addressing the plight of refugees as a pioneer of the
progressive refuge policy outlined in the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework.
Alupo told the assembly that Uganda’s constitution fully respects and protects human rights as well as culture. Quoting objective 24 of the constitution which states that cultural and customary values are consistent with the fundamental human rights and freedoms, human dignity, and democracy, the VP said the Uganda’s approach to human rights is to respect other people’s values and therefore expect others to also respect the country’s values which she said are deep rooted in our culture.
“We therefore call for mutual respect of sovereignty. We believe that Human Rights Considerations especially in the face of varying cultural values should not become the moderating factor in our long-term relationship with our development partners with whom we will continue to engage in a proactive manner” she said.
She also briefed the meeting on Uganda’s success story regarding gender equality and economic emancipation. The VP said that over 34.9% of the parliamentary and executive seats are composed of women while on economic empowerment; the country has embarked on poverty alleviation programmes which target women and youth participation in the economy.
“We are currently promoting value addition, value chain and public procurement from the various Uganda Women Entrepreneurship programmes. With the creation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), women will participate in cross border trade within the AfCFTA countries” she said but however, noted that more work still needs to be done in Uganda to achieve full gender equality.
Alupo who is also the woman MP for Katakwi district, said climate change continues to undermine the ability of all nations to achieve the SDGs. The soft-spoken lady noted that globally, considerable loss of lives and property continues to be witnessed as a result of harsh climate and weather and yet countries that are less contributors to the global greenhouse gases continue to be disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. She cited countries such as Morocco and Libya which recently lost scores of people due to earthquake and unprecedented floods respectively.
“To address the adverse impacts of climate change, Uganda continues to take bold climate adaptation and mitigation measures that include increasing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy to enhance production and value addition; increasing forest and wetland cover and championing the operationalization of climate smart agriculture among others, in line with our ambitious updated Nationally Determined Contributions” she said.
She reiterated Uganda’s call to the developed country parties in line with the Paris Agreement to fulfill their commitment of providing the USD100 billion annually to developing country parties through 2025 to assist in both mitigation and adaptation. She also noted the increasing trend in biodiversity loss but said as a country, Uganda has continued to take bold actions to address biodiversity which include among others, complete restoration of all degraded wetlands, reafforestation as well as prosecution of those involved in illegal activities that undermine the preservation of flora and fauna.
On this, Alupo said that despite earlier progress, access to universal healthcare in Uganda today stands at 65% which she said is short of the SDG target of 100%. She attributed this slow progress to COVID 19 pandemic which she said presented a multitude of challenges to global health systems and essential services in addition to causing economic hardships especially in developing countries like Uganda.
“Despite the challenges, I am happy to report that Uganda has registered positive achievements in some effective disease control measures as demonstrated by its swift and successful response to the Ebola outbreak” she said.
UGANDA TO HOST NAM SUMMIT
Meanwhile, the Vice President revealed that Uganda will host the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Kampala in January next year. She said NAM remains a key player in handling current and emerging global challenges within the United Nations. She told the assembly that this Movement remains relevant in serving the interests of its Member
States and that Uganda as the incoming Chair of this organization, will closely work with other NAM countries to further strengthen the tenets and values of the organisation and the important role that it plays within the United Nations and other international fora.
“As host of the 19thNAM Summit, we look forward to welcoming the NAM Heads of State and Government to Kampala, Uganda from 15th-20th January 2024” the VP said.
The vice president said Uganda will host the Third South Summit and looks forward to welcoming leaders of G77plus China to Kampala due on January 21-24 next year.