Africa's Suffering "Unacceptable" Secretary-General Declares

UN Chronicle, July 1984 | Go to article overview

Africa's Suffering "Unacceptable" Secretary-General Declares


Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar has again called on the international community to "respond positively" to the urgent needs of Africa's "situation of desperate hardship".

In a speech on 7 September to the annual conference of the Department of Public Information for Non-Governmental Organizations, Mr. Perez de Cuellar said that "no statistic can convey the real meaning of economic deprivation", adding he had seen first hand how a combination of economic crisis and natural calamity had led to acute and widespread starvation and hunger.

It was "unacceptable", he said, "that at a time of economic recovery in the industrial world and of a relatively satisfactory global food situation, millions of African men, women and children should undergo suffering of such magnitude". The international community had to demonstrate its capacity and willingness to help, particularly through the uses of the United Nations system, he added.

African leaders were determined to rely primarily on their own efforts and to introduce the necessary changes in their domestic policies to overcome the crisis, he went on. He encouraged them to persevere in these efforts and to strengthen them. …

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