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General Assembly

Distr: General
23 December 1994
Original: English

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Forty-ninth session
Agenda item 154

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

49/142. United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 45/200 and 45/253 of 21 December 1990, dealing, respectively, with commodities and programme planning, in which the economic recovery and development of Africa were spelt out as one of the five overall priorities in the medium-term plan for the period 1992-1997,

Reaffirming its resolution 46/151 of 18 December 1991, the annex to which contains the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s,

Reaffirming also its resolution 48/214 of 23 December 1993 on the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s,

Mindful of the need for African countries to diversify their economies, particularly their primary commodities, with a view to modernizing African production, distribution and marketing systems, enhancing productivity and stabilizing and increasing African export earnings in the face of the persistent instability of the prices of most primary commodities, the continuous deterioration in Africa's terms of trade, the heavy burden of debt and debt service and the serious constraints they pose for African economies,

Noting with concern the continuous economic difficulties that African States encounter in their efforts to participate beneficially in world trade and the dependency of many countries, particularly in Africa, on a limited number of commodities for their export earnings,

Recognizing the need for further progress in diversifying the economies of those countries in view, in particular, of the conclusion of the negotiations of the Uruguay Round and the need for the international community to assist the efforts of the African countries to diversify their economies in order to benefit fully from the implementation of the Uruguay Round,

Stressing the need to facilitate access to bilateral and multilateral financing and technical cooperation, including South-South cooperation, for diversification projects in African countries, in particular the least developed among them,

Acknowledging the positive impact of substantive official development assistance transfers to Africa,

Recognizing the important role the private sector initiative has to play in identifying and launching sustainable diversification projects and programme implementation,

Reaffirming the commitment on resource flows, including private direct investment, as contained in paragraphs 29 and 30 of the New Agenda, and the important role they play for sustainable diversification projects,

Noting the operations of the second account of the Common Fund for Commodities, and noting also recent initiatives and discussion thereof to enable the activation of part of the resources of the first account with a view to supporting action aimed at developing the commodity market,

Bearing in mind the ongoing negotiations on the replenishment of the African Development Fund existing within the African Development Bank,

Noting that the development support of the Common Fund for Commodities accords highest priority to projects of the least developed and small producer/exporter countries,

Mindful of the need for African countries to increase and mobilize internal resources for sustainable development through, inter alia, policies for the promotion of domestic savings, improved and accessible banking facilities and further improvements in traditional practices of capital formation at local levels,

Taking note of the report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on the need for and feasibility of the establishment of a diversification fund for Africa's commodities and on issues of diversification of African economies, specifically, the establishment of a diversification fund for Africa's commodities,

1.Reaffirms the high priority attached, in the medium-term plan for the period 1992-1997, to Africa's economic recovery and development, including the effective implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s as described in programme 45;

2.Urges all organs, organizations and programmes of the United Nations system to incorporate the priorities of the New Agenda in their mandates, to allocate sufficient resources for their operation and to improve further the use of available resources;

3.Recommends that, as part of capacity-building assistance, interested African countries be assisted in monitoring the impact of the work being undertaken in the context of the implementation of the New Agenda and in ensuring the participation of community-based groups, particularly women;

4.Renews its call upon the international community to pursue vigorously its responsibilities and commitments under the New Agenda in order to provide full and tangible support to African efforts;

5.Urges the multilateral financial institutions, recipient countries and donor countries, within the conceptual framework and design and implementation of structural adjustment policies in Africa, to pay special attention to eradicating poverty and addressing the social impact of these policies, while focusing on public investment, fiscal reform, reform of public enterprises, export expansion and efficient public administration;

6.Affirms the need for further efforts to promote the diversification of African economies;

7.Stresses the need to fill gaps that may exist in the funding available for diversification of related activities in Africa;

8.Urges the international community to increase financial resource flows to Africa, as these are crucial in order to regenerate the growth and sustainable development of the African economies, to provide effective support to the political and economic reforms in which many African countries are now engaged and to help cushion adverse social consequences;

9.Reaffirms the recommendations stipulated in paragraphs 23 to 28 of the New Agenda concerning Africa's debt problem, and in that context invites the international community to address Africa's external debt crisis and the debt problems of African countries and to continue to give serious consideration to the proposal for the convening of an international conference on Africa's external indebtedness;

10.Urges States that have reaffirmed their commitment to reach the agreed international targets of devoting 0.7 per cent of gross national product to official development assistance and 0.15 per cent to least developed countries to implement as soon as possible the undertakings they have made in that regard, and urges all States to provide a better environment for the realization of the suggested estimate of the need to achieve an average 4 per cent real growth in annual financial resource flows to Africa, as outlined in paragraph 29 of the New Agenda;

11.Recognizes the urgent need to respond to the specific economic problems of African States in their efforts to diversify their economies and primary commodities, and the difficulty they encounter in utilizing the financial mechanisms already existing within international organizations;

12.Invites State participants in the African Development Fund existing within the African Development Bank to pay particular attention to the diversification of African commodities with a view to accelerating this process, and invites them to consider urgently making an initial adequate special contribution to finance the preparatory phase of commodity diversification projects and programmes in African countries;

13.Invites the relevant multilateral institutions to accord high priority to assistance for commodity diversification in Africa, in particular for the preparatory phase of such projects, taking into account the urgency of the matter;

14.Urges developed countries to continue to support the commodity diversification efforts of African countries, inter alia, by providing technical and financial assistance for the preparatory phase of their commodity diversification programmes;

15.Reiterates its encouragement to African countries to establish national diversification councils in conformity with General Assembly resolution 48/214, related to the establishment of new funding arrangements for diversification of Africa's commodities;

16.Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that the Inter-agency Task Force for the Implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s accords high priority to the consideration of the diversification of African economies and to the coordination of activities of the relevant organizations and programmes of the United Nations system in this field, and invites the Task Force to make available advisory services to the African Development Bank on questions related to the diversification of Africa's commodities;

17.Invites the Governing Body of the Common Fund for Commodities, when considering the future activities of the Fund:

  1. To take into account the special needs of the African countries that are highly dependent on a narrow range of commodities for their export earnings in its support of commodity development;

  2. To consider support measures, including feasibility studies, aimed at diversifying their export sector;

  3. To consider practical ways and adequate means of allowing and facilitating access to financing of preparatory studies for diversification projects in Africa, including through regional and subregional entities;

18.Invites the African Development Bank group to elaborate a set of criteria for the identification of diversification projects and to extend any other assistance as appropriate;

19.Invites donor countries to continue to emphasize, in their bilateral assistance programmes, the diversification of African economies, particularly commodities;

20.Urges African countries to continue their efforts to improve the investment climate, and urges donor countries to support those efforts by, inter alia, providing increased assistance to human resource development and to the rehabilitation and development of social and economic infrastructure;

21.Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on the implementation of the present resolution to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session;

22.Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fiftieth session an item entitled "Implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s".

94th plenary meeting
23 December 1994