In An Analysis by the SIS
El-Sisi’s Sixth Visit to the UN for the Sake of Egypt, Africa and the Middle East
Tuesday، 24 September 2019 - 10:01 AM
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's visit to New York to attend the high-level segment of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly is of a great importance this year for many reasons.
According to a political analysis prepared by the State Information Service on the occasion of the visit, this is the sixth consecutive one paid by President El-Sisi for the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, where he participated regularly in all its sessions since he took office in 2014. So, he becomes the first Egyptian President to participate in six consecutive sessions of the meetings of this high international forum, and even the most participating leader of Egypt since the establishment of the United Nations in 1945.
President El-Sisi's keenness to regularly participate in the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly is attributed to the great importance of these meetings in shaping the paths of the international relations. In such sessions, world leaders discuss all issues concerning the international community, like that of world peace and security, the management of regional and international conflicts, counter terrorism and extremism, sustainable development, education and poverty, health and international cooperation in combat of diseases, climate issues, etc.
Therefore, in recent years, senior leaders have been rushing to present the stances of their countries, and strive for what achieves the national interests of their peoples and strengthens their role in the framework of international relations that have actually become collectively administered after the end of the bipolar era, and the failure of the attempts of one power or even a limited number of international powers to unilaterally impose their role, will and vision on the international order.
New Partnership for Development in Africa
At the same time, the SIS analysis mentions that the President's presence at the UN General Assembly this year has additional implications derived from Egypt's African Union presidency, which President El-Sisi has taken over on February 10, 2019; a task that doubles the responsibility of the President towards the issues of the African continent, which has been sincerely expressed during the previous five meetings of the General Assembly.
This time, the African file is of a growing importance due to the fact that one of the most important items on the agenda of the current session (74) of the General Assembly is the theme “New Partnership for Africa's Development”, with a review on the progress achieved in this field.
The report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on this item (No. 66a) refers to the important achievements made in this regard, particularly the “Inauguration of the African Continental Free Trade Area and its entry into force on 19 July 2019” (inaugurated by President El-Sisi in his capacity as President of the African Union with a number of African leaders during the Niger Summit - July 2019).
In his report, the UN Secretary-General describes the event as "a remarkable step towards the African Union's vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa for its people.
The report adds that thanks to this momentum, a good progress in many initiatives like upgrading the infrastructure program in Africa, comprehensive agricultural program, scientific, communication, innovation and women empowerment fields, had been scored.
The President’s new mission in New York for Africa, is an additional to the previous international ones, where the President participated in the past months like Munich Security Conference, where he advocated Africa’s right to enjoy peace and security to achieve sustainable development for its peoples, the European – African summit in Austria, the G20 summit in Japan’s Osaka in which the President called for massing international support to development in Africa, G7 in France and TICAD summit in Japan, whose agenda focussed on Africa and the President played a key role in his capacity as chairman of African Union.
SIS report monitors importance of the current session of the General Assembly. The agenda includes the leaders’ talks and meetings in this 74th session for enhancing peace, security, sustainable development, protection of human rights, social progress, elimination of poverty and famine and issues of good education and climate. Moreover, issues of human rights, empowerment of women and youth and equity of genders will be discussed.
Among the significant files that will be raised are mass destruction arms removal and the due measures to deny the terrorists possessing these arms, in addition to settlement of disputes and the current crises.
5 International Conferences
According to the General Assembly’s official agenda, it includes 5 major international summits and files, in which Egypt will participate. Besides the usual addresses delivered by the presidents and leaders, 5 high-level conferences and meetings that cover several issues will be held, as following:
1- Climate Change
The Climate Action Summit will be held on Monday, September 23. It targets boosting the countries’ ambitions in this regard and following up commitment to the international duties that these countries had pledged in terms of reducing emissions. These commitments are part of Paris Agreement 2019.
The world’s governments, private sector, civil society organizations, local authorities and a number of international organizations will convene to find ambitious solutions in six fields:
· Global transfer to use renewable energy.
· Flexible and sustainable cities and infrastructure.
· Sustainable agriculture.
· Management of forests and oceans.
· Flexibility and adaptation to the climate changes.
· Integration of public and private finance with the “non-fossil economy”.
2- Comprehensive Health Care
In the same day, the Climate Action Summit is held, for the first time, the UN hosts a high-level meeting on “the comprehensive health care cover for all” titled “move together to build more healthy world”. Many countries had committed to achieve target of the comprehensive health care cover for all by 2030 that includes insurance against financial hazards, high-quality health services and providing drugs and safe and effective vaccines at affordable prices.
3- Achievement of Sustainable Development Targets
On September 24-25, the summit of sustainable development targets, the first of its kind, since the world had approved its plan in 2015, will be held. This plan has 17 targets and is considered the biggest one to guarantee prosperity and welfare.
4- Finance of Development
Any target of the above mentioned ones couldn’t be fulfilled without the due money, but it is a massive challenge. Risks of falling in the growing debts in addition to the trade restrictions means that the investments required urgently to Agenda 2030, is suffering from shortage of finance.
The estimated figures showed that there is a dire need for annual investments ranging from $ 5-7 trillions in all sectors to achieve these targets.
5- The Last Conference is “Midterm High-Level Review on Small Island Developing States”, which is held after 5 years of reaching an ambitious agreement to support development in the island developing states.
These countries; the weakest in the world, face many issues related to their tiny space, remote location, the foreign economic shocks that strike them and impacts of the climate changes.
Thus, Egypt’s high profile participation is extremely important for the sake of Egypt, its security and targets, the African continent, whose African Union’s presidency held by Egypt, settlement of disputes and establishment of peace in the Middle East.