The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr. Mamadou Tangara spoke at the 2021 Concordia summit in New York, a massive platform for some of the world’s most influential leaders.
Addressing the summit, The Gambian Foreign Minister and the United Nations 2019 Population Award Laureate said the story of Concordia is a story in which all human beings have a place. He posited that it is a story that brings together luminaries, policy advocates and people at the leading edge for critical discussions to end the appalling level of inequalities around the world.
He said it is refreshing to join opinion leaders of this day and age and hear voices that championed a deeply optimistic vision of the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, I carry with me warm greetings of the Government and people of The Gambia, at this juncture, and on behalf of the President His Excellency Adama Barrow I would like also to congratulate all the laureates. These Awards are an acknowledgement for your invaluable services to mankind and your abiding faith in and ambition for a better world. Your services will endure beyond the lifetime of our own generation”.
“The theme of this year’s summit affects our daily life and is inextricably linked to our existence as a global family. As for my contribution, I would like to talk on a topic that is not only relevant and crucial to our time but close to my heart and critical to our shared future and aspirations. Other continents and countries have their own challenges and development aspirations. For its part as far as democracy and geopolitical risk are concerned, Africa is standing out as a continent willing to do much more even with the immensity of the task ahead. You will find Africa’s ambition embodied in its Agenda 2063, a futuristic document”.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen; the year 2020 has been a year like no other going to the surge of Covid-19 pandemic. It affected all countries around the world and responses from Governments have been inherently geopolitical involving issues relative to national security, global leadership and international cooperation and solidarity. Today more than ever before, we are all conscious of the fact that the world is a global village that what affects one, directly affects all of us, indirectly, some more directly than others.
“We have real anxieties, and African countries are struggling to build back better with a focus on securing our interest and enhancing our influence in this emerging geopolitical landscape, and dealing with the weakness of our health care systems.
“The focus should therefore be geared towards economic inclusion and we will prove that even in a time of severe economic strain, we can surmount problems as serious as technology and digital transformation, unemployment, trade imbalances, economic development, climate change in a spirit of cooperation and partnership”.
Ladies and gentlemen; we all came here for a reason to foster concord around the world. We are gathered here today; united in our commitment to forging a new direction, a commitment to mend the democratic future of the international system and a commitment to direct advantages of our time to solve the problems of the next generation. We cannot live no longer as happy-go-luckies. We all know this crusade for human dignity and progress is for the next generation. It is an ideal we carry but is not only for ours”.
“Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen; I firmly believe in the value of democracy as a catalyst for better governance, greater security and human development. As Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General said, “Democracy will remain the system best suited to protect and deliver peace, development, human rights and rule of law”.
“In a changing international order and at a time when global democracy is challenged, preserving its prospects should be our main preoccupation. Democratic renewal and migration debates are a shared international agenda. As leaders, we need to think now about how to access and address geo-strategic risk to reframe the future of the world. And Concordia is building such partnerships for social impacts. The world is undergoing a profound geopolitical reconfiguration. Many regions in Africa and around the globe have shifted from embracing the great hopes for democratisation that emanate from popular revolutions and uprisings to becoming dangerous flashpoints.
“The Sahel region has been trapped for almost a decade now in spiralling insecurity and instability. This has strained the political trajectories of many countries in the region which are suffering from terrorism, organised crime, violent extremism and unnecessary killings of people based on religions and social differences.
This untenable situation is a stark reminder of the need for all to proactively work together in countering and combating this menace. The African Union and Ecowas are working on missions and initiatives aimed at overcoming these challenges”.
“Ladies and gentlemen; we are at the threshold of an emerging geopolitical landscape which includes transformational changes in global politics, economics, and technological advancement and environmental resilience. Together we can share the benefit of building more ladders of opportunity and making our countries more prosperous, our economies more vibrant and consequently, earn from our fellow citizens the best appreciation for better livelihoods.
“During the course of this summit, I look forward to working with all of you by reaffirming our shared aspirations through expanding the course of human progress around the world. As I said earlier during this crucial geopolitical reshuffle with polarised debates, the urgent task at hand and the needs of the hour are for more thoughtful decisions and powerful and inclusive dialogue across cultures and societies.”
It could be recalled that some of the most influential world leaders who spoke at the 2019 Concordia summit include former US President George W Bush, former US President Bill Clinton and former President of the European Central Bank Ms Christine Lagarde and Ms Gayle King co-anchor at CBS News.