Remarks by H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly

25 May 2022

Excellencies, Friends,

I am delighted to join this Africa Day celebration.

On this day, in 1963, the Organization of African Unity – now known as the African Union – was established. As we commemorate this day, we reflect on the accomplishments of people across the African continent, and on the challenges they still endure.

This year’s theme, focused on the importance of addressing malnutrition and food insecurity, is important. Across the continent, Africa faces stark development challenges, including food insecurity and increasing malnutrition.

These are amplified by global crises, include COVID-19 and climate change. And they interconnect with ongoing difficulties caused by such issues as changing weather patterns, drought, poor sanitation, and crop-destroying insects – all of which have strong local consequences.

Reinforced action to strengthen resilience in nutrition and food security will help overcome the effects of many of these challenges. And it will lay a strong foundation to empower communities.

It is up to us to harness the political will to achieve these goals.


Africa has so much potential. It has both the human and technical resources to secure a brighter future for all its inhabitants.

African women are an integral part of the solution, especially as glass ceilings are shattered and gender barriers are broken. They are poised to play a greater role in driving sustainable agricultural practices, in achieving the African Union’s vision of Agenda 2063.

Similarly, African youth – who now number over 400 million – have a crucial role to play in driving innovation and preparing for tomorrow’s challenges, while taking part in decision-making today.

Working together with all stakeholders, and with effective partnerships with UN Agencies, we can transform Africa into an economic powerhouse. We can help the continent achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals. And we can ensure that the needs of all its inhabitants are fully met.

On this Africa Day, let us rededicate ourselves to strengthening partnerships in pursuit of peace and sustainable progress for all of Africa.

Thank you.