In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday (7 October), Mali's Foreign Minister, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Samba Cissoko described the desperate conditions that drought has brought to his country and the Sahel region of Africa as a whole.
GV INT Mali delegate speaking.
SCU Mali Minister speaking in French.
This film shows Lieutenant-Colonel Cissoko speaking in French. A translation appears below:
"Mr. President: 1974 has once again been a year of difficulties for the Malian people as a result of the continuation of the drought which the Sahelian region has suffered for the last seven years. With international solidarity and the perfect organisation of aid by the government, the worst has been avoided. My delegation is, therefore, obliged to express Mali's thanks to the United Nations, its specialised organisations, to friendly states, as well as to all donors, whether public groups or private individuals, who have lent their help in the struggle we are conducting to limit the damage caused by this terrible catastrophe. If this first objective has almost been reached, the basic problem remains, for the drought is still continuing. That is why the last summit meeting of the Interstate Commitee Against Drought In The Sahelian Countries, which took place at Ouagadougou in the Upper Volta, has prepared, in conduction with the representatives of international organisations and other financial sources, a medium and long-term plan of economic development to subjugate the problem for good. As the financial means to carry out this plan exceed our possibilities, the Malian delegation joins its voice with those of other states in the region to launch a pressing appeal to the international community to participate in our campaign against drought -- that challenge of nature which si threatening the very lives of 30 million people of the Sahelian region."
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Background: In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday (7 October), Mali's Foreign Minister, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Samba Cissoko described the desperate conditions that drought has brought to his country and the Sahel region of Africa as a whole.
He thanked the United Nations, its specialised organisations and all states who have given aid to the region. This aid is helping to overcome the immediate problems the drought has caused.
Lieutenant-Colonel Cissoko then told the General Assembly of the proposals made by the Interstate Committee set up to combat the drought. The Committee met recently in Ouagadougou, Upper Volta to prepare plans for long term economic development of the Sahelian region. The Malian delegate went on to appeal for international assistance in financing these plans.