DE RUEHDS #2683 2780702
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050702Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2735
UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 002683
DEPARTMENT FOR S/ES-CR AND S/ES-O AF/E, AF/EPS AND AF/RSA NSC WASHDC
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: OPDC PREL PGOV ETRD ET SUBJECT: LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH FROM AU CHAIRMAN NGUESSO
The following text is from a letter received by U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa on October 4, 2006 from the Commission of the African Union. The letter is dated August 14, 2006 and is written by H.E. Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo and Chairman of the African Union to H.E. Mr. George Bush, President of the United States of America.
As your Excellency may be aware the Member States of the African Union are determined to meet the challenge of sustainable development and poverty eradication. This is evident from our increasing commitment to policy reforms, good governance, democracy, and conflict prevention and resolution. We very much welcome the support that the international community, particularly your nation, has provided to our development efforts through debt relief and aid.
In the current era of globalization, we strongly believe that a significant improvement in Africa's trade performance and the effective integration of our continent into the multilateral trading system are sine qua non for the achievement of sustainable development and eradication of poverty among our peoples. This accounts for the strong commendation that AU Member States have given to the commitment undertaken in Doha in November 2001 to place development at the center of the new Round of WTO Negotiations and for their heavy investment in the negotiations despite their capacity constraints and limited financial, institutional and human resources.
It is against this background that the AU regrets the setback in the Doha Round of Negotiations which have now been suspended sine die. We are deeply concerned that the collapse of the talks and failure to deliver on its development promises will make it difficult for our countries to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and achieve rapid and sustainable economic growth and development.
The Doha Development Agenda remains relevant for meeting the challenge of development in Africa and the largest development in the negotiations should not be allowed to frustrate Africa's legitimate and high hopes on the development promises of the Round. The suspension of negotiations should not protract any further as it is tantamount to putting on hold these promises. Africa has the greatest need of the multilateral trading system's support to increase its trade potentials and make trade an engine of growth and development.
On our part, we the Member States of the AU will continue to show our constructive attitude and support to the entire process of the negotiations so that the Round can come to a successful conclusion. It is however necessary for other WTO members, particularly those that are in a position of leadership in the negotiations, to respond urgently to the call for flexibilities and compromises in the interest of the common good of the multilateral trading system and of Africa. The negotiations should resume as a matter of utmost urgency.
The AU Member States wish to emphasize the importance of the overall balance that characterized the launch of the Doha Round in 2001 and the imperative of translation the development promises into reality. Any outcome package of negotiations that unravels the balance and ignores the development dimensions will be difficult to accept by African countries, as it will not help to meet the MDGs and lift our peoples from poverty.
Mr. President, the African Union is through the medium of this letter seeking your support and that of your great country for early resumption and successful completion of the Negotiations, with the development dimensions at the center as agreed in Doha.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest esteem.
Denis Sassou Nguesso President of the Republic of Congo and Chairman of the African Union"