At UN debate Madagascar seeks support on eve of final phase of

“In accord with UN experts, Madagascar’s electoral timetable has been officially promulgated with presidential elections set for 8 May, 2013,” President Rajoelina told the 67th General Assembly on the second day of its annual General Debate.“Therefore I launch a solemn appeal to all our international partners, all Member States and friends of Madagascar to support us and sustain us in this process which is the most democratic path in the world,” he added.Last year, Madagascar’s political parties signed a road-map in an agreement brokered by mediators from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which allowed for the unconditional return from exile of a former president, Marc Ravalomanana, deposed in a 2009 coup led by President Rajoelina after weeks of unrest.“Here, today, I launch an appeal for international solidarity to lead this transition to the construction of a more promising future without smothering us,” President Rajoelina said. “So let me give you the solution: the best way to help us would consist in trusting us, in respecting your promises and letting us assume our responsibilities.”In his statement to the Assembly, the Madagascan leader also referred to a host of problems confronting the international community from unrest in the Arab and Islamic world to food insecurity to maritime piracy.President Rajoelina is one of scores of national leaders and other high-level officials who are presenting their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.