ECA Press Release 197/2012
Addis Ababa, 14 November 2012 (ECA) – The 13th session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism kicked off today in Addis Ababa with a strong call to clearly identify Africa’s priorities for the post-2015 development agenda and ensure that the continent’s perspectives and priorities inform the post-2015 debate.
At the opening ceremony, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Jan Eliasson, called on UN agencies and organizations working in support of African Union and its NEPAD programme to evolve a post-2015 framework that would bring out the full potential of Africa for the benefit of all Africans.
“It is essential that Africa’s voice is heard, and the continent’s needs and priorities considered, both in the post-2015 process and in the development of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by Member States at Rio+20”, Mr. Eliasson said.
He said that the UN system is committed to supporting this through capacity building assistance to African regional, sub-regional and national institutions.
Calling on UN organizations and the African Union Commission to work together to strengthen the RCM-Africa and its Secretariat, Mr. Eliasson said his objective would be to make the RCM a living mechanism.
Also speaking at the opening session, United Nations Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Mr. Carlos Lopes, called on the entire UN System to begin sharing their reflection on the post-2015 development agenda to inform the final outcome.
“Our deliberations should, accordingly, focus on how to ensure that the agenda that eventually emerges can contribute to the long-term development of Africa,” he stated.
Mr. Lopes said “our challenge in RCM-Africa is to redouble our efforts at working together, planning together and implementing together as one United Nations. We need to support the efforts of the African Union as various African perspectives evolve into a common position”.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Maxwell M. Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs at the African Union Commission said the post-2015 development agenda must involve wide consultations on the African side.
“In constructing a common position on the post-2015 development agenda, we need to take account of the challenges of the MDGs...too much focus on the social sector; determining inequality in terms of the numbers rather than the qualitative aspects of inequality; overlooking the enablers of development (peace, human rights, ); encouraging the culture of aid dependence,” said Mkwezalamba
The Commissioner said Africa needed MDG-plus, an agenda that recognizes the impact of climate change, global financial crisis, food crisis, etc.
“The African Union Commission is taking advantage of various fora and meetings, such as the recently held 5th African Union Private Sector Forum and the upcoming meeting of Committee of Directors General of Statistics at the end of November this year to undertake further consultations on the post-2015 development agenda,” he said.
Following opening statements, high-level panelists made presentations on the various aspects of the Post-2015 Development Agenda as they pertain to Africa. The conclusions of the discussions will be tabled as inputs for the on-going consultations on Post-2015 Development Agenda for Africa.
RCM-Africa is the implementing organ of the UN Ten Year Capacity Building Programme for the AU, (TYCBP-AU), working through nine clusters aligned to the priorities of the African Union and its NEPAD programme. In this regard, the 13th session will review how well the clusters have done in supporting the AU and NEPAD.
RCM-Africa is co-chaired by Deputy Chairperson of AUC, Mr. Erastus Mwencha, and UN Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Jan Eliasson.
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