The Series launched by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa highlighted synergies between the 2030 Agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063, and underscored linkages among peace, security and development.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored inclusive, sustainable development in Africa as both “a goal unto itself” and “also a leading tool to prevent conflict and crises".
He called for a “huge leap in investment” to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change in Africa.
17 October 2018: The UN’s inaugural Africa Dialogue Series (ADS) focused on the nexus among peace, security, human rights, humanitarian assistance and development in Africa. Participants underscored synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063, and recognized the importance of collaborative efforts between the UN and the AU to strengthen multilateralism.
The ADS was launched by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), and took place from 17-18 October 2018, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, alongside the UNGA’s debate on the development of Africa, on 19 October. The two-day series replaces the UN’s annual Africa Week, which had taken place since 2010.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored inclusive, sustainable development in Africa as both “a goal unto itself” and “also a leading tool to prevent conflict and crises.” He observed the region’s progress towards improved governance, stability and resilience. At the same time, Guterres recognized that parts of Africa remain fragile, and expressed concern about high levels of debt in some countries, volatile financial markets and looming trade conflicts. He noted that climate change impacts will “create additional strains” in the future.
Speakers also underscored synergies between the 2030 Agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063. Guterres observed that the approaches and policies of the UN and the AU “are more closely aligned than ever before” and both call for a prosperous, peaceful and secure continent based on good governance, human rights and the rule of law and aim to leave no one behind.
On gender equality, participants welcomed Ethiopia’s new government cabinet, which has achieved full gender parity among its ministers. The UN Secretary-General identified the AU as a crucial partner in the Spotlight Initiative, which aims to end violence against women and girls by 2030.
On climate change, the UN Secretary-General called for a “huge leap in investment” to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change in Africa, and called on developed countries to deliver on both finance and technology commitments.
On SDG follow-up and review, UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President Inga Rhonda King said the July 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will focus on the SDGs related to climate change (Goal 13), education (Goal 4), inequality (Goal 10), justice (Goal 16), jobs (Goal 8) and partnerships (Goal 17). She called on African countries to share their lessons learned to ensure progress on the 2030 Agenda.
Speakers underscored linkages between peace, security and development, with several recognizing Africa’s contribution to UN peacekeeping missions. The UN Special Adviser on Africa, Bience Gawanas, said the region seeks to “achieve peace, prosperity and socio-economic transformation,” and urged all actors to respond to Africa’s challenges in a coherent, coordinated manner. UN Security Council President Sacha Sergio Llorenty (Bolivia) highlighted the role of young people and women in peace and development efforts in Africa. He called for high-level political support to ensure their meaningful participation.
Speakers also welcomed the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) and recognized the importance of financing for Africa to achieve the 2030 Agenda, Agenda 2063 and the Paris Agreement. The dialogue also reflected on reform processes within both the UN and the AU.
The 2018 Africa Dialogues Series featured special tributes to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and South African President Nelson Mandela, in recognition of their work for development, human rights, peace, security, reconciliation and post-conflict recovery and reconstruction in Africa. [UN press release] [UN Secretary-General’s statement] [Africa Dialogue Series webpage] [About the OSAA]