Inclusion should be the lens for ensuring integrated approaches to the implementation, follow-up and review of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to participants at the Second Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD).
ARFSD 2 convened in advance of the 2016 session of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), as part of a series of regional preparatory processes to identify regional sustainable development priorities and generate recommendations to strengthen the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
27 May 2016: Inclusion should be the lens for ensuring integrated approaches to the implementation, follow-up and review of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, according to participants at the Second Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD). ARFSD 2 convened in advance of the 2016 session of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), as part of a series of regional preparatory processes to identify regional sustainable development priorities and generate recommendations to strengthen the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The Forum took place in Cairo, Egypt, from 18-19 May 2016, under the theme ‘Inclusive and integrated implementation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063.’ It was the first opportunity for African governments and stakeholders to define a roadmap for implementation, monitoring and follow-up on the 2030 Agenda. The UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Government of Egypt organized the meeting with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
ARFSD participants called for ensuring complementarity and convergence of the 2030 Agenda and Africa’s Agenda 2063, including in national planning processes. They urged African governments to create an enabling environment for sustainable development through policy coherence for sustainable development, resource allocation and institutional frameworks that include a role for stakeholders. Participants recommended: leaving no one behind by creating mechanisms to ensure the inclusion and participation of marginalized and vulnerable groups; ensuring that sustainable development implementation is linked to citizens’ aspirations and realities; strengthening national coordination platforms; and facilitating access to capacity building, financing and technical support to enhance stakeholders’ work on the ground.
The ARFSD Outcome Document (E/ECA/ARFSD/2) presents key messages and recommendations on: the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); inclusive transformation and sustainable development; integrated results framework and implementation; and integrated follow-up and review of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda.
On transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs, participants agreed the HLPF should ensure: the revitalization of global, regional and national partnerships, including South-South cooperation, and the involvement of civil society, the private sector and other non-State actors, to accelerate sustainable development in Africa; development partners meet their official development assistance (ODA) commitments to Africa, particularly the least developed countries (LDCs), and align them with national priorities; and dissemination of experiences and lessons learned in the transition from the MDGs to the SDGs. Participants called for special efforts to tackle illicit financial flows, and promote the data revolution and technology transfer.
On inclusive transformation and sustainable development, ARFSD recommended: accelerating investment in infrastructure, energy, irrigation, information and communications technology (ICT), science and technology, and transport and enhancing Africa’s manufacturing, service and value-added sectors to create decent jobs, support social enterprises, eradicate poverty and build inclusive societies; ensuring environmentally-friendly, sustainable natural resource exploitation; and mobilizing resources at global, regional and national levels, including higher levels of social investment, to improve skills and capacity building and ensure provision of education, food and nutrition security, and health care. ARFSD calls upon the HLPF to: mobilize necessary resources and assistance to support States in addressing inequality and implementing redistributive policies that reduce disparities in welcome, income and access to public services, including social protection policies and other policies that modernize agriculture and food security and build community resilience; put in place strategic measures to support the development of sustainable cities and transform Africa’s urban areas into drivers of inclusive growth and prosperity; and help States to put in place adequate public policies and financing and legislative measures to promote good governance and accountability, with the broader aim of ensuring inclusive growth and transformation.
On integrated results framework and implementation, ARFSD participants stressed the need for multi-stakeholder bodies and platforms at national and sub-national levels to enable African countries to align and integrate the two agendas into national and subnational strategic frameworks, recognizing that Africa “will need to mobilize unprecedented volumes of domestic resources to implement the two agendas.” They called on the HLPF to commit States to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change, ensuring parity in the content and legal status of adaptation, mitigation and means of implementation, including capacity building, finance and technology transfer. Participants also urged UN agencies, regional and bilateral organizations and other partners to align their programming with Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030, stressing the role of partnerships in mobilizing and providing capacity, resources and technology to implement the agendas. They further called for: investing in domestic technological capabilities; and commitment by stakeholders to fast-track initiatives in the first ten-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063.
On integrated follow-up and review of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda, ARFSD underscored the importance of global commitment and support, calling on the HLPF to recognize the synergies between Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 and promote processes and recommendations that consider both agendas. Participants also stress the importance of the follow-up and review session at the 2016 HLPF to support Africa to leverage financing and other means of implementation for inclusive and integrated implementation of the two agendas, saying a unified follow-up platform at the regional level is critical for Africa to interact with the HLPF. Participants further stressed the importance of inclusive regional, sub-regional, national and subnational follow-up mechanisms that are country-led and voluntary to foster effective inclusive review, supported by disaggregated, high quality and timely data for
The outcomes of ARFSD and other regional events will inform the HLPF debate. The HLPF is mandated with ensuring effective implementation and monitoring, providing political leadership, advancing coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences, and addressing new and emerging issues. It will meet from 11- 20 July 2016, with a Ministerial Segment from 18-20 July. HLPF 2016 will address the theme, ‘Ensuring no one is left behind,’ and is expected to result in a negotiated ministerial declaration. [UNECA Press Release, 19 May] [UNECA Press Release, 18 May] [Africa Major Groups and Other Stakeholders’ Statement] [ARFSD Website] [Key messages of the second session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (E/ECA/ARFSD/2)] [HLPF Meeting Website] [HLPF Modalities]