23 October 2018
UNGA Calls for Financing, Debt Relief to Ensure Africa is Not Left Behind
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In a discussion on Africa’s sustainable development, speakers said realizing the 2030 Agenda and 2063 Agenda’s shared promise of leaving no one behind depends on resource mobilization, debt relief and technology transfer.

Several countries shared their governments’ contributions to Africa’s development, including cooperation projects on education and health.

19 October 2018: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) discussed Africa’s sustainable development, including progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063. Speakers called for increased resource mobilization, debt relief and technology transfer to ensure Africa is not left behind.

In opening remarks, UNGA President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés stressed that Africa is “at the heart of everything that we do,” and the UN’s work cannot succeed anywhere if it has not succeeded in Africa.

Morocco on behalf of the Africa Group, described the partnership between the UN and the AU as key to accelerating the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063, stressing sustainable development as a “collective opportunity and responsibility that should be achieved through multilateral cooperation.” He identified agricultural development as an area in which the region has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people. He also stressed that Africa cannot be allowed to fall behind, and called for debt relief and tackling illicit financial flows to ensure African countries can implement the SDGs.

On leaving no one behind (LNOB), Egypt for the Group of 77 and China said realizing the 2030 Agenda’s and 2063 Agenda’s shared promise of leaving no one behind depends on resource mobilization and technology transfer. He called on Member States to meet their official development assistance (ODA) commitments, and recommended that the international community boost support for regional and national initiatives to address peace and security challenges. Ethiopia said her country has mobilized domestic resources to implement development programmes, but such resources must be supported by global action. Indonesia said all States share a responsibility to ensure Africa is not left behind, and supported debt relief for African countries.

Norway and other countries shared their governments’ contributions to Africa’s development. Canada underscored the importance of building essential infrastructure to support a shift towards a low-carbon economy while contributing to the SDGs. The EU is scaling up its support by crowing in investments from financial institutions and the private sector. India shared cooperation projects in education, energy and healthcare. Israel described partnerships on agriculture, education, healthcare, women’s empowerment, innovation and entrepreneurship. Qatar highlighted financial support for projects in education, health and infrastructure.

Viet Nam for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reaffirmed regional support for Africa in achieving the 2030 Agenda. Viet Nam said the Asian region will continue to work with Africa to uphold multilateralism, and ASEAN will strengthen its partnerships with Africa on agriculture, education, information and communications technology (ICT), infrastructure development, and trade and investment. Thailand and Myanmar expressed support for South-South and triangular cooperation in support of the 2030 Agenda. Myanmar also recognized adequate and predictable financing as “indispensable” for implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

Speakers also addressed Africa’s progress towards SDG 5 (gender equality), youth employment, political instability and transnational criminal networks, among other issues. Libya urged countries of origin from which migrants flee to address the root causes of crime.

The meeting welcomed: the UN Secretary-General’s reports on implementing the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) (A/73/269); the biennial report on implementation of commitments made towards Africa’s development (A/73/270); and a report on the causes of conflict and promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa (A/73/273).

The report on implementing NEPAD finds that Africa is “making steady progress,” pointing to the region’s financial integration through the African Continental Free Trade Areas (ACFTA) and shifts towards a peaceful Africa. [UN Meeting Coverage] [A/73/269][A/73/270] [A/73/273]

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