The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), through its Social Development Policy Division, is convening the first session of the Committee on Gender and Social Development, in Addis Ababa, on 19 and 20 November 2015.
The Committee is a statutory body of experts and policymakers that provides guidance and advice to ECA on gender and social development issues. Based on its mandate, it will provide strategic vision and direction to the Social Development Policy Division by reviewing activities implemented during the period 2014–2015, and discussing those planned for the biennium 2016–2017. The deliberations of the Committee will result in recommendations to strengthen ECA subprogrammes on gender and social development to better serve Africa’s member States and its regional and subregional organizations.
The theme of the first session of the Committee, “Sustainable Development Goals in Africa: Enhancing gender-responsive and social development policies”, is consistent with the current regional and global policy processes and dialogues on inclusive and sustainable development. The outcome of the session will contribute to framing Africa’s priorities, as far as gender and social development issues are concerned, and to shaping those global processes.
The Committee will be organized in a context marked by a number of regional and global development frameworks, including Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the outcome of the global process which Africa shaped through its common position on the post-2015 agenda. The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the General Assembly in September 2015, in New York.
In addition, the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015, will lead to a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. A critical milestone is the attention given to gender issues and social development in those processes.