Dakar, Senegal, May 8, 2018 (ECA) – Africa is committed and ready to do more in the implementation of the sustainable development goals that are expected to inspire positive change by tackling the root causes of poverty and inequality, says Fatima Denton, Director of the Special Initiatives Division at the Economic Commission for Africa.
Speaking at the end of the three-day Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) in Dakar, Senegal, Ms. Denton said in agreeing on a set of messages to take to the high level political forum in New York in July, Africa had decided to speak with one voice as it presses ahead towards shared prosperity.
The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level.
“At the end of the three days we were able to adopt a number of messages. These messages will go to the high level political panel and they will represent the voice of Africa in terms of what Africa has discussed and decided and we will communicate this to the global forum, which is the political custodian of the SDGs so I think our mission is done,” said Ms. Denton.
She added; “Africa has something to say and has a lot to do in the implementation of the SDGs and not forgetting also the implementation of Africa’s Agenda 2063.”
Ms. Denton said the forum had been busy with a number of key side events allowing Africa to discuss challenges and opportunities countries were experiencing in implementing Agendas 2030 and 2063.
“We had a lot of discussions on the SDGs voluntary national reviews (VNRs) which are a key part of this forum. It gives us ideas in terms of things we can do better, challenges that we need to pay attention to and lessons we can learn,” she said.
As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to "conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven".
These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum that meets under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council annually.
Ms. Denton said the VNRs are important as they aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“We looked at six development goals ranging from access to clean and affordable energy services to protecting, restoring, promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable management of forests, combating desertification, and reversing land degradation and biodiversity loss,” the ECA Director said.
“And as we journey together towards a bold and transformational pathway in the realization of Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, I would like to thank his Excellency President Macky Sall, the Prime Minister Mr. Mohammed Boun Abdalla Dionne, and in particular the Environment Minister, Mr. Mame Thierno Dieng and his team for rigorously investing in the process and the quality of outcomes.”
Ms. Denton also thanked ECA’s partners, the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the entire UN family ‘for the great partnership that is so critical to our collective journey as we press forward to design road maps that will take us to our destination and towards shared prosperity’.
ARFSD 2019 will be held in Morocco.
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