Addis Ababa, 11 October 2017 (ECA) – The second session of the Committee on Gender and Social Development of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa opened in Addis Ababa Wednesday with ECA Deputy Executive Secretary, Giovanie Biha, challenging participants to come up with ways on how the continent can best integrate inclusive gender and social policies in national plans and budgets.
Ms. Biha also urged the participants from 44 African countries to come up with ways on how the ECA can further assist member States in the design and monitoring of national plans to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDG) targets.
She said the fact that 44 countries are represented at the meeting demonstrates the commitment of member States to highlight and integrate social perspectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as the continent drives forward for their integration and implementation.
The theme of the meeting is “Achieving Agendas 2030 and 2063: From Planning to Implementation of the Gender and Social Development Goals for Inclusive and Sustainable Development”.
“Rigorous and ambitious national development strategies will help make effective progress towards the SDGs. Our mandate to mainstream more inclusive gender and social development policies within national planning and sectoral programmes is the first step. Good governance in implementing the strategies is critical,” said Ms. Biha.
She said the ECA is fully engaged in responding to challenges facing Africa, working with member States.
“ECA proposes to deepen the analytical work in various aspects of gender and social development to continue to support member States achieve the SDG targets,” said Ms. Biha, adding implementing the 2030 and 2063 Agendas requires enhanced collaboration and the right national strategies.
Re-designing national policies to feature equal opportunities of access and utilization is a way forward, she said.
ECA is working with member States to integrate the SDGs and Agenda 2063 in their planning and budgeting frameworks for inclusive and sustainable development.
“Realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Africa requires strong political commitment and action at the country level, coupled with coordinated actions at the regional and global levels. Our partnership with the African Union promotes complementarities between the 2030 Agenda and the African Agenda 2063 and helps address these challenges together,” said Ms. Biha.
In going forward, the deputy Executive Secretary said; “Your deliberations and recommendations over the next two days on national priorities and the bottlenecks in the implementation of the social and gender-related SDGs in national plans and budgets will be crucial in implementing the global and regional development agendas.”
The meeting of the Committee on Gender and Social Development is an important opportunity for member States to advise ECA how best it can support and strengthen the capacity of member States to deliver on their commitments pertaining to on gender, population, youth, employment, social protection and urbanization.
The two-day meeting will set gender and social development priorities and effective strategies for ECA to include in its programming. The Commission’s 54-member States will inform the Committee on their progress in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the two agendas, and how they are tackling gender and social development challenges.
Ethiopia’s State Minister Alemitu Umod said the importance of integrating gender and social development plans in national plans cannot be over emphasised.
“For us, SDGs and Agenda 2063 are complementary in many respects and therefore our national plans have taken this into consideration by ensuring that we mainstream both agendas at the federal and sub-national levels,” said Ms. Omdu.
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