Migration and sustainable development under spotlight in UNGA President meeting with ECA

Addis Ababa, February 28 2018 (ECA) – The United Nations General Assembly will between March and June organize high level meetings to discuss financing for development, peace and security, water for development, the youth and education in a bid to keep global momentum up on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as Africa’s Agenda 2063.

This was said by UNGA President Miroslav Lajčák in a meeting with senior Economic Commission for Africa staff in Addis Ababa Wednesday that focused on a number of issues, including migration, sustainable development, aligning the global UN’s 2030 Agenda and Africa’s Agenda 2063, and on-going UN Reforms.

First on the cards, he said, is the event on the youth that will be held in May, focusing on education, employment and the prevention of radicalism.

“Africa is well known for having a youthful population and this presents huge potential. In this meeting we just do not want to talk for the sake of talking,” he said.

“We want to discuss real issues, real problems and come up with real solutions otherwise we will be wasting our time. We want this programme to be designed with young people and we should not only talk but listen to them, this is critical.”

The water meeting will focus on the nexus between the precious liquid and energy and development.

Next would be the financing for development meeting that will see UNGA engage with partners and stakeholders on how to raise the required resources to finance the SDGs agenda and ensure effective implementation on the ground.

“We are significantly short of the resources required to finance and implement the two agendas. The money is there, for example in pension funds, but we need to strengthen the links between the SDGs and the financial resources that are available within the private sector,” said the 193-member body’s President.

Mr. Lajčák and the senior ECA officials discussed challenges and opportunities related to aligning the 2030 Agenda and Africa’s Agenda 2063; the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration; the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), UN Reforms and related topics during their meeting.

He said he was glad to listen to Africa’s position in New York recently on the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.

“Every time Africa speaks with one voice it's very powerful and everyone listens,” said the UNGA President, adding migration is a reality that cannot be ignored.

ECA Deputy Executive Secretary, Giovanie Biha, led the ECA team in engaging the UNGA President, appraising him on events on the ground and the work being done by the ECA, including working with the African Union Commission in helping member States implement Agendas 2063 and the 2030 for sustainable development.

“We fully support the UN reforms being undertaken by the Secretary General, more so because they are about increasing our efficiency and effectiveness and strengthening accountability,” she said.

Ms. Biha said the AUC and the ECA are in the middle of preparations for the Conference of Ministers that will be held between 12-17 April in Addis Ababa under the theme; ‘Fighting Corruption, Illicit Financial Flows and Strengthening Domestic Resource Mobilisation’.

She also talked about events being planned to celebrate the ECA’s 60 years of existence, among other issues.

Mr. Lajčák will meet Executive Secretary Vera Songwe on Thursday.


Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org