Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 25, 2018 (ECA) – Africa is ready for the High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF) that takes place at the United Nations headquarters next month, says Fatima Denton, Director of Special Initiatives Division at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The HLPF will be held in New York from 9-18 July 2018.
Ms. Denton says the ECA and its partners will take to the HLPF Africa’s position as agreed by stakeholders at the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) that was held in Dakar, Senegal, in May.
The regional forum is an inter-governmental and multi-stakeholder platform to review progress, share experiences and lessons learned and build a consensus to accelerate the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Africa’s Agenda 2063.
“The key messages that came from the ARFSD will serve as Africa's collective regional input to the annual high-level political forum,” says Ms. Denton.
The 2018 HLPF will review implementation of SDGs 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 15 (life on land) and 17 (partnerships for the goals).
In reviewing these goals, participants will reflect on over two years of efforts to implement the SDGs.
The Dakar ARFSD was held on the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies", in line with that of the 2018 high-level political forum which is "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies".
On clean water and sanitation, the ARFSD agreed, water was critical to achieving Africa’s desire of fast economic growth, which will lead to the attainment of a continent free of poverty and hunger, as encapsulated in Agendas 2030 and 2063.
The continent lags behind in access to clean water and decent sanitation services.
“This has serious implications, including for the health and productivity of the people in the region, and undermines their capacity to cope with various shocks,” says Ms. Denton.
With an increasing population and demand for socioeconomic development, water resources in Africa are projected to become a source of tension, conflict, environmental degradation and vulnerability.
The ARFSD recommended the full and effective implementation of the African Water Vision 2025 was crucial to addressing the multiple challenges, enhancing access to water and strengthening integrated water resources management on the continent.
The Forum called on governments to improve access to appropriate technologies; enhance capacity in the water sector; and create an enabling environment through better water governance regimes, with institutional arrangements that recognize the interdependence of water usage among competing sectors and that make use of cross-sectoral planning.
“For every SDG we discussed at the ARFSD we will be able to provide regional input to discussions at the HLPF with one voice as we seek ways together on how to effectively implement the SDGs to eliminate poverty and inequality,” said Ms. Denton, adding Africa was more than ready and committed to do more in the implementation of the sustainable development goals.
The high-level political forum on sustainable development is being convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council.
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