Rabat, March 2, 2018 (ECA): Twenty-four UN organizations, international and funding institutions operating in North Africa agreed on a draft, joint road map to follow-up and support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.
Participants at the annual meeting of the Sub Regional Coordination Mechanism for North Africa on 1-2 March shared their experiences of the various challenges related to SDG implementation in the region and agreed on the need to improve coordination and seize opportunities for synergies between their actions.
The 2030 Development Agenda came into force on January 1st, 2016 as the global reference framework for development policies and actions at the national, regional and international level. The agenda has 17 key objectives known as the Sustainable Development Goals. For African countries, these goals coincide by more than 90% with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Two years later however, most players still have a limited knowledge of the SDGs. “So far, few individuals, communities, national or local institutions have taken ownership of the SDGs, and when concertation mechanisms involving multiple actors exist, they are often only partially operational”, said Lilia Hachem Naas, Director of the ECA Office for North Africa. “Given the multiple stakes related to the implementation of SDGs, there is a need for a concerted regional effort that will allow us to think further and respond in accordance with national priorities and regional issues of common interest to the countries”, she added.
The draft roadmap considers potential areas of focus such as improving the understanding and assimilation of SDGs by all involved actors, their inclusion in public policies, statistical capacity building, following up on SDG implementation and seizing opportunities for South-South cooperation.
Among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals identified at the global level, participants have selected a number they view as high priority for North Africa. They include food security, decent jobs for youths and women, gender as a cross-cutting dimension of development policies, energy transition, regional integration, inequality reduction, water management and the fight against climate change. The 2018-2019 regional roadmap will focus on the numerous areas related to food security and employment.
The roadmap, which aims to cover the whole of North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia) will be implemented with support from a joint UMA-ECA committee and in coordination with the focal points of the involved institutions.
In addition to the Arab Maghreb Union, several United Nation agencies took part in the meeting, including the regional representatives of FAO and IFAD, the coordinators and representatives of the United Nations System in Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania and Morocco, ESCWA, ILO, UNIDO, UNDP Mauritania, UNDP Morocco, UNESCO and UNICEF. Other key development players such as AIDMO, AfDB, ICDT, ISESCO, ITFC and OADA also took part in this event.
A branch of the African Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) coordinated by the ECA, the Sub Regional Coordination Mechanism (SRCM) for North Africa aims to facilitate concertation between UN agencies in the sub-region.
Note to editors
The Economic Commission for Africa (www.uneca.org) is one of the five regional commissions of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). ECA’s office in North Africa supports the sub-region’s development by helping its countries (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan) formulate and apply policies and programs to achieve economic and social transformation.
For more information about this event, please visit www.uneca.org.