Tuesday, 25 February 2020

UN CHIEF COMMENDS AFRICAN GOVTS


AFRICA has made progress in its quest to attain peace and security as well as implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), United Nations Deputy Secretary General Ms Amina Mohamed has said.

Speaking during the official opening of the 6th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) here yesterday, Ms Mohamed commended African governments for their energy and determination towards implementation of SDGs.

She however said more needs to be done if the continent is to meet its target for Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063. Ms Mohamed said the United Nations was committed to helping the continent realise its vision.

“Over the course of 2019 major scientific and analytical reviews made clear that the world is not on track to achieve the sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

“The Africa Union first report on the implementation of Agenda 2063 demonstrated that despite early progress there is need for urgent action.

“Now, 2020 is an opportunity for all of us to chart a different course and to kickstart a Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs. Region by region we will build momentum starting with Africa today and I am convinced that with leadership by African governments and strong support from their partners and young people, the Decade of Action can deliver major improvements in peace and prosperity across the continent,” she said. 

Ms Mohamed said while the UN High Level political forum will continue to provide the main platform for global engagement and sharing experiences on the SDGs, the decade (2020-2030) will also allow for annual stocktaking on the collective journey towards 2063.

“Africa continues to have some of the fastest growing economies and growth is projected to remain stable in 2020. The proportion of people living in poverty is declining from 34,5 percent in 2015 to 32,5 percent in 2019. In 10 countries poverty rates are below 10 percent “Africa has made progress in the quest for peace and security mostly by strengthening continental response frameworks and institutions as well as by working with the UN and other organisations on the growing to secure inclusive transitions,” said Ms Mohamed.

She said considerable gains have been recorded in health where less women and children are dying at birth or because of diseases.

She commended Africa’s commitment on climate action with all African countries having signed the Paris Agreement and 48 having ratified it.

The Deputy UN Secretary General also commended governments for aligning their national plans and strategies with the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 in the last five years.

“This wide-ranging progress has been achieved because of African leadership, the engagement of Africa’s young people, sound policies and effective international cooperation,” highlighted Ms Mohamed. 

She however warned against complacency.“But lets us not make a mistake. In Africa as elsewhere, we need to accelerate the pace and scale up our collective action. The nexus between climate change, hunger, terrorism, conflict, and displacement is causing havoc and human suffering in many countries hence the scale

of the task before us is immense but the success of the SDGs depends on the success of Africa 2063,” she said. Ms Mohamed said Agenda 2063 has potential to positively impact on SDGs the same way China’s achievements contributed to major advances under the Millennium Development Goals.

She said the continent can continue counting on UN support especially in the goal of silencing guns which is the continent’s theme for the year.

She implored all the governments of Africa, the African Union Commission, youth, women, development partners, the UN development system to leverage the Decade of Action to deliver the SGDs and common vision for a more peaceful and prosperous Africa. Herald

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