African Regional Forum focuses on people-centered transformation

Addis Ababa, 17 June 2015 (ECA) –Mr. Ahmed Shide, State Minister of Finance and Economic Development of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia opened the African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) by recalling the importance of this meeting to ensure that “the High Level Political Forum responds to Africa’s needs.”

The AFRSD, which ECA is jointly organizing with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) as well as in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is bringing together government ministries and agencies, major groups and other stakeholders, to deliberate on and provide Africa’s collective input to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2015.

Mr. Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa also highlighted the importance of this meeting because the “key messages of the HLPF-2015 will enable Africa to present a united front and speak with one voice at the global forum”.

Highlighting the importance of the Agenda 2063 “provides an integrated framework for the implementation of international commitments on sustainable development in Africa.” Dr. Hamdok recalled that “In their Common African Position for the post-2015 development agenda adopted in January 2014, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union affirmed their collective interest to pursue structural economic transformation that promotes inclusive and people-centred development”.

Other key speakers also called for Africa to speak with one strong voice to the HLPF and to use this meeting as an opportunity for the region to participate in the global architecture which will define the post-2015 development agenda and the SDGs.

To achieve this ambitious, transformative agenda built upon the SDGs and their targets, Mr. Macharia Kamau, Permanent Representative of Kenya Mission to the United Nations recognized that, “huge investment will be required to meet the need and aspirations of people.” However he also insisted that “Time is of the essence. We have a 15 year-window—our agenda is to 2030. Given the pace at which our planet and its climate are changing and given the pace at which the working-age population is growing in part of the world, if we do not take decisive action to achieve our goal in the next 15 years, it may well be too late.”

The agenda of the next two days will be to deliberate and agree on key collective messages and priorities on strengthening integration, implementation and review, SIDS and other countries in special situations, sustainable consumption and production and on the science-policy interface to forward to the HLPF 2015.

Issued by: ClimDev-Africa