Addis Ababa, 14 November 2010 - Despite the broad impacts of climate change and the multiple crises, including global financial crisis, food and energy crises which hampered development in Africa, the continent’s economic performance remained steadfast with growth projected at 4.8 percent, Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro said in Addis Ababa today.
In remarks at the 11th Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM-Africa), which she is co-chairing with the Chairperson of the African Union, Jean Ping, Ms. Migiro said, “the recently concluded MDGs Summit had sent a clear message, that the MDGs could be achieved, even in the least developed countries, if efforts are stepped up.”
She said that the African Union, ECA and the African Development Bank, supported by the UN system agencies and development partners, had already begun to address the spectrum of issues raised at the Summit through various ways, including through last month's Africa Development Forum (ADF) on Climate Change and Sustainable Development held in Addis Ababa.
"ADF's consensus statement," said Migiro, "recognized not just the threat of climate change, but also the opportunities it can provide in spurring the integration of climate-resilient strategies into development planning and in generating movement toward a green economy."
She called on the RCM-Africa two-day discussions to advance Africa's preparedness towards a successful outcome of the 2012 Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) - and in particular - the implementation of Agenda 21 and renewed political commitment for sustainable development.
"Beyond the Rio+20, RCM-Africa should continue to play a central role in supporting Africa's efforts to meet the MDGs," she added, pointing out that "Africa's people need neither pity nor charity, but rather the tools, institutions, stability and freedoms to create incomes and jobs."
The Chairperson of the African Union, Jean Ping emphasized the need for "a clear and precise roadmap" to improve synergy, coherence and coordination within the RCM. He noted that since its establishment many high-level personalities, including the Heads of States from Mexico, China and Norway had engaged the RCM with a view to share views on the African position on climate change.
He also pointed out that the formal integration of NEPAD into AU structures in the form of the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency is an opportunity for better synergy on the shared RCM agenda and on issues such as regional integration, resource mobilization and peace and security.
The Economic Commission for Africa's Executive Secretary and UN Undersecretary-General, Abdoulie Janneh said the RCM deliberations on the Rio+20 Conference will help to identify the issues for Africa especially as they pertain to the green economy and institutional framework for sustainable development.
"There is a positive spirit about Africa's potential which has not been seen since the early years of independence," he said, and noted that the work of RCM must be guided by the need to help "fast-track continental aspirations for socio-economic transformation."
For his part, the Director, Sustainable Development Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Affairs Division (DESA), Tariq Banuri, reiterated the need for the Rio+20 conference to address the "implementation deficit" and reasons behind the lack of progress on relevant issues and emphasized an integrated response to the challenges of sustainable development.
He spoke on behalf of Sha Zukang, Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, and Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
The NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency's Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Assane Mayaki hailed the integration of NEPAD into AU structures as a "new phase in taking forward Africa's self-designed development strategy."
"Africa's development landscape is changing positively, he said, adding: "African leaders have shown greater commitment to moving the Continent from a paradigm of managing poverty to making Africa a growth pole for economic transformation."
Issued by: ECA Information and Communication Service, www.uneca.org
Click here to read the full statement of the remarks made by Dr. Mayaki