Head of UNDP Africa at MDGs and post-2015 development agenda

Sep 25, 2013

Nigeria’s side event on the MDGs and post-2015 development agenda.
Overview of the outcomes of national and regional consultations on the post-2015 Development Framework across Africa.
New York, 25 September 2013.

By Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director for Africa,

Your Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,

Madam Moderator, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Hon. Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

I see our session of today as foundational in helping us further shape Africa’s common position on a paradigm that would inspire our development work, post 2015.

The journey to the articulation of African perspectives on post 2015 development agenda started in November 2011 when the first African wide consultation on this issue was held in Accra Ghana by the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa. Since then we have covered a lot of grounds through various thematic, regional and national consultations, surveys, roundtable discussions, mobile phone text messaging and other social media contributions.

Four main messages stand out as pillars of what could become a new development paradigm.

The first message is that the MDG symphony is still an unfinished business. The MDG music must continue. And when on 31 December 2015 we will celebrate New Year’s Eve, we must NOT be writing the epitaph of the MDGs, but rather congratulating ourselves for having fulfilled the aspirations of the 189 World leaders who, on November 2000, committed to make our planet a better place. But then some 800 days before the finishing line, it behooves us to step up the MDG momentum .We must, as Curtis Mayfield sung it, just “Keep on keeping on”.
The second message captured in the consultations was the call for a global development agenda towards greater equity. People conveyed a clear sense that our world is deeply unfair, and that the dynamics of power and exclusion have left certain people, groups, and countries behind. They want governments and all partners and stakeholders to work to reduce horizontal and vertical inequalities. They make a compelling call for the empowerment and advancement of women and girls, and for the imperative necessity to see investment in youth employment as an immediate and urgent down payment for peace, security, and sustainable development.

The third message is the desire for an integrated development agenda; and which can help build more resilient states and more resilient societies. People saw the way the world is going as unsustainable and debilitating. They cited the rapid onset of climate change and mismanagement of natural resources as reasons why their societies were becoming more unequal and less secure. They want environmental sustainability incorporated alongside economic and social development in the new framework. They want factors damaging the global economy, like excessive volatility, illicit financial flows, and tax havens operating with impunity, to be acted on.  And in Africa, such a transformational agenda is much needed to ensure that we reach a development tipping point which would allow setting Africa’s economies on an irreversible  sustainable development path.

Finally, the consultations called for an agenda which holds governments and other actors to account for delivering on their commitments. They want an accountability revolution. Advances in technology on the one hand and the increased awareness of citizen’s rights on the other have made this objective much more feasible to promote than it was in 2000. Those who took part in the conversation don’t want their engagement to stop there. They want to continue to have a say, to ensure that their views are taken into account, to monitor the real time progress in their countries, and to hold their governments accountable for results.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
The outcomes of these consultations form a precious block of marble, and there is a great angel inside. That angel is our post 2015 development agenda. As Michelangelo put it, we must carve to set that angel free. That’s now the task ahead of us. I am confident that the spirit of our meeting will guide our hand.

I thank you.

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