ARFSD 2019: Africa reaffirms commitment to implementing SDGs

The ministers and officials in charge of environment and sustainable development attending the fifth Africa Regional Forum for Sustainable Development (ARFSD) held last week in Marrakesh have reaffirmed their governments’ commitment to fully implementing the sustainable development goals for the benefit of all on the continent.

The ministers, who were joined by policymakers and experts, representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations, parliaments, the private sector and civil society of the member States, called for further efforts to foster and promote innovation and technology to fill the gaps in data needed for the preparation and implementation of national and regional development policies, said the UN Economic Community for Africa in a press release.

“We reaffirm our commitment to implementation of the sustainable development goals and our adherence to the guidelines set out for implementation of the 2030 Agenda by the regional meetings, of a general or sectoral nature, and also the key messages adopted at the current fifth session of the Africa Regional Forum in 2019,” the participants said in a final declaration.

“We reiterate the strategic importance of mobilizing adequate, predictable and additional financial resources to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs in Africa; urge member States to establish effective financing strategies and call upon our development partners to meet their respective commitments in support of Africa.”

They highlighted difficulties faced by a number of African countries in reporting on SDG indicators and called for the establishment of a solidarity fund for statistical development, designed to support African countries in the collection of necessary statistical data.

The ministers called on all African countries to strengthen South-South cooperation and the sharing of experience to help tackle multiple and complex challenges they are meeting in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Nations were also encouraged to build multi-stakeholder partnerships, plans and programs of action at regional and sub-regional levels to ensure the desired development that leaves no one behind.

Regarding climate change, the participants have reaffirmed “the urgent need to take appropriate measures swiftly to bring the consequences of global warming under control, limiting it to a level not exceeding 1.5°C, in accordance with the recommendations of the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

They emphasized the interdependence of peace, security and sustainable development, and recognized the progress that has been made by African countries in that regard.

Key messages of the forum will be presented to the high-level political forum (HLPF) on sustainable development and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in New York in July and September 2019, respectively.

The forum, held on the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”, was co-hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco and the Economic Commission for Africa, under the high patronage of King Mohammed VI.

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