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President Dr Hage Geingob's statement on Regionalism and the Vision 2030 agenda for sustainable development


23 SEPTEMBER 2016, NEW YORK

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
The Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Honourable Ministers,
Regional Commissions Executive Secretaries,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

I wish to express my deep appreciation for the opportunity to address this event, organized under the theme "Regionalism and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development". I would also like to express my appreciation to the Executive Secretaries of the United Nations Regional Commissions for organizing this event. I am honoured that this platform will allow me to briefly elucidate the significance of regional cooperation with regards to the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, most specifically with in Africa.

It is my belief that this event will serve as a window to promote inter-regional peer learning through the sharing of experiences from various regions, regional and sub-regional organizations and other stakeholders on how we can deliver on this transformative and ambitious agenda. Moreover, the event will provide the United Nations membership and other stakeholders, with perspectives and assessment of the efforts and dynamics of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at regional level.

In January 2015, the Heads of State and government of the African Union adopted Agenda 2063 and its Ten-year implementation plan. To this end, the 2063 Agenda is already being implemented. This is being done in a manner that is coherent with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, considering the complementarity of these two agendas.

I wish to state that unlike the formulation of the Millennium Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda has been informed by Africa's development priorities, as reflected in the Common Africa Position (CAP) on the post 2015 development agenda. The CAP was a product of extensive consultations which were organized in all sub-regions of Africa by the Economic Commission for Africa in collaboration with the African Union Commission.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Given the synergies that exist between the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063, it will only be appropriate that an integrated approach to their implementation is pursued, in order to ensure that all countries derive the maximum benefits from the strengths of both Agendas. This will allow each individual country to come up with viable national development plans for frameworks that are rightly transformative and in the end effectively contribute to the overall development of the continent. The African continent's highest priorities are structural transformation supported by human development, technological innovation and strategic partnerships. These priorities are reflected in both agendas and hence underscore the importance of an integrated and coherent implementation of the global and continental agendas.

In this regard, there is need to deliberate on key issues of how we can harmonise frameworks and establish common mechanisms of implementation, monitoring and evaluation to achieve the collective goals of sustainable development and transformation.

The successful implementation of Agenda 2030 will require robust global partnerships and regional cooperation that is crucial to the removal of barriers, which include amongst others, trans-boundary issues such as trade, shared natural resources and environmental challenges. Given the developmental challenges faced by Africa, especially in light of the effects of climate change, there is a need to consolidate regional resources that may be used for the production of energy and the development of new infrastructure in order to sustain the requisite economic growth levels.

It is a fact that the implementation of the two agendas will not be successful without strong institutions and an effective follow-up system. This means we need to create a culture of connection amongst ourselves, we need to pull in the same direction in a Harambee spirit. We also need to get rid of what can be termed as the passing of the buck syndrome. Let us all take ownership of these agendas and adopt a collective responsibility towards ensuring their complete and successful implementation.

The developed world should also ensure that reasonable funding is provided to African countries and other developing nations of the world to assist them to implement these agendas. I always refer to the fact that after World War 2, the Marshall Plan was put into effect to aid the economic recovery and growth of Western Europe. However, there is no such plan for Africa, a continent that has experienced hundreds of years of exploitation at the expense of our people.

It has been noted that Official Development Aid (ODA) to Africa shows a downward trend, with most donor countries not fulfilling their commitments to provide 0.7 per cent of their gross national income in the ODA to developing countries. Of Particular concern is the fact that the share of the total of the ODA received by Africa's least developed countries has sharply declined.

Your Excellenicies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me conclude by emphasizing that we cannot afford to adopt a passive approach to development. We all need to be actively involved in the process of ensuring that Africa meets its developmental targets and aspirations. Sustainable development is not an exclusive domain of a particular ministry, office, agency or organization. It should involve all sections of government, with a focus on social as well as economic development. Let us therefore all join hands in ensuring that we make a commitment to plan effectively for the realization of a better future for the citizens of our continent for Peter Drucker once said, "Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans." Let us take heed and ensure that the goals and objectives of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 are realized and do not become mere promises and hopes.

I thank you all!





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