The UN’s Regional Coordination Mechanism to support the African Union and its programs (RCM-Africa) is all about upscaling efforts to get needed sustainable development results for the continent, leading figures from the UN system and the African Union have told media practitioners.
At a press conference on the side-lines of the 52nd Session of ECA and the 20th Session of RCM-Africa, Sunday, UN Deputy Secretary-General – Amina J. Mohammed, ECA’s Executive Secretary – Vera Songwe and the African Union’s Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology – Sarah Anyang Agbor spelt out the merits of this AU-UN synergy in the light of dovetailing the UN’s mandates of peace and security with sustainable development.
Ms. Mohammed said in the current context of addressing member States’ challenges and opportunities, RCM-Africa strove to capitalize on the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development to support the seven important aspirations of the of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
“It is about how we can together leverage what governments should be doing to provide services, draft-in their citizens as inclusive part of their agendas but also how we can leverage resources to enhance trade and foreign direct investment flowing into the continent to move forward with that agenda,” she went on.
Practically, RCM Africa is about the UN working with the African Union to try to get the 47% of people of the continent still under poverty line out of their situation, bring energy to the doorsteps of 500 million people without electricity and garner the US$ 60 billion needed to empower African women, Ms. Vera Songwe told the press.
She said it was meant to address the plight of the 23 million people – a number which equates to the population of Cote d’Ivoire – who are refugees, migrants or internally displaced in Africa, a major area of focus for both the AU Commission and the Mechanism, this year.
“The Africa we want is within sight,” Ms. Songwe enthused, stating that RCM-Africa was about efficiency and coordinated effort of over 20 UN agencies to mobilize and deploy the US$680 billion dollars needed to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Asked if the just ended 20th session of RCM-Africa was about a radical evolution of the how the UN and AU worked together for Africa’s development, Ms Songwe said it was about a paradigm shift to working more effectively.
“We need to upscale our efforts because the strategies and policies are already there,” added Ms. Sarah Anyang Agbor, African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, who further said the nexus between the UN and the AU was about “empowering the African people from whom we get our mandates.”
She said it was about need to accelerated coordination to deliver on a common vision of both the UN and the AU.
Deputy UN Secretary General Mohammed rejoiced that the 20th session of RCM-Africa has been held back-to-back with the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development because “it is very important for us in the development arena to be speaking with those at the helm of affairs about how we deploy our resources to address challenges facing our countries and citizens.”
That ministerial segment of the conference kicks off on Monday 25 March and will run for two daysDistributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).