Information
  • Lead-organizer: Republic of Congo
  • 13:30 - 17:00
  • Date: 19 Jun 2012
  • Room: T-4

Documents
Africa Day: Accelerating Progress towards Sustainable Development in Africa

Organizing partners

The Republic of Congo, jointly with the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Introduction

Significant challenges remain in implementing sustainable development commitments in Africa. Accelerating progress calls for, inter alia, an in-depth reflection on Africa?s sustainable development priorities, and strengthening strategic alliances and partnerships. Towards this end, the Africa Day will be held under the theme Accelerating Progress towards Sustainable Development in Africa. It will consist of a four-hour, moderated High Level Roundtable, focusing on strengthening and speeding up implementation and mobilising political leadership. Panellists will include African Heads of State and Government, Heads of African regional institutions and UN Agencies, and representatives of major groups. The roundtable will be followed by a press conference with the objective to disseminate to a wide audience the outcomes of the Roundtable, focusing on key policy messages that could inform the discussions at the Rio+20 Conference, and will conclude with a cocktail reception.

Detailed programme

As part of the Africa regional preparations for Rio+20, an assessment of progress towards sustainable development in Africa since 1992 revealed that there was measurable progress in the implementation of sustainable development-related commitments, including the Millennium Development Goals. This notwithstanding, significant challenges remained. Accelerating progress towards sustainable development calls for, among other things, an in-depth reflection on Africa?s sustainable development priorities, and strengthening strategic alliances and partnerships.

Thematic Focus: the Africa Day will be held under the theme Accelerating Progress towards Sustainable Development in Africa. This theme is critical to ensure that past achievements as identified in various review reports are consolidated, while challenges and opportunities are addressed adequately. The objectives of the Africa Day are:

1. To provide a high level platform to deliberate on Africa?s progress towards sustainable development, and identify strategies and measures necessary to accelerate progress; and
2. To mobilize strategic partnerships around Africa?s key priorities and concerns, with a view to facilitating Africa?s negotiations at the Conference, and ensure that they are adequately reflected in the outcomes of Rio+20.

Format of the Africa Day: The Africa Day will consist of a four-hour, moderated High Level Roundtable, involving African Heads of State and Government and other world leaders, development partners, practitioners and major groups. The roundtable will be followed by a Press Conference, and conclude with a reception. In view of this, the Africa Day is envisaged to take place at the RioCentro on 19 June 2012, from 14:30 to 19:30.

The High Level Roundtable discussions will provide a platform for Africa and partners to reflect on Africa?s sustainable development priorities, focusing in particular on strengthening and accelerating implementation, as well as mobilizing political leadership. The roundtable will be comprise two segments ? a technical segment and a high-level political segment. It will be moderated by an experienced communication expert, who will introduce the objectives and topics to be addressed, as well as the panelists. The roundtable will commence with a keynote address, which will set the tone for the discussions. The moderator will then invite panelists to speak to the different topics under the theme following which questions will be invited from the floor. Topics to be addressed during the technical level will include: NEPAD as a framework for sustainable development in Africa; means of implementation; and building partnerships for sustainable development. The political level segment will focus on how mobilizing political leadership can accelerate progress towards sustainable development. Recommendations and key policy messages will be synthesized with a view to informing the discussions at the Rio+20 Conference, as well as the High Level Dialogue on Africa?s sustainable development aspirations: building alliances for accelerating progress.
In order to ensure that the theme of the Africa Day is addressed effectively, panelists will be selected taking into account their areas of expertise and experience, as well as the need for a good balance between policy makers, practitioners, and major groups. Panelists will include African Heads of Government and State, Heads of African regional institutions and UN Agencies, and high level representatives of major groups.
At the end of the High Level Roundtable, a one hour press conference to be led by Africa?s political leadership will be organized. Regional and international journalists will be invited. The objective of the press conference is to disseminate to a wide audience the outcomes of the Roundtable, with a focus on key policy messages that could inform the discussions at the Rio+20 Conference. The Press Conference will be followed by a reception.
The target audience and participants include Africa?s political leadership, including at the level of Heads of Government and State, heads of delegations form other regions of the world, heads of UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral development partners, and major groups.

Potential contribution to the outcome of Rio+20: The event is expected to result into the following outcomes that will contribute to shaping the Rio+20 outcome:

(i) Enhanced awareness and understanding of Africa?s sustainable development priorities and concerns, as well as the challenges and opportunities to accelerate progress towards sustainable development in the region;
(ii) Key policy messages and recommendations on accelerating progress towards sustainable development to inform the discussions at Rio+20;
(iii) Enhanced buy-in and support for Africa?s negotiating positions at Rio+20; and
(iv) Strengthened partnerships for the advancement of Africa?s sustainable development agenda.

Simultaneous interpretation in English and French will be required. The event room should therefore be equipped with interpretation booth and the relevant equipment.
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