On the final day of the sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD 2020), delegates distilled key messages from discussions over the week, culminating with the adoption of the Victoria Falls Declaration on the UN Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development in Africa, as well as an outcome document containing a summary of the deliberations, and key messages emanating from the Regional Forum.
The ARFSD 2020 outcomes will be submitted to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020, as part of the session on reports of regional forums for sustainable development.
Among other messages, the Victoria Falls Declaration calls on African Member States to:
- Urgently revisit frameworks for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063, align their national development plans with the principles of the two agendas. It also calls on African stakeholders to set in motion programmes and projects to deliver on the 10 commitments for action outlined in the political declaration of the SDGs Summit, which convened under the auspices of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, US, from 24-25 September 2019.
- Develop and implement people-centered and inclusive national strategies to support the UN Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development, strengthen mechanisms for the mobilization of resources at the national level, and make efficient use of funding for the two agendas; and
- Implement the key messages of the Regional Forum.
The Declaration also calls upon the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and other partners to scale up their support of member States’ capacity development for the implementation of the two agendas, and establish and implement a regional strategy to support the UN Decade of Action through targeted interventions and capacity development in transformational areas, including: climate action; youth education, entrepreneurship and innovation; women’s empowerment; food systems; data and statistics; trade; evidence-based voluntary national and local reviews and integrated planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting tools; science, technology and innovation; and stakeholder engagement.
The plenary decided that the Republic of Congo will host the next session in 2021.
During the closing plenary, Paul Mavima, Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Zimbabwe, thanked African member states for the opportunity to host the meeting, emphasizing that the Forum provided a firm launching pad for a decade of action for accelerating implementation of the SDGs. He noted that the Victoria Falls Declaration and its ambitious work plan should find traction in sustainable development processes and expressed commitment to working to realize the commitments made at the Forum. Calling on Africa to “rise and shine”, he closed the meeting at 6:35pm.
IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports from ARFSD 2020. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has published a summary report from the session in HTML and PDF.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Francis Dejon
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