Summary report, 28–30 April 2014
Pan-African Conference on Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation
The Pan-African Conference on Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation took place from 28-30 April 2014, in Accra, Ghana. The Conference was organized by the Government of Ghana, in partnership with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, the Danish International Development Agency, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, the Society for International Development, Third World Network Africa, the UN Children’s Fund, UN Development Programme, UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the UN Millennium Campaign.
Over 250 participants attended the meeting, representing governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector. During the three days, delegates took part in four thematic dialogues: African Inequalities in the Global Development Agenda – Past, Present and Future; Understanding African Inequalities: Structures, Drivers and Determinants; Lessons in Addressing Inequalities in Africa; and Policy Actions for Tackling Inequalities in Africa.
Each dialogue session comprised of framing speeches and interactive panel sessions on various topics including on: understanding economic, social, political and spatial inequalities; country and regional perspectives on inequality; the importance of statistics for tracking progress and implementation; identifying policy actions; and strategies and political action to promote the new transformational agenda. The outcome of the meeting, the Political Statement from the Pan-African Conference on Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation, will contribute to the common African position for the post-2015 development agenda. It will also be used to support Agenda 2063, which is the African Union’s (AU) strategy for “the future we want for Africa.”
The three days of discussion saw lively debate take place, which highlighted the many facets of inequalities, their drivers, and possible actions to combat inequality. Many participants noted that while inequalities are understood, the actions and strategies implemented thus far have had little effect. They underscored the need for effective strategy implementation, and called for instituting robust monitoring and evaluation programmes.
The global movement to address global poverty gained momentum in 2000, with the launch of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs, a set of 8 time-bound targets aimed at eradicating extreme poverty, provided a framework for national, regional and international efforts to be intensified. The MDGs have yielded mixed results, particularly in Africa, where not all goals will be met, and, in some cases, inequalities have increased.
Given that the MDGs are set to expire in 2015, the global community has embarked on a process to establish the global development architecture post-2015.
Furthermore, the AU has initiated a process titled Africa 2063, which aims to inform the next 50 years of Africa’s development. This process presents an opportunity to tackle inequalities that exist on the continent.
This brief history provides an overview of both these processes.
THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The third and final meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20), Pre-Conference Informal Consultations facilitated by the host country, and the UNCSD convened back-to-back in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 13-22 June 2012. During the ten days in Rio, government delegations concluded negotiations on the Rio+20 outcome document, titled The Future We Want. Representatives from 191 UN Member States and observers, including 79 Heads of State or Government, addressed the general debate, and approximately 44,000 people attended the official meetings, a Rio+20 Partnerships Forum, Sustainable Development Dialogues, SD-Learning and an estimated 500 side events.
The Future We Want calls for the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to take decisions on, inter alia: designating a body to operationalize the 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production; identifying the format and organizational aspects of a high-level political forum (HLPF), which is to replace the UNCSD; strengthening the UN Environment Programme; constituting an open working group (OWG) on sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be agreed by the UNGA; establishing an intergovernmental process under the UNGA to prepare a report proposing options on an effective sustainable development financing strategy; and considering a set of recommendations from the Secretary-General for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean, environmentally sound technologies.
The UNGA endorsed the outcome document, titled The Future We Want, in resolution 66/288 on 30 November 2012.
UNGA-67: The 67th session of the UNGA adopted a resolution on the implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of Rio+20 (A/RES/67/203), which outlines the negotiation process for the creation of the HLPF, and recommends that the UNCSD hold a “short and procedural” final session following the conclusion of negotiations on the HLPF. The text also calls for the OWG on SDGs to report to the UNGA at its 68th session and to report regularly, taking into account the convening of the first HLPF, and the special event in 2013 to follow up efforts made toward achieving the MDGs.
AFRICAN REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETING (RIM): The African RIM took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 19-21 November 2012, together with the Eighth Session of the Committee on Food Security and Sustainable Development. Recommendations focused on: arrangements for the HLPF; the SDGs, including Africa’s priorities, such as poverty eradication, food security and desertification, among others; and means of implementation. One of the recommendations called for the Africa RIM to be elevated to a high-level regional forum to ensure effective engagement of African countries in the HLPF.
UNGA OPEN WORKING GROUP ON SDGs: The first formal meeting of the UNGA OWG on SDGs took place on 14-15 March 2013 at UN Headquarters in New York. Participants shared initial views on both the process and substance of the SDG framework, and suggested priority issues to include in the goals. The main areas emphasized were: poverty and hunger eradication; employment and decent jobs; sustainable consumption and production; gender equality and empowerment of women; access to and good management of the essentials of human well-being, such as food, water, health and energy; and means of implementation. Delegates outlined views on integrating the SDGs with the post-2015 development agenda, and maintaining focus on implementation of the MDGs.
UNGA SPECIAL EVENT TOWARDS ACHIEVING THE MDGS: The High-Level Special Event took place on 25 September 2013 at UN Headquarters in New York. The outcome document of the event determined that the work of the OWG will feed into international negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, beginning in September 2014, and that a Global Summit will be held in September 2015 to agree on a new UN development agenda.
FIRST EIGHT SESSIONS OF THE OWG: The OWG held its first eight sessions between March 2013 and February 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York. During the first meeting (14-15 March 2013), participants shared their initial views on both the process and substance of the SDG framework. During the second meeting (17-19 April 2013), delegates focused on the overarching framework of poverty eradication and sustainable development, and cross-sectoral issues including: governance; gender equality and women’s empowerment; human rights and rights-based approaches; and means of implementation. Delegates at OWG-2 also discussed the Programme of Work for 2013-2014, and the following six OWG sessions focused on the issue clusters identified in the document.
Based on the first eight sessions of the OWG, the Co-Chairs released a “stocktaking” document and a “focus areas” document.
OWG SESSIONS NINE AND TEN: The ninth and tenth sessions of the OWG met from 3-5 March 2014, and 31 March – 4 April 2014 respectively. In both sessions, delegates considered the list of 19 “focus areas”: poverty eradication; food security and nutrition; health and population dynamics; education; gender equality and women’s empowerment; water and sanitation; energy; economic growth; industrialization; infrastructure; employment and decent work for all; promoting equality; sustainable cities and human settlements; sustainable consumption and production; climate; marine resources, oceans and seas; ecosystems and biodiversity; means of implementation; and peaceful and non-violent societies, capable institutions. Major Groups were also provided an opportunity to give their reactions to the focus areas discussed. The focus areas document will be revised for the subsequent meetings of the OWG.
At the 21st AU Summit, held in Addis Ababa from 19-27 May 2013, the decision was taken to formulate and implement “a continental agenda” for the next 50 years. A progress report (Assembly/AU/Dec.511(XXII)), containing a draft framework and concept document was presented at the 22nd AU Summit, held from 21-31 January 2014 for further consideration by parties, where it was endorsed. It is expected that the draft Agenda 2063 will be presented in June 2014 for endorsement by the AU Executive Council.
Agenda 2063 is a shared strategic framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development set out by the AU. It is both a vision and an action plan that serves as a call to all stakeholders to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny. It is a 50-year agenda that can be seen as a logical development of other recent development efforts and incorporates current strategies and plans to ensure that Africa’s natural resources are properly managed.
It aims to address issues, including: accelerating the African Renaissance through integrating principles of Pan-Africanism in all policies; eradicating recurrent conflicts through addressing the root causes of these conflicts; developing Africa’s human capital as the continent’s most important resource; implementing the Continental Free Trade Area to ultimately establish a united and integrated Africa; anchoring African societies, governments and institutions on respect for the rule of law, human rights and dignity, popular participation and democratic governance; determining Africa’s destiny through taking ownership of African issues and providing African solutions to African problems; taking ownership of the use and development of natural resources; and make development responsive to the needs of the people.
REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE
OPENING SESSION: PURPOSE AND DIRECTION
On Monday morning, the opening session commenced with traditional music and dance performed by the Ghanaian National Dance Company and a short video presentation comparing two African families, illustrating the impact of inequalities. Akunu Dake, Chief Executive, Heritage Development, welcomed participants and introduced the dignitaries.
Chair Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Director, Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, framed the aims of the Conference, highlighting the importance of actualizing powerful ideas. She called on both policy makers and people on the ground to take the lead in addressing inequalities to be sure that “no one is left behind.”
WELCOME ADDRESS: P. V. Obeng, Chairman, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Ghana, expressed hope that discussions at the Conference will produce activities that lead to more responsive and responsible governments. In efforts to contribute to the post-2015 development agenda, he identified that people should be at the center of development. He recognized the impact of growth on inequalities and encouraged all to strive to fulfill the obligation of inclusive development.
GOODWILL MESSAGES: Mogens Jensen, Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation, Denmark, via video message, said the Conference presents a significant step to address the challenges of inequality and creating the “Africa We Want.” He highlighted inclusive and sustainable growth and the realization of human rights, as key focal areas, saying they have a multiplier effect in improving human well-being and reducing poverty.
Lebogang Motlana, Director, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Service Centre for Africa, commented on the African common position for the post-2015 development agenda saying that it addresses: eradicating poverty in all forms; reducing inequalities rapidly; and identifying the connection between inequality and political instability, violence and gender discrimination. He described the work of UNDP to support the potential for all to experience fulfilling lives by contributing to the transformative agenda for inclusive participation, placing people at the center of development.
On behalf of UN Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) Executive Secretary, Carlos Lopes, Takyiwaa Manuh, UNECA, called for goals that can be operationalized at the national level. Pointing to the African Gender and Social Development Index, she highlighted the need to measure inequalities over individuals’ life cycles.
Corinne Woods, Director, UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC), underpinned that the Conference followed a call from ordinary African citizens, who had identified inequality, in its various forms, as the most fundamental obstacle to development.
On behalf of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director, Anthony Lake, Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF, explained how the development opportunities of children are partly predetermined from birth and can perpetuate a life filled with inequalities. He recalled that, in terms of social development, focusing expenditures on the most disadvantaged will yield the greatest return on investment.
Karin Andersson, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, said the time had come to shift concerns from sustaining growth to the quality of growth.
OPENING ADDRESS: John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, welcomed participants and said the conference aims to invigorate African efforts to tackle inequality. Pointing to conditions that institutionalize poverty, he warned against attributing inequalities to a lack of diligence, discipline and willpower. He highlighted Ghana’s Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty Programme as an effective measure for enhancing equality of life. Recalling the continued presence of colonialism and slavery at a time when the UN has declared all human beings “free and equal,” he characterized the struggle for equity as the quest for an ideal world. Quoting Nelson Mandela, he said that “ending poverty is not a gesture of charity, but an act of justice.” President Mahama called on participants to dare to dream of the “Africa we want” and prepare the grounds for measureable progress towards the “Africa we must create.”
Chair Mensa-Bonsu provided an overview of the opening session, characterizing the fight against inequality as a development imperative. She suggested that specific improvements to the livelihood of a girl born into a poor family in rural Africa might be a good indicator to assess real progress.
DIALOGUE ONE: AFRICAN INEQUALITIES IN THE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
HIGH-LEVEL PANEL DISCUSSION ON INEQUALITY: Chair Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana, welcomed the opportunity for leaders in government and civil society to engage in discussions on the political vision and agenda-setting for overcoming inequalities. She posed questions to the panelists regarding the prioritization of inequalities. Yao Graham, Director, Third World Network (TWN) Africa, moderated the panel.
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ghana, identified gender as the centerpiece for the transformational agenda. She declared that empowering women and children as a cross-cutting issue in the post-2015 development agenda will increase economic growth.
Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, Senator, Kisumu County, Kenya, discussed the role of politics and policy in promoting social inclusion and delivering social equality. He queried how government could progressively eliminate inequalities in Africa and both promote education as well as provide jobs for those educated.
Amina Mohammed, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on the post-2015 development agenda, reflected on progress since embarking on these discussions. She called for including businesses as partners to help realize the new development agenda.
Juma Mwapachu, President, Society for International Development (SID), referenced the challenges of poverty, ignorance and disease as persistent barriers to equality, as identified by the African independence movement’s founding fathers. He called for increased regional integration to shift the core of policy and “attack” inequality.
During discussions, in response to a query from Panel Facilitator Graham on planning processes, Lithur said that through establishing a ministry for women, governments can ensure that effective gender mainstreaming takes place.
On increasing the prominence of the issue of inequality in political processes, Nyong’o noted that “Africa is full of ideas…but the question is why they are not put in practice.” He suggested that an electoral system of proportional representation may redress this issue. Lithur noted that capacity building for effective civil society participation may be necessary to ensure active engagement in addressing inequality.
Mohammed urged “going back to basics” so that policy is inclusive and “does not leave anyone behind.” She said partnerships could be discussed once the planning process is better understood, noted inclusivity contributes to, and assists in, maintaining national stability, and underscored education as a driver for change.
Mwapachu noted that regional integration has created a platform for countries to share national experiences and best practices as well as boost economic activities that support “the attack” on inequalities. Nyong’o said that political stability and continuity are needed to address inequalities.
DIALOGUE TWO: UNDERSTANDING AFRICAN INEQUALITIES: STRUCTURES, DRIVERS AND DETERMINANTS
On Monday afternoon, Chair Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ghana, framed the panel discussions as a way to create a common understanding of inequalities in Africa.
FRAMING SPEECH: Why structural transformation is important for Africa’s equitable development agenda, Africa 2063: Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), explored the relationship between structural transformation and inequality. He stated that growth and progress in Africa has not been shared in an equitable way, leading to increased inequalities. He challenged the pursuit of economic liberalization that prioritizes economic growth over human development and questioned the benefits derived from trade liberalization. Stating that Africa has moved from being a net food exporter to a net food importer, he cited interest in increasing agricultural revenues from exports, with little concern of feeding African people. He called for: regional integration to strengthen social policies and ensure rapid transition from protection to production; and accountability of leaders for development through strengthening capacity.
UNDERSTANDING ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND SPATIAL INEQUALITIES IN THE CONTEXT OF STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION: Chair Anthony Mothae Maruping, Commissioner for Economic Affairs, AU, called for focused action for each disadvantaged group in order to effectively address inequalities. He highlighted the role of economic development in breaking the cycle of poverty and conflict, pointing to ongoing projects of the AU, such as the Great Lakes Initiative.
Alex Cobham, Centre for Global Development, explained the different types of inequality: vertical between individuals; horizontal between groups; and cutting across economic, social, political, and intergenerational dimensions. He emphasized that inequality in power resources shapes what we know and do not know about inequality, with data from both the top and bottom of society being scarce.
Dereje Alemayehu, Christian Aid, said relying on market mechanisms, among others, could “make the inherited appear as the merited.” He quoted Joseph Stiglitz saying that inequality is “not a destiny, but an option.”
Layla Saad, Deputy Director, World Centre for Sustainable Development, discussed environmental inequalities, underscoring that implementing sustainable development agenda could be contentious as it implies structural transformation and power restructuring. She commented that economic inequality often causes environmental inequality as negative environmental effects largely impact the impoverished. She stated that it remains to be seen how countries will benefit from green growth and other similar models.
COUNTRY EXPERIENCES AND PERSPECTIVES: Aiden Eyakuze, SID, engaged panelists in a discussion on drivers of inequalities and challenges to overcoming them.
On economic inequalities, Abbi Kedir, Economist and Researcher, Ethiopia, shared the need to invest money domestically, pointing to prices of food as a key indicator for economic variables that drive inequality. He shared efforts to address basic necessities for millions of vulnerable households through programmes and improved farm productivity.
Sheila Bunwaree, University of Mauritius, underscored that poverty has increased in the last five years, due to an obsession with growth, coupled with a lack of discourse on inequality within the political system.
Ademola Ariyo, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, reported that although Nigeria is rich, growth is not inclusive due to the political disposition of the government.
Babatunde Omilola, UNDP, recognized the advances in South Africa over the twenty years since the end of Apartheid, highlighting progress in gender equality, but acknowledged that inequalities in income, social, land ownership and health still persist.
Jeremiah Owiti, Centre for Independent Research, Kenya, reflected on the disparity in poverty levels between the northern and southern regions, positing that communal land ownership may help to decrease inequalities.
Eric Osei-Assibey, University of Ghana, discussed the impact of market-based policies and the inflow of foreign capital on inequalities, explaining that although there has been an increase in income, the lack of equitable distribution has led to widening inequality.
In the discussion, Ariyo acknowledged the challenge Nigeria faces with primary school dropout rates and persisting drug problems. Kedir stressed the adoption of the Revised Family Code, in Ethiopia, in 2000, which he said has improved women’s access to education, but that early marriages still persist.
Considering that only 1.5% of South Africans complete a tertiary education degree of the rank of bachelor or above, Omilola justified the hiring of foreign expertise as a viable short-term strategy for economic development and technology transfer. Owiti underscored the challenge of creating sufficient job opportunities in a society where half of the population is aged 18 to 35.
Participants queried, inter alia: the consideration of disabled people in the country studies presented; and an increasing trend in commodification of higher education, where the desire to attract students is not commensurate with the capacity to deliver quality education.
DIALOGUE THREE: LESSONS IN ADDRESSING INEQUALITIES IN AFRICA
On Tuesday morning, Nii Moi Thompson, Economic Advisor to the President of Ghana, introduced the dialogue.
FRAMING STATEMENT: Lessons, Possibilities and Options: Thandika Mkandawire, Chair in African Development, London School of Economics, said addressing inequalities is about reforming capitalist economies, noting that socialist economies tend to have less inequality.
Mkandawire noted that many discussions look at personal income distribution. Pointing to the decline in the Gini coefficient in the decade after colonial rule, he suggested that some social policies implemented at the time may have contributed to rising inequalities.
He stated that the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank took up the notion of basic needs and equity in the late 1970s, and that at the time, structural adjustment programmes were the favored policy instrument to address growth and development. Outlining actions under these programmes, he said that, inter alia, there was a trend to reduce progressive tax regimes.
Mkandawire emphasized that improved equity is good for growth, citing one of its co-benefits as improved capacity. He urged for a shift of capital away from the financial sector and for including all civil society and non-governmental institutions in a transformative agenda.
During ensuing discussions, participants raised questions on inter alia: clarifications of the meaning and implications of structural transformation; guidance for industrial policies that could support structural transformation; potential for increasing capacity; the role of regional markets and gender; and drivers of growth that can diversify economy and alleviate income inequalities. Mkandawire explained that development is political and explored the challenges in distribution, as well as the need for investment in social policies.
Chair Thompson concluded by highlighting the importance of local aspects to development in discussions on structural transformation.
PERSPECTIVES FROM THE AFRICA AND SHARING OF EXPERIENCES FROM OTHER REGIONS: Chair Saran Daraba Kaba, Secretary General, Mano River Union, opened the panel on the macro level and regional perspectives, noting the focus should be lessons learned. Juma Mwapachu identified the unequal treatment of national investors versus foreign investors as a major shortcoming in many African countries. He welcomed the rise of economic nationalism in some countries, which he illustrated by describing an occupying movement of Chinese pipelines in southern Tanzania.
Bamba Ngaladjo, Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance, Côte d’Ivoire, underlined the importance of policies that go beyond public investments to redistribute income between functional classes in society. He stressed that governments should provide guaranteed levels of minimum income, ensuring that each individual is respected by society and finds an entry point to labor markets.
Tatiana Britto, Legislative Advisory Board, Brazilian Senate, presented the success of Brazil’s comprehensive social protection system to significantly reduce poverty and inequality since 2001. She attributed this shift to broad and persistent political support for building human capital through unconditional and comprehensive cash transfers, targeted directly to women and children via institutions.
Seth Adjei Baah, President of the Executive Council, West Block, Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, called for increased support for the private sector in order to realize the potential from the economic growth experienced in the continent, specifically for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). He foresaw a saving of resources if inequalities are tackled, citing examples such as use of the credit facilities.
Participants posed questions to panelists during discussions on: how to engage youth; how to develop reinvestments in agriculture; and policies and methodologies that reduce inequalities and promote inclusive finance, such a micro-finance. On gender issues, one participant cited the proverb “what is good for the goose is good for the gander,” explaining that if the needs of women are addressed, all of society will benefit.
Chair Saran Daraba Kaba concluded by urging participants to create spaces and systems to empower the youth so that they can “take over” in the future. She spoke of strengthening institutions on all levels, including incorporating the moral values from tribal communities. She shared experiences in which she has overcome deeply embedded discrimination that threatens to maintain inequalities, calling for leaders to think beyond personal achievements and become visionaries.
PARALLEL PANEL SESSIONS ON STRUCTURAL (ECONOMIC AND SPATIAL) INEQUALITIES IN AFRICA: Employment & Entrepreneurship: This session was chaired by Bartholomew Armah, UNECA. Iyanatul Islam, ILO, discussed low productivity growth. He queried whether policies can support the increase of the proportion of sustainable enterprises, suggesting that the ultimate target for such policies be to increase stable wage employment.
Augusto Luis Alcorta, UN Industrial Development Organization, spoke on the role of manufacturing in structural transformation. He said that sustained job creation must come from structural change, with a move from low productivity to high productivity activities, underscoring that manufacturing drives growth. He said that in many instances jobs are not “travelling away,” but rather that there is a change in structure from production to service jobs. He posed that industrial policy as a driver of industrial structural change and job creation should: promote structural change; target key drivers of structural change; focus on processing to get industrial policy to work; and experiment, learn and evaluate.
Saran Daraba Kaba underscored that civil war in the Mano River region has hampered development through hindering education. She noted that much of the economic activity and job creation is from the mining sector, suggesting that regional integration could promote job creation.
During the ensuing discussion, participants discussed falling wage shares in many countries; low productivity impairing competitiveness; the role and efficacy of wage subsidies; the real impact of regional economic communities (RECs); and the high cost of doing business in Africa.
Macroeconomic and Trade Policies for Inclusive Growth and Transformation: The panel was chaired by Bamba Ngaladjo Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance, Côte d’Ivoire. He invited experiences and views on: mechanisms underlying the choice of policies; interdependence between macroeconomics and inequalities; requirements for structural transformation; and for a macroeconomic framework that fosters an equitable society.
Tunde Lawal, National Planning Commission, Nigeria, reported that while sustaining robust growth across all sectors over 14 years, Nigeria had not succeeded in diversifying and creating employment.
Chair Ngaladjo opened the floor for views and experiences on mechanisms underlying policy choices, interdependence between macroeconomics and inequalities, requirements for structural transformation, and macroeconomic frameworks that foster an equitable society.
Many participants agreed that while macroeconomic policy goals such as balanced budgets, monetary stability and full employment are straightforward, it is less clear how they should be aligned to reduce inequality. Some highlighted that there is a certain payoff between stimulating growth and financing social programmes. Others pointed to the need for: improving the sensitivity of economists towards social and gender issues; shifting competencies from finance ministries towards horizontal planning commissions; and securing access to water and sanitation, roads and infrastructure prior to growth and development.
Many participants recommended: diversifying extractive economies towards labor-intensive industries and the service sector, shielding domestic development via customs while targeting foreign markets; and strengthening regional integration. Some participants cautioned against constant exchange rate devaluations and relying on development partners to balance national budgets. Others bemoaned a lack of trust towards investors as well as the weakness and politicization of African chambers of commerce. One participant reported how the removal of gas subsidies in Ghana increased inequality by affecting the poor more than the rich.
Financing Agenda for Structural Transformation and Equity: Chair Charles Abugre, Africa Regional Director, UNMC, introduced the panelists. Nancy Alexander, Heinrich Böll Foundation, stated that inequalities exist because of patterns of growth that privatize gains and socialize losses. She shared concerns that large-scale infrastructure will continue a historic pattern of exporting raw materials from Africa to the world, without securing a share for locals.
Dereje Alemayehu presented the role of taxation in financing a structural transformation, noting the need to: shift paradigms in national development strategies; curb tax evasion and tax avoidance; promote non-coercive tax compliance; and demand transparency and accountability of public revenue. He recommended that governments focus on raising tax revenue to ensure horizontal and vertical equity.
Saif El Din Daoud Abd El Rhman, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), called for increased public spending, while aligning public and government spending with social sectors in order to help achieve the MDGs. He explained that eliminating inequalities requires looking at the fairness of distribution and broadening the scope of opportunities for all, not only for those “doing well.”
In the ensuing discussion, participants called for: railway systems to transport people, goods and services; development and social protection mechanisms; and improved accountability, transparency and access to information for all. Questions were raised on the legitimacy of the AU Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and how to return to the Lagos Plan of Action to unify the voice of Africa.
Asset Inequalities: Asna Fall Ndiaye, CEO, PROXIDEV, introduced the session, which was focused on land asset inequalities, and the cause and effect on poverty.
Sam Moyo, Executive Director, African Institute for Agrarian Studies, noted that asset inequality is one of the fundamental drivers of inequalities. He noted historical models that dictate asset distribution in Africa: settler colonialism transformation, where a high land proportion did not fall under the local population’s ownership; small, peasant farmer economies; and countries that focus on mineral extraction. He underscored the need for land redistribution policies or policies that promote agrarian activities.
Bernadette Wanjala, Kenyan Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, outlined gender asset inequalities, saying that addressing the ownership gap will empower women. She said ownership of assets is a measure of empowerment and an opportunity to generate wealth. Wanjala outlined drivers prohibiting transformation, including acquiring land traditionally and social norms that prohibit progress through impeding legal obligations.
Nidhi Tandon, Director, Networked Intelligence for Development, said that securing access to land for rural women is fraught. She bemoaned that the legal systems tend to protect the privileged and not the poor. Stating that empowering women with land ownership may not be the best solution to addressing inequalities, Tandon favored common, collective ownership of land and resources as a solution. The ensuing discussion addressed: concessions as an aspect of land ownership; and the lack of recognition of women’s contribution to working the land.
BEYOND AVERAGES: THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF DATA FOR TRACKING PROGRESS AND EVIDENCE-BASED POLICY: Ebrima Sall, Executive Secretary, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, chaired the panel discussion on Tuesday afternoon, highlighting the importance of data for monitoring and evaluation.
Pali Lehohla, Statistician General, South Africa, said statistics allow for transparency, accountability, results, and transformation. Using the inequalities within South Africa as an example, he stressed the importance of statistics for benchmarking, saying that they are essential for assessing if social and poverty reduction policies are implemented effectively. Lehohla outlined the use of statistics in formulating plans, creating measurement frameworks, and for reporting and monitoring. Stressing that statistics define what should be done and need to be placed at the center of policy and planning processes, he challenged participants to “go beyond the adequate and look at the policy space where we have to interact.”
Lebogang Motlana, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, emphasized that the MDGs have explicitly recognized the importance of data to accurately track the status of implementation. He called for a “data revolution” in Africa and investment in data generation and management to map inequalities beyond income equality.
Adriana Conconi, Oxford University, introduced the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative in 2010 and used by the UNDP for its Human Development Reports. She said that the index measures the ratio of poor people to wealthy, as well as the intensity of poverty beyond income distribution, with indicators along the dimensions of health, education, and living standards. With Ethiopia on the whole faring worse than Nigeria and Ghana, but with Addis Ababa faring better than both, she illustrated how regional disaggregation of data can facilitate policy formulation. She reported on ongoing deliberations for developing national indices for various countries.
During discussions, questions were raised on: whether the data collected for large countries is applicable for Small Island Developing States; overcoming mistrust between politicians and statisticians; and what specific data is required to support the post-2015 development framework. Motlana cautioned that data should be carefully managed to avoid distortion.
PARALLEL PANEL SESSIONS ON SOCIAL AND POLITICAL INEQUALITIES IN AFRICA: Parallel panel sessions on human rights, discrimination and marginalization, gender inequality, political inequality, equitable access to quality social services and measuring progress took place on Tuesday.
Gender Inequality: Akua Britwum, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, highlighted the dimensions of gender inequality, inter alia: reproductive care and domestic work; sexual division of labor; production and economic participation, including gender earning gaps; labor market inequalities and growth in precarious employment; and sexuality and sexual economy. She reviewed equality strategies in Africa, highlighting the usefulness of micro-credit programmes.
Salina Sanou, Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development, reported on consultations and workshops to gather priorities from women for the post-2015 development agenda, highlighting: concerns for sexual and gender-based violence; access, ownership and control of resources; active participation in leadership; access to basic services for reproductive health; and unpaid domestic labor. She concluded with the question of how to bring these voices to policy in order to reduce inequalities.
Wumi Adekunle, Association of African Women for Research and Development, underscored the importance of mainstreaming gender education from an early age through to tertiary settings to end inequalities, along with building the capacity and self-esteem of women, policy advocacy to empower young girls and providing training and mentoring programmes.
Discussions explored the challenges of looking at women as a homogenous group, calling for country-specific studies to better understand the different circumstances of gender inequality. On alternatives to capitalism, Britwum explained that production concentrates on profit and not on meeting human needs, requiring a shift in accounting to include household activities.
Chair Hamida Harrison, Women’s Manifesto Coalition, concluded that current policies fail to represent the possibility for equality for marginalized populations and urged looking to the post-2015 development agenda to bring about the transformation to create the continent and world we want.
Equitable Access to Quality Social Services: Jimi Adesina, University of South Africa, chaired the panel on social policy and social services. He recalled that, for decades, most African countries had been struggling to provide access to the most basic social services such as education, healthcare, and electricity. Charles Lwanga-Ntale, Development Initiatives, said that social policies are an imperative for structural transformation and must tackle not only inequalities in income, but also natural resource, social, financial and political assets.
Abdoul Dieng, UNAIDS, explained how addressing related determinants of poverty, such as a lack of education, stable income and social inclusion can help to improve access to specific social services, such as medical treatment for AIDS. Pointing to examples such as Brazil and Mexico, Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Oxfam, identified a strong middle class and active social movements that hold democratic governments accountable as prerequisites for equitable access to quality social services.
In the ensuing discussions, participants noted that: a job with good working conditions is the best social protection; public-private-partnerships can help in the delivery of social services, even when resources are scarce; and while some countries do much better than others, many Africans have unfortunately forgotten that they are entitled to social services by the state.
Measuring progress: Charles Abugre Akelyira chaired the session. Oladejo Ajayi, Statistical Development Consultant, said that statistics are key to determining which inequalities to address, stating that user-producer dialogues can help focus efforts. When evaluating inequalities, Ajayi cautioned against using criteria such as: anecdotes; corruption; political ideology; and power and influence.
Norah Teopista Madaya Wamayi, Director, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, outlined various surveys and data collected in Uganda as a response to the requirements of development partners, UN agencies and other institutions. She said harmonizing information and indicators is important, stressing the need for research and innovation in data collection and concluding that statistics can be a catalyst for change.
Mahouagbeu Alina Ouattara, Ministry of Planning, Côte d’Ivoire, outlined the role of statistics in reducing inequality, in particular for Côte d’Ivoire. She said that there is a continued demand for different data types, despite a lack of funding. She lamented the lack of understanding on what comprises good data, as well as an existing mistrust from the public during data collection. Ouattara said that both of these contribute to the irregularity of statistics, making results unreliable. She emphasized that data suppliers should be responsible for ensuring data is usable by stakeholders
The ensuing discussions included: questioning the impact “big data” may have on statistics systems; how the AU looks at using data for implementing and achieving medium- and long-term plans and goals; and how to encourage and use user-producer dialogues for data prioritization.
DIALOGUE FOUR: POLICY ACTIONS FOR TACKLING INEQUALITIES IN AFRICA
Chair Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, Ghana, opened the fourth dialogue on Wednesday morning.
IDENTIFYING THE POLICY ACTIONS TO MOVE FORWARD THE GLOBAL, AFRICA EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT AGENDA: Dialogue Chair Terkper framed the panel discussion, saying that it is important to identify policies that can move the global and African equitable development agenda forward. Panel Chair Rita Matovu, Equal Opportunities Commission, Uganda, concurred that as we face the post-2015 era, policies need to be identified to create equality: politically, socially and economically.
Billow Kerrow, Senator, Mandera County, Kenya, provided a backdrop for policy actions, highlighting the failure of political leadership in Africa, arguing that inequitable development is a choice because it is grounded in policies that support poor quality growth. He said the post-2015 development agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063 provide platforms for frameworks on inequalities, to inter alia: include a universal charter to secure equitable resource allocation; mandate public participation for every legal process; review economic growth paradigms; collateralize assets; and ensure accountability of political leaders.
Takyiwaa Manuh, UNECA, voiced her organization’s support for the AU’s Agenda 2063, which she lauded as an ambitious and timely effort to shape the post-2015 development agenda. Considering that, historically, there has never been a single path to growth and that specific country needs differ, she said there is no “one size fits all” solution. She highlighted the need to restore development planning to reduce inequality and recalled the five transformative shifts that the roadmap of the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda identifies as targets: leave no one behind; put sustainable development at the core; transform economies for jobs and inclusive growth; build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all; and forge a new global partnership.
Neil Pierre, UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), reported on how ECOSOC has tracked MDG implementation progress since the 2005 Millennium Summit through annual ministerial-level substantive reviews and the biennial high-level Development Cooperation Forum. Sharing preliminary assessments to be reported at the UN Post-MDG Review Summit, he highlighted the need to: build strong institutions to facilitate learning and enhance the role of government in structural transformation programmes; and to address external inhibitors of progress such as trade and debt.
Anthony Mothae Maruping highlighted that the African common position on the post-2015 development agenda is the only continental effort formulating a long-term vision for development. With eradicating poverty and reducing inequality being the overarching goals, he outlined the content: transformative and inclusive growth; science, technology and innovation; people-oriented development; environmental sustainability; peace and security; and finance.
The discussion that followed included questions on: depoliticizing budgets; capacity to track trends to mitigate shocks; “homegrown” development strategies that account for local strategies; and the role of civil society in implementing the recommendations from the conference.
PARALLEL PANEL SESSIONS ON POLICIES AND STRATEGIES FOR AN EQUITABLE BALANCED TRANSFORMATION AGENDA: Three parallel sessions on economic inclusion and equity, social inclusion, social protection and equity, and political inclusion and equity took place on Wednesday morning.
Economic Inclusion and Equity: This session was chaired by Bartholomew Armah, UNECA.
Jane Seruwagi Nalunga, Southern and Eastern African Trade, Information and Negotiations Institute, noted the need to add value to different sectors through processing goods. She stressed that for this step to occur, supporting policies should be in place. She said that through structural adjustment programmes, ways to encourage growth and modernization were lost. She also cautioned that Economic Partnership Agreements could further hinder structural transformation, as taxes could be removed thus resulting in a loss of revenue to finance the structural transformation agenda. Nalunga underscored the role of SMEs to create jobs and reiterated the need to ensure policies are aligned with transformation agendas.
Jomo Kwame Sundaram, FAO, spoke on developmental governance to identify bottlenecks to transformation. He noted the experiences of some cooperatives to encourage trade and economic growth. Sundaram said challenges include: enabling the transition from social protection to production; fiscal equality; and whether revenues are being expropriated for development purposes.
Boèvi Kouglo Lawson Body, International Trade Union Confederation Africa, noted high unemployment rates on the continent, underscoring the need for policies for decent employment. He said policies should promote agriculture; support transformation of trade and services; and include value-added production. He stressed the need for the adoption of education, training and employment policies, and urged governments to be visionary in their efforts.
The discussion that followed addressed: structuring governance architecture; the role of local government and SMEs; differences between regional and local development agendas; lack of capacity; and regional opportunities.
Policies and Strategies for Social Inclusion and Gender Equity: Chair Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF, opened the session saying that economic policies do not account for marginalized people.
Francesca Bastagli, Overseas Development Institute, emphasized the range of instruments and objectives in social protection aimed at protecting individuals and households. She noted an increased awareness within most national policies to acknowledge inequalities and the harmful impact on growth and poverty reduction. Bastagli underscored the importance of policy composition and exploring how to mobilize financing.
Gabriel Fernandez, Ministry of Finance, Liberia, highlighted the need for legal frameworks to provide the basis for the entitlement of vulnerable populations and mobilize revenues from natural resources to create inclusive growth. He spoke of the increasing young, urban populations that will require social services and the need for a comprehensive social protection system that is able to build capacity.
Charles Lwanga-Ntale observed two narratives on inequality, technical and political, that he said need to merge for progress to occur. He asserted that until it is eradicated, poverty must remain a priority, and named social protection as a key tool for sectoral and cross-sectoral development. He called for increased investment in data and identified deep-seated cultural and traditional practices that disempower populations as structural challenges.
Genevieve Naasu Fofanah, Office of the President, Sierra Leone, spoke of the power of political will to promote gender equality. She recounted steps taken in Sierra Leone to incorporate gender as a main pillar in the national development agenda through strategic lobbying, internalizing support and demanding the accountability of politicians. She articulated policy recommendations, including, mainstreaming gender and disseminating information.
Participants debated the merit of a targeted approach versus a universal approach. On acknowledging disabled peoples, Naasu Fofanah spoke of the formation of a commission devoted to disabled people to support their stake in the national development process, while Chair Fontaine noted the opportunity for the voice of Africa to champion these needs in the post-2015 discussions. Participants raised questions on, inter alia: comparing tax and transfer systems and subsidy efficacy; addressing effective representation of women in the protection in addressing land rights for those who live and work off of their land; and recognizing the multi-functionality of social policies. In closing, Fernandez urged continued debate to further capacitate civil society, and Naasu Fofanah said that “if change is not coming to you, you go to it.”
Policies and Strategies for Political Inclusion and Equity: Otiende Amollo, Chair, Commission on Administrative Justice, Kenya, chaired the panel. Wachira Maina, Constitutional Lawyer, Kenya, stressed that while economic and political inequality reinforce each other, they must be analyzed separately. He said colonialism destroyed social capital by coercion and marginalized inland communities by concentrating economic infrastructure along rivers. Post-colonial governments, Maina said, reinforced that path-dependency and yielded the provision of public services to the private sector. Maina emphasized that substantive equity requires, inter alia, enabling political participation through institutional design and affirmative action for disadvantaged groups.
Patricia McFadden, Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, explained how the colonial “distancing” of the ruler class from citizens continues to be reproduced by physical infrastructure, legal systems, and language. She underscored the need for every African understand what the state is in order to critically engage with it. McFadden said social movements should situate themselves in the space between the state and its citizens, encouraging citizens to remove “feudalistic” structures.
Discussions focused on the ability of citizens to speak for themselves, given the unequal distribution of resources and the inability of leaders and parliaments to represent their interests, and the resistance of vested interests to affirmative action in favor of women or the disabled.
ALIGNING POLITICAL LEVERAGE, KNOWLEDGE AND SOCIAL MOBILIZATION: Strategies and Political Action to Promote the New Agenda: Panel Chair Yao Graham, TWN Africa, invited introductory statements from the panelists. Lindiwe Mokate, Commissioner for Children and Basic Education Portfolio, South African Human Rights Commission, stressed education as a basic human right that facilitates the actualization of other human rights, such as political participation and access to health services. She highlighted the link between accountability, good governance and human rights.
Alluding to Karl Marx, Kwesi Adu-Amankwah, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, Africa, said “we have described inequality in various ways, the point however is to change it.” He warned that unemployment, especially among youth, was a serious threat to the continent, and described how organization in unions does not only facilitate better working conditions, but freedom and democracy.
Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o urged all participants to ensure that the AU Vision 2063 does not remain a solemn declaration, but is owned by African societies. He suggested that political parties in all countries further the dialogue, engage with social movements and make sure that the fight against inequality translates into state action. He voiced concerns that a new emerging “proletarianism” could silence progressive forces for private returns and profits.
Nancy Alexander, Heinrich Böll Foundation, pointed out that, while developed countries have failed to reach their official development assistance targets, investments into African infrastructure from developed countries as well as the block of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) countries were rising to unprecedented levels. From an analysis of three current infrastructure projects, she called for increased public debate to ensure that the planned infrastructure responds to societal needs and contributes to poverty reduction.
In the ensuing discussion, Anyang’ Nyong’o cautioned against the Africa 2063 vision “falling into the trap of other inspiring, but poorly implemented plans.”
Many participants urged: communicating to ensure that priorities are identified and “focused” on; linking voices of trade unions, artisans and peasant farmers to discuss effectively how to make progress; and expressed concern that the evolution of trade unions has resulted in workers not being served by the unions.
The importance of communication was repeatedly emphasized.
Sulley Gariba, Senior Policy Adviser to the President, Ghana, emphasized the importance of ensuring inclusive growth. He congratulated participants for the “truly pan-African meeting of minds to address this crucial issue of livelihoods on our continent.”
The conference political statement, which will remain open as it is still in development, was read out to the participants by Nii Moi Thompson, Economic Advisor to the President of Ghana.
Paul Boateng, former Treasury Secretary and former High Commissioner to South Africa, United Kingdom, said that in the aftermath of the recent global economic crisis, Africa takes center stage in the discourse about inequality. He said that while there had been real progress, it has been slow in pace.
Boateng called for investments in statistics to enable effective decision making on the priorities to be addressed. He cautioned against replicating traditional patterns of development, urging Africans to forge their own development pathways. Stressing that the whole world “sits in the same boat,” he emphasized that Africa must no longer look to others “to do it.”
Fifi Kwetey, Minister of State at the Presidency in-charge of Financial and Allied Institutions, Ghana, on behalf of Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Vice President, Ghana, congratulated participants on their hard work and for answering the call of President Mahama to go beyond identifying “what we want in Africa and discovering what we need.” He outlined advances achieved by discussing the nature, scope and drivers of social, political and economic inequalities that require definitive actions. He expressed satisfaction in reaching a common understanding of the multidimensional nature of inequalities, urging continued collaboration and said that as “long as these inequalities exist, our victories are contaminated.”
Grace Bediako, Conference Coordinator, concluded the Conference expressing satisfaction and appreciation, acknowledging the value of all participants prioritizing this work and creating cooperation and collaboration with remarkable camaraderie.
The conference closed at 6.28pm.
POLITICAL STATEMENT FROM THE PAN-AFRICAN CONFERENCE ON INEQUALITIES IN THE CONTEXT OF STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION: We - the representatives of African governments, Pan-African regional institutions, civil society, private sector, human rights and development practitioners, academia, and development partners - having convened in Accra at the Pan African Conference on “Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation” hosted by the Government of Ghana and organized in partnership with several national, regional and international institutions – do hereby issue this political statement:
Inequality is a critical and defining challenge for Africa. The recent experience in most African countries reveals that while growth has been remarkable over the last decade it has occurred alongside limited decent job opportunities and stark inequalities in income, wealth and access to social services. In many countries, the current growth pattern has actually increased the dependence on the export of primary commodities and minerals and often led to premature deindustrialization and stagnation of agricultural productivity. The growth in African demand has therefore often translated in increased import of food and manufactured products and the virtual export of African jobs and human capabilities. Furthermore, trends of decreasing African ownership of its assets as well as shirking retention of the benefits of its growth are of great concern and speak to the heart of the global inequality problem.
In this context, we appreciated the opportunity to build an increasingly common understanding of the complexity of inequalities as they relate to multiple domains (economic, social and political) and cut across many different divides (gender, social groups, generations, spatial distribution). However different and segmented inequalities may be, they manifest, on the one hand, the underlying structures of horizontal power relations across gender, social groups and communities, and, on the other hand and even more so, they reflect the vertical structures of inequalities between capital and labor both domestically and globally. The different dimensions of inequalities therefore share common roots.
We concurred that most forms of inequalities are closely interconnected and can only be fully understood in the interplay of the spheres where they manifest themselves. We debated our conceptual and political differences and appreciated our diversities in experiences and perspectives. Nevertheless, we strongly felt that – however different our positions, spheres of work and domains of action may be – we all share a common aspiration for the full realization of the social, economic and political rights of the African people to enjoy meaningful lives within inclusive, equitable and sustainable societies and economies.
We therefore welcome the agenda for structural transformation that Africa is beginning to shape and actively engage both regionally and nationally. The promotion of increased value addition, economic diversification, inclusive and sustainable industrial development, and people-centered agricultural transformation are all necessary condition to further augment the progress the continent has recently experienced and redress the global division of labor that has traditionally relegated Africa to being the mere producer of primary commodities and minerals. While necessary, this is not sufficient to respond the conditions of inequity and deprivation that still prevail across the continent unless the explicit intent to rebalance the widening gaps in inclusion and equity is placed at the very core of the continental development agenda. We therefore urge that the further elaboration of the structural transformation agenda would embrace deliberate policies to tackle economic, social and political inequalities.
In this respect, we have discussed the increasing focus on inclusive growth and felt the need to qualify this concept for it to respond to the fundamental thrust that brought us here together in Accra. We recognize and fully support the quest for greater job-intensity of growth. However, economic inclusion cannot be decoupled from the quest for dignity and equity and employment cannot alone resolve the extent of the current inequality divides. Deliberate policies to promote income and asset equity, facilitate human development and social inclusion, and promote the sharing of political power and access to the benefits of national resources are required to tackle inequalities and promote the real transformation of our societies and economies.
We all urge a legitimate and capable developmental State to drive this policy renewal to tackle inequalities and promote such people-centered transformation of our societies and economies. In this context, new fair and effective taxation regimes, measures to curb illicit capital flows and combat corruption can generate the resources for the necessary public investments and accountable development financing strategies. At the same time, the need for evidence-based policies require significant investment in independent and publicly accountable statistical capacities to ensure that real social and economic needs and dynamics are located and addressed and progress (or lack of it) can be adequately tracked over time.
However, the agenda for inclusion and equity requires a much broader agency that the State alone. It involves a fundamental change in power relations and the democratic negotiation of a new social contract between citizens and accountable and developmental democratic institutions. We therefore welcome the diversity of actors in the conference as a solid base on which to build the necessary harmonious and participatory interaction for the full legitimacy of decision-making within our societies.
We are deeply committed to continue to deepen our engagement to tackle inequalities and promote the transformation of our societies and economies, and to advance our common struggle for fair, just and egalitarian societies in which the needs of the most vulnerable are given genuine priority in the process, action and outcomes of the new development agenda.
OWG-11: The OWG will continue its consideration of sustainable development goals, targets and indicators. dates: 5-9 May 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: [email protected] www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/owg11.html
Fourth Session of Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing: The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing is scheduled in May 2014. dates: 12-16 May 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: [email protected] www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1687
UNGA High-level Event: Human rights and the rule of law in the post-2015 development agenda: This event is part of a series convened by the President of the UN General Assembly under the theme, “The post-2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage!” The objective is to generate concrete contributions to the formulation of the SDGs. dates: 9-10 June 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Office of President of the General Assembly www: http://www.un.org/en/ga/info/meetings/68schedule.shtml
OWG-12: The OWG will continue its consideration of sustainable development goals, targets and indicators. dates: 16-20 June 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: [email protected] www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/owg12.html
23rd AU Summit: The 23rd AU Summit will convene under the theme “Agriculture and Food Security.” The 28th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee, the 25th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and the 23rd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly will be held during the Summit. dates: 20-27 June 2014 location: Malabo, Equatorial Guinea contact: Esther Azaa Tankou, AU Commission phone: +251-911-361-185 email: [email protected] www: http://summits.au.int/en/23rdsummit
UN Environmental Assembly of UNEP: The first meeting of the UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) of the United Nations Environment Programme is expected to include ministerial plenaries on the SDGs and post-2015 development agenda and illegal trade in wildlife and timber. dates: 23-27 June 2014 location: Nairobi, Kenya contact: Jiří Hlaváček, Secretary of Governing Bodies, UNEP phone: +254-20-7623431 email: [email protected] www: http://www.unep.org/unea/
High Level Political Forum: The second meeting of the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development will take place in conjunction with 2014 substantive session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The theme for the Forum for 2014 will be “Achieving the Millennium Development Goals and charting the way for an ambitious post-2015 development agenda, including the sustainable development goals.” dates: 30 June - 9 July 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: [email protected] www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1556
OWG-13: The OWG will continue its consideration of sustainable development goals, targets and indicators. dates: 14-18 July 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development phone: +1-212-963-8102 fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: [email protected] www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/owg13.html
Fifth Session of Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing: The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing is scheduled in August 2014. dates: 4-8 August 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: UN Division for Sustainable Development fax: +1-212-963-4260 email: [email protected] www: http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?menu=1688
Third UN Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS): The Third UN Conference on SIDS will focus on the theme ‘Sustainable Development of SIDS through Genuine and Durable Partnerships. dates: 1-4 September 2014 location: Apia, Samoa www: http://www.sids2014.org/index.php?menu=32
UN Climate Summit: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene the Summit with the aim of mobilizing political will for a universal and legally-binding comprehensive climate agreement in 2015. date: 23 September 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York www: http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit2014/
Special Session to Follow Up on the Programme of Action from ICPD: An eight-hour Special Session to Follow Up on the Programme of Action from the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) is being organized to coincide with the high-level segment of the general debate at the UN General Assembly. date: 22 September 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Mandy Kibel, UNFPA phone: 1-212-297-5293 email: [email protected] www: http://icpdbeyond2014.org/
World Conference on Indigenous Peoples: The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014 will be organized as a high-level plenary meeting of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly and supported by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples and to pursue the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. dates: 22-23 September 2014 location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: Nilla Bernardi phone: +1 212-963-8379 email: [email protected] www: http://wcip2014.org/