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Rio+20: UNECA to support African states to implement outcomes

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Monday assured a consultative meeting of high level experts from governments, the private sector and civil society in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, of its firm commitment to supporting member states in implementing the outcomes of Rio+20.

The assurance was given by Josue Dione, ECA Officer-in-Charge, at the start of the joint Eight Session of the Committee on Food Security and Sustainable Development and Africa Regional Implementation Meeting (Africa-RIM) for the 20th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-20) taking place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

“ECA is poised to undertake, in collaboration with the AfDB (Africa Development Ban), African Union Commission and relevant partners, a comprehensive assessment of Africa’s needs for sustainable development financing, as well as the technological and capacity development,” Dione said.

The three-day meeting taking place barely five months after world leaders gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the UN conference on Sustainable Development, will examine the implications of the main Rio+20 outcomes for Africa and effective articulation of the region’s priorities regarding their implementation.

The meeting will also provide clear guidance and direction on the enhanced implementation of Food Security and Sustainable Development (FSSDD) and provide guidance on further work 2013.

The RIM represents the first platform of its kind in Africa after Rio+20, drawing together policy makers and experts from governments, as well as academia, research and development institutions, who will deliberate on an outcome document that will serve as Africa’s collective input to the CSD-20, to be held in May next year.

The outcome document will also be presented to the January 2013 African Union Summit as well as the sixth joint meetings of the AUC/ECA conference of Ministers of Economy, Finance and Planning to be held in March next year.

Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance and Economic Development Ahmed Shide told the meeting it is significant that Africa establishes and strengthens mechanisms at regional, sub-regional and national levels, which would ensure that countries remain actively engaged and provide relevant inputs to the global processes.

Shide, whose speech was delivered by Admasu Nebebe, from the ministry, also stressed the need for African countries to be strategic and proactive by domesticating Rio+20 outcomes through effectively integrating them into national development, policies, strategies and plans.

“That way, we can ensure that African countries will own and be champions of the sustainable development agenda,” Shide said. “As a region, we should position ourselves strategically to take advantage of the voluntary commitments agreed upon in the lead up to and at Rio+20 to complement the tradition sources of funding.”

The meeting is expected to provide clear understanding and appreciation of Africa’s food security situation, challenges and opportunities, as well as policy options for improving the food security on the continent; and look at the progress in the implementation of the project on Development and Promotion of Strategic Food and Agricultural Commodities Value chains in Africa.

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