CAP on Post-2015 Development Agenda

11 March 2014
African Union
Core CAP document type: 

We, Heads of State and Government of the African Union assembled in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union on 31 January 2014.

NOTE: The participatory approach that led to the elaboration of the Common African Position (CAP) on the post-2015 Development Agenda involving stakeholders at the national, regional and continental levels among the public and private sectors, parliamentarians, civil society organizations (CSOs), including women and youth associations, and academia. This approach has helped address the consultation gap in the initial preparation and formulation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

RECOGNIZE: The efforts of the members of the High-Level Committee on the post-2015 Development Agenda, the coordinating role of the African Union Commission, and the technical support of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Africa, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in facilitating the process;

EMPHASIZE: That the post-2015 Development Agenda provides a unique opportunity for Africa to reach consensus on common challenges, priorities and aspirations, and to actively participate in the global debate on how to provide a fresh impetus to the MDGs and to examine and devise strategies to address  key emerging development issues on the continent in the coming years. The post-2015 Development Agenda should also reaffirm the Rio Principles, especially the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the right to development and equity, and mutual accountability and responsibility, as well as ensure policy space for nationally tailored policies and programmes on the continent, including appropriate support for the implementation of the NEPAD;

ACKNOWLEDGE: The rising trends such as population growth, the youth bulge, urbanization, climate change and inequalities, and therefore REITERATE the importance of prioritizing structural transformation for inclusive and people-centred development in Africa. We are CONV INCED that such a development approach requires: development of adequate policy space and productive capacities, notably through infrastructure development; science, technology development, transfer and innovation; value addition to primary commodities; youth development; women’s empowerment. It also requires addressing the challenges posed by climate change, desertification and land degradation, drought, loss of biodiversity sustainable natural resource management; ensuring peace and security; and promoting responsive and accountable global governance architecture, including through the full and equitable representation of African countries in international financial and economic institutions;

REASSERT: The urgent need to end poverty in all its forms and achieve an integrated, prosperous, stable and peaceful Africa that is effectively engaged in the global arena, which is Africa’s vision in this development agenda.

We therefore commit ourselves to speak with one voice and to act in unity to ensure that Africa’s voice is heard and is fully integrated into the global development agenda.

I. Background

1. Recalling the July 2012 Decision of the African Union Summit (Assembly/AU /Dec. 423 (XIX)), which mandates the African Union Commission, in close consultation with Members States and Regional Economic Communities, to identify Africa’s priorities for the post-2015 Development Agenda, and further recalling the Decision of May 2013 of the African Union Summit, which decided to establish a High-Level Committee (HLC ) of Heads of State and Government to sensitize and coordinate the activities of African leaders and build regional and inter-continental alliances on the Common African

Position (CAP) on the post-2015 Development Agenda (Assembly/AU /Dec.475(XXI )), a ten-member committee was formed.

2. The CAP identifies substantive issues of importance to Africa and arrives at a consensus on Africa’s key priorities, concerns and strategies to be reflected in the outcomes of the post-2015 negotiation process. This was achieved by taking into account the wealth of information collected and collated from national and regional stakeholders (the executive and legislative arms of governments, private sector, civil society organizations, youth associations, women groups, trade unions, and academia) African multilateral institutions and selected pertinent UN organizations and agencies.

3. We take note of the various initiatives established to articulate the post-2015 Development Agenda including the United Nations Task Team and the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons. We also take note of the United Nations Secretary-General’s report, “A Life of Dignity for All” (A/68/202), and the outcome of the United Nations General Assembly at its September 2013 Special Event on the MDGs (A/RES/68/6).

4. We recall the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, “The Future We Want”, which, inter alia, agreed to a coherent and integrated global post-2015 Development Agenda.

5. We acknowledge the processes in the implementation of the Rio+20 outcomes such as the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals, and the Africa Regional Consultation on the Sustainable Development Goals.

6. We reiterate that the post-2015 process should galvanize political will and international commitment for a universal development agenda, focused on the eradication of poverty and exclusion as well as the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development.

7. We call for the adoption of concrete measures supported by adequate means of implementation in order to ensure the full realization of the Agenda.

8. We emphasize the primacy of a transparent and a fully inclusive intergovernmental process in the articulation of the global post-2015 Development Agenda.

II. Context and Justification

(a) Learning from the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):

9. Remarkable advances have been made in some areas, such as net primary school enrolment, gender parity in primary education, representation of women in decision making, immunization coverage, and reversing the trend of the spread of HIV/AIDS.

10. Notwithstanding the progress made, more needs to be done. Africa’s progress remains uneven across goals and targets, within groups and among countries. For example, despite rising enrolment rates in primary schools, the quality of education remains a concern, and learning outcomes in many cases are poor. Progress on the health-related MDGs such as child and maternal mortality, quality of health services, and access to sanitation is insufficient to achieve the targets by 2015 in many countries. Reducing inequity in access to basic social services remains a major challenge for many African countries.

11. The inclusive process used to formulate the post-2015 Development Agenda should: enhance Member States’ ownership of development; generate the required political will to address the unfinished business of the MDGs; and respond to the emerging issues and gaps in implementation, particularly with regard to data collection and monitoring.

12. While Africa acknowledges its primary responsibility for the attainment of the MDGs, international partners also have a key responsibility to honour their commitments and support country-led strategies.

(b) Assuming ownership:

13. The post-2015 Development Agenda should be Member State-driven, and in this regard, Africa will stand together in solidarity in negotiating an outcome that will result in our collective ownership of the new agenda. This CA P is our contribution to this process. We come as 54 countries in unison, determined to represent a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The elaboration of this common position takes us on the path of ownership, which engages all citizens and enables them to hold key development stakeholders mutually accountable.

(c) Reaffirming our common interests:

14. The post-2015 Development Agenda presents a unique opportunity for Africa to articulate its common priorities, opportunities and challenges. Therefore, we affirm our collective interests, which include the pursuit of structural economic transformation for inclusive and people-centred development. This requires: productive capacities development, notably in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, industrial and services sectors development; science technology and innovation; value addition; youth development and engagement; women’s empowerment; and sustainable natural resource management. It also requires addressing the challenges posed by climate change, desertification and land degradation, drought and loss of biodiversity; promoting peace and security; and implementing a responsive and accountable global governance architecture through, inter alia, the full and equitable representation of African countries in the international financial and economic institutions.

15. We stress that the post-2015 Development Agenda should also reflect Africa’s priorities and development programmes.

IV. Enabling Implementation

87. In order for above efforts to be successful, an enabling domestic, continental and global environment is imperative. To this end, we reaffirm the importance of key enablers underpinned by the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which presents the vision for the Continent’s development. We also recall that the obligations under the Millennium Declaration that must be respected by Africa and the international community. The MDGs are still highly relevant to Africa, and we call on the global community to sustain progress made and deepen the implementation of the challenging areas in the years ahead. To enable effective implementation, we COMMIT to:

88. SUSTA IN efforts towards democratization undertaken on the continent, and REITERATE our commitment to end instability and conflicts on the continent, and to build resilience.

89. ADOPT additional measures to fight corruption, promote good political and socio-economic governance, transparency and accountability, especially in the field of natural resources management; and IMPROVE the enabling environment for the involvement of civil society.

90. ACCELERATE decentralization of the governance system, reinforce rule of law frameworks and strengthen capacities of our institutions in order to protect human rights and meet the aspirations of our people; and PROMOTE integrity and leadership that is committed to the interests of the people.

91. ENHANCE the implementation and impact of existing continental mechanisms, such as the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), the NEPAD and the African Governance Architecture.

92. ENSURE an effective global governance architecture, including full and equitable representation of African countries in international, financial and economic institutions, as well decision making processes, that reinforces the principles of fair trade, deters illicit financial flows, and is framed by genuine cooperation and partnerships for development based on trust.

93. PROTECT human rights of all citizens in order to ensure their meaningful participation in society; fight against all forms of discrimination; and promote the constructive management of diversity through democratic practices and mechanisms at the local, national and continental levels.

94. PROMOTE the right to development, as adopted in 1986 by the United Nations General Assembly (GA) in its Resolution 41/128 and recognized in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development. By extension, this also includes the right of poor countries to develop through adequate policy space and involvement in global governance systems.

95. ENSURE equality and access to justice and information for all through the pre-eminence of justice and rule of law, and guarantee the protection of the rights of minorities and people living in vulnerable situations, including children, women, the elderly, people with disabilities, rural populations, displaced persons and migrants in order to achieve social sustainability.

96. ENCOURAGE mutual accountability between the State and its citizens, and between the State and development partners.

97. PROMOTE sound macro-economic policies that combine short-term imperatives of growth with long-term development considerations such as equality, environmental sustainability, and social inclusion at the national, regional, continental and global levels.

98. RESOLVE to promote private sector development by improving the investment and business climate and supporting small-scale enterprises as well as by promoting public private partnerships, quality assurance, participation and leadership of the private sector, local content policy, and socially responsive and accountable business practices. The implementation of continental mechanisms to promote intra-African trade including the NEPAD framework is also crucial in achieving this objective.

99. ENSURE a viable and credible participatory process that respects diversity and encourages input from all stakeholders – from priority setting to the planning, implementation and monitoring of development policies.

100. INVEST IN and STRENGTHEN national statistical capacities and geospatial information systems for the collection, analysis, production and dissemination of disaggregated data to measure and evaluate policy effectiveness; and PROMOTE a culture of evidence-based decision making.

101. INSTITUTE and STRENGTHEN effective monitoring and evaluation systems, and IMPROVE accountability.

102. ENSURE the preservation, protection and promotion of traditional intellectual property, and promote knowledge creation through its integration in development programmes.

103. To strengthen human and institutional capacities in all of the priorities mentioned above, we COMMIT to:

(i) Building and strengthening capacity to negotiate contracts, concessions and fiscal incentives for investors, including natural resource management, capacity for trade negotiations, e.g. WT O and related issues, as well as capacity for technology transfer, innovation and R&D.

(ii) Strengthening of technical and scientific cooperation, including North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation. We reiterate the importance of human resources development, including training, the exchange of experiences and expertise, knowledge transfer and technical assistance for capacity-building, all of which require strengthening institutional capacity, which includes planning, management and monitoring.

(iii) Continued and focused implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building.

V. Conclusion

We, Heads of State and Government of the African Union:

104. COMMEND the participatory approach of the post-2015 Development Agenda formulation process, which provides a unique opportunity for Africa to present a united and common set of priorities. We believe in a world with a just and equitable economic order that is free from poverty, exclusion and human suffering, and respects the limits of the planet earth.

105. REITERATE that the post-2015 process should galvanize political will and international commitment for a universal development agenda focused on the eradication of both poverty and exclusion, as well as on the pursuit of sustainable development.

106. RECOMMEND that the global post-2015 Development Agenda GIVE ADEQUATE ATTENTION to: the development of productive capacity underpinned by value addition, technology and innovation, and infrastructure development; people-centred development with a particular emphasis on youth empowerment and gender equality; natural resources and disaster risk management in the context of sustainable development; peace and security; and a truly inclusive and transformative global partnership. This is important for us to achieve an integrated, prosperous, stable, peaceful and secure Africa that is effectively engaged in the global arena.

107. CALL FOR a fully open, transparent and inclusive negotiation process in which nations are equal and have an equal voice. We commit to speak with one voice in order to ensure that Africa’s position is heard and fully integrated into the global development agenda.

108. BELIEVE that these objectives are attainable within 15 years; we therefore RECOMMEND that the post-2015 Development Agenda should extend over a period of 15 years starting from 2016.