Africa: Commonwealth Can Make a Unique Contribution to New Global Anti-Poverty Targets

press release

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General addresses Pan African Parliament on post-Millennium Development Goals framework

Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba yesterday (Thursday, 11 October) stressed the unique role the Commonwealth can play in helping shape a new set of global development targets currently being discussed.

In a statement to the Pan African Parliament in South Africa, Ms Masire-Mwamba said that the 54-nation bloc had a distinctive record of fostering agreement amongst some of the world's poorest and richest countries, and between the smallest and most populous.

"The Commonwealth can play a unique role in facilitating inclusive dialogue and consensus building using ready-made platforms based on trusted relationships, to connect the profoundly technical and political aspects of the post-2015 discussion," she said.

Ms Masire-Mwamba was speaking on the first day of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Dialogue for Africa in Johannesburg, which ends today (Friday). She highlighted the close working relationship between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the UNDP and reiterated the Commonwealth's long history of advancing global thinking in development.

The Deputy Secretary-General added: "In all regions of the Commonwealth, the Millennium Development Goals have proved to be a catalyst for political support and for the mobilisation of development financing.

"Whilst significant progress has been made towards the achievement of the goals, many Commonwealth countries are off track and are unlikely to meet them by 2015. One of the most commonly cited weaknesses in securing their effectiveness is the lack of participation of developing countries in their development.

"In order to address this, it is crucial that developing countries are actively engaged in the negotiation and design of the post-2015 framework."

The Millennium Development Goals were agreed by governments and development agencies in 2000 with anti-poverty targets to be met by 2015. This week's African Regional Dialogue focused on the theme 'The New Development Agenda: Post-2015 Global Thematic Consultation on Governance.'

The meeting is part of a United Nations-driven process to consult national, regional and global experts on the post-2015 development framework.

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