Marrakech — The Regional Preparatory Workshop for Africa Voluntary National Review (VNR) Countries side event on Strengthening Integrated and Voluntary National Review and Reporting of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 on Tuesday highlighted the need for African countries to speak with one voice on issues of mutual concern.
The session, which created space for peer-learning and experience sharing on VNR reporting and strengthening the capacity of countries undertaking VNRs in support of SDGs and Agenda 2063, highlighted the need for African countries to have a roadmap and common position to the July 2019 High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
The need for an accessible pool of resources and capacity for integrating the two development agendas and other global and regional development programmes into national development frameworks was also emphasized.
Participants also underscored the importance of raising Africa-specific issues at the HLPF, the need for continued and strengthened peer learning among countries in the region on what works and what doesn't work, fears and way to scale-up implementation.
They addressed the role of supreme audit institutions in implementation, follow-up and review of the SDGs, and discussed expectations and formats of VNR reports.
In his remarks to the session, Mr. Oliver Chinganya, the Economic Commission for Africa's Statistic Director and OIC of the Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division, said Africa cannot afford not to meet the sustainable development goals in a timely manner.
"A delay in achieving the goals will extend and intensify the suffering of millions of people in Africa," he said.
For instance, he said, falling short of achieving the goals would leave about 377 million people in the region haunted by poverty in 2030.
"Failure to achieve the goals would also mean that many will be exposed to devastating effects of climate change such as tropical cyclone Idai that recently wreaked havoc in southern Africa. Delaying the achievement of the goals is not an option for Africa. We need to drastically step-up the pace and scale of implementation, with a renewed sense of urgency," said Mr. Chinganya.
He said the ECA is committed and ready to work with the African Union Commission and other regional organisations and sister UN entities to ensure and scale-up integrated implementation, follow-up and reporting on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Africa's Agenda 2063.
VNRs aim to share experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned in accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen the policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the sustainable development goals.