New York, 1 June 2011: The United Nations today signed an agreement with the Kingdom of Lesotho to host an Expert Group Meeting, known as the “Africa Regional Media Dialogue”, dedicated to the promotion of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
NEPAD is the continent’s development plan adopted in 2001 by African leaders. Early this year, it was integrated within the formal structure of the African Union (AU) under the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency.
The agreement was signed by United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on AfricaCheick Sidi Diarra and the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Lesotho to the UN, Motlatsi Ramafole, on 1 June, at a ceremony at the UN Headquarter in New York.
“We are deeply grateful to the Kingdom of Lesotho for hosting this meeting. The support of your government is very important to us,” said Mr. Diarra at the ceremony. He went on to say that the Africa Regional Media Dialogue is part of the continuing interaction among partners – including the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the AU – designed to raise awareness of the economic development challenges facing Africa, particularly in implementing NEPAD projects.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Ramafole said that, “by hosting this meeting, Lesotho gets a chance to be on the world map, as this is the first-ever UN meeting we are hosting.” The UN meeting, he further noted, would help to promote NEPAD among media both in Lesotho and in the southern Africa region.
This year’s Africa Regional Media Dialogue will be held in Maseru, Lesotho’s capital, from 7 to 9 June. More than 100 participants are expected, including representatives from the AU, the NEPAD Agency, the ECA and about 20 senior African media personnel.
The event will consist of interactive discussions, thematic presentations by experts and participants, exchanges and contributions. Practical experiences of countries and lessons learned from implementing NEPAD Agency programmes will be presented, followed by discussions.
The first Africa Regional Media Dialogue took place in The Vaal, South Africa, in February 2009. It resulted in The Vaal Consensus Declaration and the adoption of a series of recommendations, which focused on increasing the media’s role in Africa’s economic development.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Francois Charlier, Public Information Officer (OSAA).