Addis Ababa, 18 November 2010 (ECA) - Delegates to the 11th Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa (RCM-Africa) meeting held in Addis Ababa, November 14-15, 2010 have successfully concluded deliberations on finding the best approaches to coordinating their efforts toward supporting the African Union and its NEPAD Program.
During the two-day meeting, chaired by the UN Deputy Secretary-General Her Excellency, Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, the collage of senior officials, experts and program officers, from the United Nations, the African Union Commission (AUC), the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) sought more productive ways by which all UN agencies and organizations working in Africa could coordinate their efforts in order to strengthen their support to the AU and the NEPAD Program in fostering development in Africa.
Following opening statements from UN Deputy Secretary-General; the AUC Chairperson, H.E. Dr. Jean Ping; ECA Executive Secretary, Mr. Abdoulaye Janneh; Chief Executive Officer of the NPCA, Dr. Ibrahim A. Mayaki; UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social affairs, Mr. Sha Zukang, some 250 participants representing the nine thematic Clusters of RCM-Africa along with the AUC, the NPCA, RECs, African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), IMF, AfDB and other international partners heard the progress, achievements and challenges faced by the nine clusters throughout the year, reports on the review of the Ten-Year Capacity Building Program for the African Union, as well as activities on climate change, combating desertification and biodiversity conservation.
Key presentations included regional preparations for the Rio + 20 to be held in Brazil in 2011, a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, progress reports of the RCM-Africa and the sub-regional coordination mechanism, respectively.
Deliberations also focused on advocacy, communication, program implementation, and resource mobilization matters, and the need for clusters to synergize activities and avoid duplication of efforts. The meeting also discussed operational aspects of capacity building focusing on additional resources needed to achieve integration and development in Africa.
The meeting welcomed the planned regional preparations for the Rio+20 Summit (in Cancun), and underscored the importance of efficient preparations to ensure that Africa's priorities and concerns will be reflected and well articulated in the Summit outcomes.
Most participants noted that the RCM-Africa Clusters have scaled up their efforts toward implementing important activities based on AU priorities and strategic plans. They noted, however, that their work continues to be focused on processes rather than results and impacts with few tangible deliverables. They emphasized that UN agencies and organizations, based on their comparative advantage, should focus on adding value to the work of AU organizations, including the RECs and IGOs in the sub-regions,
The meeting recommended that the clusters and sub-clusters should strengthen efforts in mobilizing resources to implement joint activities; and focus on activities collectively delivered by members and select a limited number of deliverables where their collective intervention would bring concrete results.
Overall, participants considered the meeting a success having drawn and adopted a number of recommendations and expressed a determination to follow up with meaningful action.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Janneh commended participants for part in the spirited discussion and for finding the modality to address the needs of the AU and its NEPAD Program.
"The RCM through the discussion and participation has already become a better mechanism. I have no doubt in my mind that we have sowed the seeds for a better RCM," he said.
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