By Jaya Ramachandran
NEW YORK (IDN) - The then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Alpha Konare, Chairperson of the African Union Commission at that time, signed the Ten-Year Capacity Building Programme (TYCBP) for the African Union in 2006 as recommended by the UN General Assembly the previous year.
With that programme due to expire end of the year, the General Assembly has adopted on December 23 a new joint United Nations-African Union (UN-AU) proposal for a successor programme enshrined in the draft resolution titled Framework for a Renewed United Nations‑African Union Partnership on Africa’s Integration and Development Agenda 2017-2027 (document A/71/L.50).
The representative of Burkina Faso, on behalf of the African Group, introduced the draft, saying the adoption of the framework in June 2015 in South Africa had been an important stage regarding Agenda 2063 – "a global strategy to optimize use of Africa's resources for the benefit of all Africans".
According to the African Union, Agenda 2063 is both a Vision and an Action Plan. It is a call for action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny.
In their 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration, the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), while acknowledging past successes and challenges, rededicated themselves to the continent’s accelerated development and technological progress.
They laid down vision and eight ideals to serve as pillars for the continent in the foreseeable future, which Agenda 2063 will translate into concrete objectives, milestones, goals, targets and actions/measures. Agenda 2063 strives to enable Africa remain focused and committed to the ideals envisaged in the context of a rapidly changing world.
The framework for Partnership on Africa’s Integration and Development Agenda (PAIDA) 2017-2027 intends to promote a closer partnership between the United Nations, the African Union and sub-regional organizations in the face of violence, migration and other issues.
PAIDA is anchored on and aligned to the aspirations and goals of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and integrates the objectives and goals of other major continental socio-economic development frameworks such as New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). It is also closely aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
NEPAD is a socio-economic development flagship programme of the African Union (AU), adopted by African leaders at the 37th Summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) held in Lusaka, Zambia, in July 2001. It is thus a vision and framework that facilitates and coordinates the development of continent-wide programmes and projects, mobilizes resources, engages the global community, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and AU Member States in the implementation of these programmes and projects.
NEPAD's overall mission is to address the critical challenges of poverty, development and Africa’s marginalization internationally. Its four primary objectives are to eradicate poverty, promote sustainable growth and development, foster integration of Africa in the world economy, and accelerate the empowerment of women.
Like the TYCBP-AU, PAIDA has a ten-year timeframe, 2017-2027, and its implementation will be closely aligned to the flagship projects contained in Agenda 2063’s First 10-Year Plan.
PAIDA outlines seven main principles that should guide the UN-AU cooperation, namely: ownership and leadership by the African Union (AU), respect for Africa’s policy space, faithfulness to commitments made, consultation and coordination, accountability, strategic partnership (including with the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency [NEPAD Agency]), and proactive engagement.
The priority areas of PAIDA cover 13 thematic issues. These are: infrastructure and trade, economic transformation, regional integration, gender equality and women’s empowerment, agriculture, private sector development, health, education and training, natural resource governance, climate change, democracy and governance, human rights and the rule of law, and peace and security.
PAIDA also highlights a number of cross cutting implementation issues, which the UN is called upon to support; namely: advocacy, programmatic and institutional support, resource support, and reporting.
PAIDA was jointly developed by the UN-AU Technical Working Group that was established in November 2014, on the recommendations of the 15th Session of the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa that took place in Abuja, Nigeria in March 2014.
PAIDA outcome document from the Technical Working Group was adopted by the 25th African Union Summit in decision (Assembly/AU/Dec.587(XXV) and transmitted to the African Group at the UN in New York, for onward submission to the United Nations General Assembly.
The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) was a member of the Technical Working Group that developed PAIDA document. In addition, PAIDA document in its paragraph 113 specifically states that OSAA will continue its global advocacy and policy advisory activities on behalf of the African Union, NEPAD Agency and the RECs, within the context of implementation of PAIDA. [IDN-InDepthNews – 31 December 2016]
Photo: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.
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