African Parliamentarians Discuss MDG Acceleration, Post-2015 Priorities

Pan African Parliament22 November 2013: African Parliamentarians identified and discussed five priority areas related to accelerating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and formulating the post-2015 development agenda. The regional dialogue, which addressed the theme ‘Forum for Deepening Parliamentary Engagement with the MDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda,' took place from 20-22 November 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Key messages resulting from the Forum include: recognition of parliaments' role in formulating and actualizing the post-2015 agenda; agreement that the post-2015 agenda should address African development priorities; and appreciation for the formation of the African High-Level Committee on the post-2015 agenda.

Parliamentarians discussed priorities and actions under five priority areas: structural economic transformation and inclusive growth; science, technology and innovation (STI); people-centered development; environmental sustainability and disaster management; and financing and partnerships. They identified good governance, political participation and natural resources management as priorities for emphasis in the African Common Position (ACP). On environmental sustainability and disaster management, parliamentarians discussed solutions related to natural disaster risk reduction (DRR), water access for all, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and biodiversity.

On parliaments' roles in formulating, negotiating, implementing and monitoring the post-2015 agenda, the Forum recommended that parliamentarians, inter alia: identify priority sectors and allocate resources to them; hold governments accountable for development results; and ensure development goals are not limited to quantitative targets but also focus on quality of participation and of access.

On deepening parliamentary engagement, the Forum recommended that parliamentarians, inter alia: ensure integration of the post-2015 agenda into national and regional strategies; review the post-2015 agenda's programme every five years; form a Standing Committee on the MDGs and post-2015 agenda; and utilize the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) to monitor the MDGs and post-2015 agenda at national and regional levels.

Over 100 participants participated in the dialogue, including parliamentarians from 38 national parliaments and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), East African Legislative Assembly, South African Development Cooperation (SADC) Parliament, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Parliament and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament as well as AUC and UN agency staff. UN Development Programme's Regional Bureau for Africa (UNDP RBA) and PAP organized the meeting. [African Press Organization Press Release] [IISD RS Sources] [Publication: Key Outcomes and Recommendations from the Forum for Deepening Parliamentary Engagement with the Millennium Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda]