Interdepartmental Task Force on African Affairs (IDTFA)

In establishing the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) in 2003, one of the key mandates that the Secretary-General entrusted to the Office as specified in ST/SGB/2003/6 of 23 April 2003 is the coordination of the Interdepartmental Task Force on African Affairs (IDTFA).

The IDTFA aims at ensuring a coherent and integrated approach for United Nations support for Africa. This includes following-up on the implementation of all global summit and conference outcomes related to Africa.

Role of the Taskforce

The IDTFA, which OSAA convenes and chairs at both principal and expert levels, serves as the mechanism for UN System-wide consultations and coordination on important UN activities on Africa straddling the nexus between development, peace and security.

Since its inception in May 2003, the Office has indeed, inter alia, been coordinating this Taskforce to ensure a coherent and integrated approach for United Nations support to Africa, including:

  • Following-up on the implementation of all global summit and conference outcomes related to the continent;
  • Coordinating global advocacy in support of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and Africa’s development, including during the Africa Week that takes place on the margin of the General Assembly debates on the development of Africa; and
  • Preparing the reports of the Secretary-General.

Impact

The IDTFA has played an important role in the preparation and organisation of major events organised by the Office, including the organisation of the successful 2008 high-level meeting on "Africa’s Development Needs", as well as several important Expert Group Meetings (EGMs) on a variety of topics on the nexus between development, peace and security.

The IDTFA plays an active role in the annual Africa Week, which is organized by OSAA in collaboration with the Department of Public Information (DPI), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), NEPAD Agency, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), to promote and mobilize United Nations system and international support for Africa’s development, peace and security agenda. The role of the IDTFA in the Africa Week has been catalytic for building new, and strengthening old, partnerships between United Nations system entities and African regional and sub-regional organizations.

With the strengthening of the Office by the General Assembly in 2013, the IDTFA has also become the mechanism for UN system-wide consultations on the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism (UNMM) established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 66/293 of 15 October 2012 to review commitments made towards Africa’s development.

Meeting of the IDTFA

Logo of the African Year of Human Rights declared by the African Union in January 2016

On 23 March 2016, the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa organized a meeting on the 2016 Report of the Secretary-General on the Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa. The proposed thematic focus for the report is "Women’s Human Rights as a Tool for Sustainable Peace and Security in Africa."