United Nations Monitoring Mechanism (UNMM)

Preparation for the 2018 Report

Following the Political Declaration (63/1) PDF adopted by the UN General Assembly at the High-level Meeting on Africa’s Development Needs in September 2008, the General Assembly in its resolution 66/293 established the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism (UNMM) to review commitments made toward Africa’s development by both African countries and their development partners. It requested the Secretary-General to submit a report of the UNMM on a biennial basis, and designated the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) to serve as the Secretariat for the review, in coordination with relevant entities of the UN system, in particular the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), within the institutional framework of the UN Interdepartmental Taskforce on African Affairs (IDTFA).

At its meeting of 28 February 2017, the IDTFA endorsed the following four themes for the 2018 Secretary-General's Report of the UNMM:

  • Inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and regional integration;
  • Health, and water and sanitation;
  • Climate change; and
  • Finance and partnerships. 

The following six cross-cutting issues will also be discussed in the 2018 report:

  • Peace and Security
  • Gender and youth empowerment
  • Education
  • Migration
  • Data availability and statistical capacity
  • Wider Partnerships

In identifying the themes for the report, the IDTFA sought to align the UNMM report with important issues on the intergovernmental agendas at both regional and global levels. The four thematic areas are also closely aligned with the priorities identified in the strategic frameworks of both the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as well as with the AU’s Agenda 2063, the transformative agenda for the continent’s development over the next fifty years.

In its role as the Secretariat of the UN monitoring mechanism, OSAA launched the preparation for the 2018 biennial report of the Secretary-General on the “Review of implementation of commitments made toward Africa’s development”. In line with the General Assembly Resolution 66/293, OSAA organised stakeholder consultation meetings engaging a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

The report will be submitted to the 73rd session of the General Assembly, for its review and consideration.

Importance

The consultation meetings of 2015 underscored the importance of mutual accountability frameworks in ensuring progress toward agreed development objectives. In light of the limited progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa, greater efforts will be required to ensure the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Africa as well as the implementation of the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063. In this regard, the UNMM will contribute to sustainable development in Africa through holding African countries and their development partners accountable to agreed commitments.

However, the value added of the UNMM depends on the extent to which is able to spur further progress toward implementation of commitments made toward Africa’s development. The UNMM could be a strong instrument for global accountability as it is driven by the UN General Assembly.

Process

Since both the 2030 Agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063 have their own monitoring and evaluation frameworks, experts at the meetings emphasised the need to ensure synergies between the UNMM and these two processes. This could be established through ensuring that the thematic thrust of the report of the UNMM reflects the three dimensions of sustainable development:

  • economic,
  • social and
  • environment.

Another avenue for ensuring synergies between the UNMM and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is through the linkages with the High-level Political Forum (HPLF).

The HPLF under the auspices of the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will be primarily in charge of overseeing the global follow-up and review process of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this regard, the report of Secretary-General on “The review of the implementation of commitments made towards Africa’s development” could feed into the report of the HPLF. In fact, this is in keeping with the letter and spirit of the 2030 Agenda outcome document, which underscored the importance of cooperation between the HPLF and other follow up and review mechanisms for the effective implementation of the agenda as called for in paragraph 82 of the GA/RES/70/1.

Scope and Frequency

The UNMM has a broad coverage, reviewing commitments made by African countries and their development partners, including the new and emerging development partners of the South. The review is conducted on a biennial basis under the aegis of the United Nations General Assembly. The universality of the General Assembly in terms of membership gives the review process credibility and legitimacy.

Principle

"We welcome the UN Monitoring Mechanism adopted by the General Assembly Resolution 66/293 to review the delivery of commitments to Africa's development as a step in the right direction. We commit to supporting the Mechanism through the measures put in place by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA)."

-- Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Agency, addressing the 69th UN General Assembly, 17 October 2014

The UNMM is based on the principle of mutual accountability between African countries and their development partners. Consultations with a wide range of stakeholders, including Member States, African regional organizations, civil society, private sector and academia, ensure that diverging perspectives are taken into account in the review process. The first review under the UNMM was conducted in 2014. The related report of the Secretary-General (A/69/163) focused on four thematic issues of cardinal importance to Africa’s development, namely:

  • Agriculture and food security;
  • Financing for development;
  • Environmental sustainability and climate change, and
  • Good governance.

Impact

The General Assembly considered the first report of the UNMM with optimism, noting the progress of Africa’s development, but also cautioned the international community to guard against complacency that might lead to backsliding on gains already made.

The UNMM is expected to contribute to scale up progress towards sustainable development in Africa through ensuring that “commitments made are commitments kept.”

"I am confident in saying that, Africa is rising and Africa is ready to deliver on its promise. The international community has played a crucial role in supporting Africa’s growth and development, and this partnership remains of critical importance."

-- H.E Sam Kutesa, President of the 69th Session of the General Assembly, Joint Debate on NEPAD and Malaria New York, 17 October 2014

Regional Stakeholders’ Consultations for the preparation of the 2018 Secretary-General Report of the UN Monitoring Mechanism

Three regional consultations were scheduled in 2017:

  • in Midrand, South Africa, on 20 - 21 April 2017 (co-organizers: OSAA and the NEPAD Agency),
  • in Paris, France, on 16 - 17 May 2017 (co-organizers: OSAA, UNESCO and OECD), and
  • in Bangkok, Thailand, on 29 - 30 June 2017 (co-organizers: OSAA and UNESCAP).

List of Major Monitoring Mechanisms

Comprehensive Monitoring Mechanisms

Sector-specific Monitoring Mechanisms

Official Development Assistance Flows and Aid Effectiveness
Governance and Security
Millennium Development Goals
Economic Indicators
Civil Society Monitoring Mechanisms