Abuja, Nigeria

28 March 2014

Deputy Secretary-General's remarks to the 15th Regional Coordination Mechanism

Your Excellency, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Excellencies, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister of the Economy of Nigeria, Dr. Anthony  Mothae Maruping, African Union Commissioner of Economic Affairs, Esteemed AU and UN colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends,

Thank you for the opportunity to meet and speak with you today. RCM-Africa is such an important forum for engagement between the UN family in Africa and our partners in the African Union, Regional Economic Communities, the NEPAD Agency and the African Peer Review Mechanism Secretariat.

I commend your ongoing and vital efforts to advance the African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063’. This ground-breaking pan-African vision, aimed at the structural transformation of the continent for the benefit of all Africans, is an agenda that the UN wholeheartedly supports.

Peace and security, sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law remain paramount to the aims of our organisation. In support of this fundamental commitment, the UN agencies, funds and programmes continue to provide support to our African partners. 

However, there is a risk of duplication and incoherence at a time of limited resources. This is why the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa (RCM-Africa) plays such an important role in bringing together all of the agencies, funds and programmes in pursuit of our common goals.

RCM-Africa has been at the forefront of the UN’s Regional Coordination Mechanisms, bringing coherence to UN support to the African Union and its NEPAD programme. I would also like to underline the positive effects of co-ownership of RCM-Africa by the AU and the UN.

Joint activities are a logical step forward. RCM-Africa offers two very practical examples.  The Ten Year Capacity Building Programme (TYCBP) for the African Union provides a basis for coordinating UN support to capacity development. Our deliberations on its second triennial review and the Report of the Working Group, set up by RCM-Africa to review UN support to the AU and its NEPAD programme, will no doubt improve collaboration in this vital area.  I also welcome the innovative efforts to develop a results-based Regional Development Cooperation Framework in support of the AU Strategic Plan for 2014 to 2017.

RCM-Africa has been an important mechanism by which the UN system has supported African regional preparations for the Rio+20 Summit and the post-2015 development agenda.  RCM-Africa should also enable the UN to better understand and support African priorities.

The UN fully supports Africa’s vision of building a peaceful, integrated and prosperous continent over the next 50 years.  Agenda 2063 and the complementary Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda are concrete expressions of the aspirations of the African people we are here to serve.  Indeed, the African Development Goals should be used as a stepping stone for coherent engagement in the post-2015 process.   I am hopeful that our exchange of views will help the UN system gain a better understanding of the Agenda 2063 process and expected outcomes.

The transformative changes envisaged by Agenda 2063 will need to be built around stronger regional integration.  It will require increased productivity and competitiveness in African economies. It should also be underpinned by major investments in human development, science, technology and infrastructure.  All this is dependent on strengthening effective governance in Africa, as well as durable peace and security in all parts of the continent. 

You can rest assured of the unwavering support of the UN towards achieving these important aims, so crucial for the people of this great continent.

I look forward to what should be a stimulating and informative exchange of views today. 

Thank you.