Fifth Meeting of the African Committee on Sustainable Development

22-25 October 2007 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

October 2007

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Institutional History
Summary

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The fifth meeting of the African Committee on Sustainable Development (ACSD-5), which included the African Regional Implementation Meeting for the sixteenth Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-16), took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 22-25 October 2007. Organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the meeting convened under the theme "Transforming African Agriculture and Rural Economy for Sustainable Development."

Throughout the meeting, delegates met in morning and afternoon plenary sessions to consider: a progress report on implementation of the 2006-07 programme of work of the Food Security and Sustainable Development Division of the ECA; a proposed new mandate for the African Committee on Sustainable Development (ACSD or the Committee); and implementation in Africa of the sustainable development agenda, particularly in relation to the CSD-16 themes of agriculture and rural development, drought and desertification, land, and Africa. Additionally, delegates met in two drafting committees, which addressed the draft African Regional Statement for CSD-16 and the revised mandate of the Committee.

Regarding implementation of sustainable development in relation to the CSD-16 themes, delegates considered four review reports prepared by the ECA Secretariat with the guidance of the ACSD-4 Bureau. After proposing amendments, delegates accepted the revised reports, which will be forwarded to CSD-16 for consideration. The meeting resulted in three other key outputs. Delegates adopted the African Regional Statement to CSD-16 on Agriculture and Rural Development, Land, Drought and Desertification, and Africa. As part of the agreed process of ECA repositioning, they also agreed to a new draft mandate for the Committee, which will be considered in April 2009 by the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, which is the governing body of the ECA. The new draft mandate means that with the end of ACSD-5, and with the adoption of this new mandate, the ACSD will be reconstituted and known as the Committee on Food Security and Sustainable Development (CFSSD). If adoption of this mandate proceeds as planned, the next biennial review, in the form of CFSSD-1, will be held in Addis Ababa in October 2009. Finally, delegates approved the report of the meeting.

This bulletin provides a brief history of the Committee and its work, a summary of ACSD-5 and short reports on two side events held during the meeting, together with a list of upcoming meetings of relevance to the work of the Committee and the themes of CSD-16. More information

FURTHER INFORMATION

FIFTH MEETING OF THE AFRICAN COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

ACSD-5
ACSD-5 Agenda
ACSD-5 Programme of Work
Regional review report on Drought and Desertification
Regional review report on Agriculture and Rural Development
FSSD Progress report

AFRICAN COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
ACSD
First meeting of the Committee on Sustainable Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 25-29 January 1999
Second meeting of the Committee on Sustainable Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 26 -29 November 2001.
Third meeting of the Committee on Sustainable Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 7-10 October 2003
The Pan African Conference on Implementation and Partnership on Water/ Africa Regional Implementation Meeting for CSD-12, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 8-12 December 2003.
Ministerial Communiqué on the Pan African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water
Fourth meeting of the Committee on Sustainable Development, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 24-28 October 2005
African Regional Statement to CSD-14
CSD-15 Conference Room Paper: Regional Commissions Input to CSD 14/15, Implementation Cycle

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE AFRICAN COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND CSD-16

AFRICAN COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

In 1996, the ECA's Conference of African Ministers responsible for Economic and Social Development and Planning adopted Resolution No. 826 (XXXII) establishing the Committee on Sustainable Development and the Committee on Natural Resources and Science and Technology as subsidiary bodies of the Conference of Ministers. In 2002, these committees were merged into one, now also called the Committee on Sustainable Development (the Committee or ACSD).

The Committee addresses critical and emerging issues concerning sustainable development in Africa. It is a forum of experts that provides advice to the ECA in relation to food security, population, environment and human settlements. It provides a platform for advocacy and assesses follow-up activities by African governments in response to regional and global plans of action. The Committee also provides policy and technical guidance to the ECA's subprogramme on food security and sustainable development and its Food Security and Sustainable Development Division (FSSDD).

At its third session, which took place from 7-10 October 2003, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Committee approved amendments to its own mandate such that it now, inter alia:

  • undertakes periodic reviews of the implementation of global programmes of action such as the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI), Agenda 21, the Cairo Programme of Action on Population and Development, the Habitat Agenda and the World Food Summit;
  • considers and makes recommendations on a multidisciplinary approach to implementing these programmes of action;
  • promotes the formulation of policies and measures for environmental protection, food security, improved human settlements, the integration of population variables into development planning, and cooperation among African countries in the areas of natural resources management and the application of science and technology;
  • provides a forum for exchanging information and sharing experiences; and
  • advises the ECA on the formulation of programmes and activities to support member states in integrating the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development into national development policies and strategies.

At this meeting, the Committee also considered its relationship with the UN CSD, and concluded that it would serve as Africa's regional forum of experts dealing with the CSD's various fields of activity. The Committee also agreed that it would serve as the regional advisory arm of the CSD on cross-sectoral activities in Africa as well as on proposed activities and follow-up actions for the implementation of international programmes.

CSD-16
The sixteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-16) will be held from 5-16 May 2008, at UN headquarters in New York. CSD-16 and CSD-17 will focus on the following sectoral issues: agriculture; rural development; land; drought and desertification; and africa. In addition, there will be a review of the decisions on water and sanitation adopted at CSD-13.

The Chair of CSD-16 is Francis Nhema, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Zimbabwe. It is expected that the outcome of CSD-16 will be a report that includes: a Chair's summary that seeks to identify constraints, obstacles and challenges; a summary of the high-level segment; and records of the regional discussions, Partnership Fair; and Learning Centre.

CSD-16 REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION MEETINGS
The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) stated that the implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of WSSD should be effectively pursued at the regional and subregional levels, through the UN's regional commissions and other regional and subregional institutions and bodies. The JPOI also called on the regional commissions to promote the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development into their work in a balanced way and to facilitate and promote such integration into the work of regional, subregional and other bodies. CSD-11 invited the UN regional commissions to consider organizing, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the CSD, Regional Implementation Meetings (RIMs) in order to contribute to the work of the CSD. The precise purpose of the RIMs is to:

  • contribute to advancing implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the JPOI;
  • focus on the thematic cluster of issues to be addressed in the ongoing implementation cycle;
  • provide input to the Secretary-General's reports and the sessions of the CSD, which can include: identification of obstacles and constraints, new challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the JPOI; and sharing of lessons learned and best practices; and
  • provide for contributions from the nine "major groups" of civil society recognized in Agenda 21.

Regional Implementation Meetings (RIMs) will be held by the ECA region (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 22-25 October 2007), the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia region (Cairo, Egypt 4-6 November 2007), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific region (Jakarta, Indonesia, 26-27 November 2007), the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean region (Santiago, Chile 28-29 November 2007), and the Economic Commission for Europe region (Geneva, Switzerland, 28-29 January 2007). The outcomes of the RIMs will be transmitted to CSD-16.

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