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UN SDGs summit showcases Zim


Victoria Falls(New Ziana) – Hosting of the sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) by Zimbabwe is an indication of the confidence the United Nations has in the country and will put the Southern African nation under international limelight, a Cabinet Minister has said.

The ARFSD is an inter-governmental platform convened by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the United Nations system.

It seeks to review progress, share experiences and lessons learned, and build consensus on recommendations in the form of key messages to accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 of the African Union.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa will officially open the forum, which is being held in partnership with UNECA and will run from February 24 to 27 in Victoria Falls.

United Nations deputy secretary general Amina Mohamed is also attending the key summit.

Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima told the media that the summit was being attended by high level delegates from across Africa and beyond.

“This is a very important meeting, its putting the spotlight on Zimbabwe and it is also going to talk about where Africa is in terms of the implementation of the SDGs,” he said.

“This forum is oversubscribed, we were looking at initially about 1 500 delegates but now indications are that we could reach as far as 3 000, so we are very happy with the interest that has been shown. It’s not just an interest on the forum but also an interest on Zimbabwe as a country, its high level – the Deputy Secretary General of the UN is here and I was meeting the executive secretary of UNECA – so it’s a very high level forum.”

Mavima said all was set for the summit which opens on Monday.
He said the forum would afford Zimbabwe the chance to assess its own progress in terms of implementing the SDGs.

“In Zimbabwe as in Africa there are a number of issues that we should worry about but having said that both in Zimbabwe and in Africa there are some big strides we have made but we need to see areas where we are falling short so that we pull up our socks and the necessary assistance in order to make sure that we meet the targets of the SDGs.

“We will be looking at everything and we will highlight the areas we are falling short and the risks associated with, for example, climate change which can influence the smooth implementation of the SDGs,” he said.

UNECA executive secretary Vera Songwe said: “We are happy to be having the African Regional Sustainable Development Forum here, as UNECA this is one of our big events and having the government of Zimbabwe hosting the United Nations is a privilege.”

“The main reason why we are here is to launch what we are calling the UN decade of action 2020-2030 we would like (to ensure) that no African is left behind as we try to develop and ensure prosperity for all.”

The Forum will be held under the theme “2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.”
All the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be under spotlight at the Victoria Falls regional forum.

Other organisations expected at the summit include the African Peer Review Mechanism, the Arab Maghreb Union, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Economic Community of West African States.

New Ziana

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