Johannesburg – Parliamentarians, civil society and academia have repeatedly emphasised the centrality of governance to sustainable development, taking into account capacity development needs of both people and institutions for good governance at different levels, from local to global.
The press conference held at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), discussed a wide-range of issues, including: the current international development agenda, assessment of progress on the MDGs, governance bottlenecks to the achievement of MDGs as well as the need to align the Post-2015 agenda with the needs and aspirations of global citizens. If sustainable development is to be achieved, “there is need to deal with bureaucratic bottlenecks” in our governance structures and systems said Hon. Ebrahim Abrahim, South Africa’s Deputy Minister in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). South Africa, the continent’s largest economy, is committed to taking a leading role in the Global Thematic Consultation on Governance and in shaping the post-2015 global development framework. Mr. Ebrahim cautioned that as important as it might be, the eradication of corruption alone is unlikely to lead to the full realization of MDGs as it was just “one of the many” governance problems the world is facing today.
Bethel Amadi, President of the Pan-African Parliament pointed out that even though the economic indicators have, since the turn of the millennium been positive with most African countries recording positive economic growth rate figures upward of 5 per cent, this growth has neither been inclusive nor directly been reflected in the reduction of poverty and hunger. “This is as a result of unequal distribution of wealth with a growing population of rural dwellers still consigned to a reality of underdevelopment”. For this to be addressed, countries will need “additional levels of transparency that will allow for more input from the people, the civil society and the media in the governance process.” Honorable Amadi further stated that “strengthened parliamentary institutions will be critical in bridging the gap between governments and the people they represent and ensuring accountability” in achieving development in the post-2015 era. Effective management of resources and fair distribution of wealth together with empowered people that demand transparency and accountability from its leaders, are key ingredients necessary for development.
Speaking at the same event United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Director for Democratic Government Practice, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to ensuring that the process is inclusive and that the resulting development framework will be a true reflection of people’s aspirations. Noting that governance is multidimensional, she emphasized that “there is a need to look at governance as implemented from dimension angles and levels,” from global to sub-national” within the framework that addresses the various challenges at these levels.
She further expressed UNDP’s thanks to the South African government for the leadership and commitment to supporting the Global post-2015 Governance thematic consultation process. -In February 2013, the Pan-African Parliament, the Government of the Republic of South Africa, UNDP, and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in collaboration with the German Government, will be hosting the Global Thematic Consultation on Governance and the Post-2015 development framework.
The consultative meeting will bring together Heads of States, Civil Society Representatives, Businesses, youth and other stakeholders to shape thinking on democracy, economic development, governance/accountability, peace and security in the new global development paradigm.
Ms. Moleketi also commended Pan-African Parliament’s strong support for this event as it attested to the institution’s and region’s commitment to building a shared vision and ownership of how global, regional, national and sub-national governance and accountability could be integrated in the post-2015 development agenda. She called upon the media to play an active role in communicating information around the consultative process and help in building the momentum towards the meeting in February.
Yanine Poc, Regional Representative for OHCHR pointed out that overview initial results of the consultations show that “throughout the regions, stakeholders called for the Post-2015 Agenda to be aligned with international human rights standards and principles, including civil and political rights.”
The press conference was attended by representatives from local and international media houses.