UN chief commends African Union’s Agenda 2063

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has lauded the African Union’s long term development vision; Agenda 2063 and said the program, in concert with the UN’s own 2030 Sustainable Development Goals will be instrumental in lifting many out of poverty.

Officiating at the opening of Africa Week 2015 at the UN headquarters in New York Monday, Mr. Ki-moon congratulated African states for making significant progress this year on the formation the “Continental Free Trade Area,” of the envisaged component’s of AU’s 50-year agenda.

“The United Nations system is committed to supporting the 10-Year Implementation Plan of the Agenda 2063, including the efforts of the Regional Economic Communities as they strive to further integration,” the UN boss said.

In his address, he added that “operationalizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – and Agenda 2063 of the African Union – will be a key to our success in ensuring a life of dignity for all.”

The UN Secretary General also highlighted the global organization’s cooperation with the African Union and other stakeholders in tackling the continent’s conflicts in the Central African Republic, Congo, Libya, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan.

On his part, Mogens Lykketoft, the newly elected President of the United Nations General Assembly stressed the need to broadening and diversifying  Africa’s economic development framework.

“These initiatives should not, however, be simply about trade liberalization between African countries, rather they should constitute an important pillar of the continent’s strategy for structural economic transformation. They should focus on harmonizing policies, enhancing infrastructure development and promoting public-private partnerships,” he said

Mr. Lykketoft, a Danish politician succeeded Uganda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sam Kutesa this September.

Africa Week 2015 will feature a string of Africa-themed topics and events taking place this week on the sidelines of the United Nations General Asssembly’s annual consideration of New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).