Bridging the means of implementation gap: Key issues for Africa
by: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), sustainable development is being pursued at global, regional and national levels. This quest for sustainable development is guided by explicit commitments that have been adopted by the international community. These commitments include those contained in Agenda 21, the programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 (PFIA21), the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation ( JPOI) and the outcomes of the Millennium Declaration. It is recognized that the full and effective
translation of these commitments into tangible sustainable development outcomes requires the mobilization of and access to adequate means of implementation. The main means of implementation identified in Agenda 21, PFIA21 and JPOI are financing sustainable development, technology development and transfer, capacity development, globalization and trade, regional integration and South-South cooperation. Annex 1 contains an indicative list of these commitments on the means of implementation. Related to these are the Paris Declaration (PD) and the
Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) on aid effectiveness, as well as ongoing discussions between Africa and its partners on development effectiveness.
While countries are primarily responsible for their own development, in the case of developing countries such as those in Africa, it is acknowledged that international support is central to accessing the necessary means of implementation and realizing sustainable development outcomes. In this regard, at UNCED, countries agreed that although financing for the implementation of Agenda 21 would come from a country?s own resources, support from development partners to meet incremental costs would be crucial for the full implementation of the commitments agreed. In this context, developed countries reaffirmed, inter alia, their commitments to reach the accepted United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Product (GNP) for Official Development Assistance (ODA). Indeed, some developed countries agreed to reach the target by the year 2015.