Common Africa Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda

In June 2014 the African Union officially launched the Common African Position (CAP) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It sets out recommendations as to what should replace the existing Millennium Development Goals and was developed by an African Union High Level Committee, chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, following an agreement of the members of the African Union during its 22nd Ordinary Session “to speak with one voice and to act in unity” in the development of the post-2015 development agenda.  

The CAP takes note of the various international initiatives that had already taken place, including the work of the United Nations task Team (UNTT), the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons and the outcome of the 2013 UN General Assembly Special Event on the MDGs. They also acknowledged the outcome document from the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Conference -- The Future We Want -- and the related processes subsequently developed -- the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals; the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing; and the High-level Political Forum. It also made specific reference to the Africa Regional Consultation on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The CAP acknowledges the importance for the post-2015 process of political will and international commitment, as well as focusing on eradication of poverty and exclusion. (para 6) It emphasizes a transparent and fully inclusive intergovernmental process (para 8) and specifies some of the important achievements including gender parity in primary education, immunization coverage and reversing the trend of the spread of HIV/AIDS. (para 9) At the same time it recognizes that progress in Africa remains uneven. (para 10)

The post-2015 development agenda should be driven by Member States (para 13) and include youth development and women’s empowerment. (para 14) The CAP also recognizes that “governance at the international level should be more responsive, legitimate, democratic and inclusive by strengthening the voice and participation of African countries.” (para 20)

Health, including sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights 

In addressing people-centred development under pillar three, there is a specific call for the “introduction of age-appropriate and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education for all.” (para 41) In addition it recognizes the importance of improving the “health status of people living in vulnerable situations such as mothers, newborns, children, youth, the unemployed, the elderly and people with disabilities.” The following measures should be include: 

  •  reducing incidences of communicable, non-communicable and emerging diseases;
  •  ending epidemics of HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria;
  •  reducing malnutrition; and
  •  improving hygiene and sanitation.

There should be universal and equitable access to quality healthcare to achieve this, including “universal access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights (e.g. family planning).” Other specified measures are identified such as improving health systems and health financing and medical infrastructure and local manufacturing of health equipment as well as the setting up of monitoring and evaluation and quality assurance systems. (para 42)

Gender equality and women’s empowerment

Measures for ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment, such as the elimination of gender-based wage inequality and ensuring access to, and ownership of, land and other productive assets and training, are included. The CAP also emphasizes eradicating violence against women and children and harmful traditional practices including female genital mutilation and early marriage. (para 43) The role of women in conflict prevention and resolution is specified, as well as in rebuilding post-conflict societies. (para 45)

Population dynamics for development

The CAP also refers to population dynamics, such as urbanization, migration and support for the elderly and “innovative plans that respond to population dynamics” should be developed and incorporated into national planning frameworks. (paras 47 & 49) In addition the CAP refers to importance of translating “Africa’s youth bulge” into a demographic dividend by putting in place the necessary policies and strategies. (para 48)

Summing up

The CAP also addresses many other concerns that relate to the post-2015 development agenda. As such it could guide the African position in the negotiations as they move forward. 

The full CAP text is available as is the press release


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« Deadline extended for World We Want 2015 consultation on culture and development | Main | Civil Society submissions for President of General Assembly’s upcoming High-level Stock-taking Event on Post-2015 Development Agenda »