27 May 2011 20:02 Africa/Lagos
G8/Africa joint declaration / Shared values, shared responsibilities
ADDIS ABABA, May 27, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- G8/Africa joint declaration
The G8 and Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa, and the African Union Commission, highlight the importance of an enhanced partnership between the G8 and Africa. Africa is on the move, and is becoming a new pole for global growth, even if challenges to be addressed remain, particularly in the least developed countries. The G8 and Africa stand side-by-side during this key time of change.
To reach our objectives, we are determined to further promote together shared values, notably peace and human rights, democratic governance and sustainable development, and we will continue to endorse our respective and shared responsibilities in this regard, in a spirit of mutual accountability.
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Peace, Security and Governance
We welcome the overall progress that has been made towards stability and democracy on the continent. Several long-lasting armed conflicts have come to an end and democratic processes are becoming the norm and no longer the exception. However, we need to address remaining challenges, notably respect for free and fair election results and for the rule of law, people's aspirations for increased democratic openness, and resolution of the persisting conflicts. Current global threats such as terrorism, trafficking in human beings, arms and drugs, organized crime and piracy likewise, require strengthening national and regional initiatives in Africa with the support of the international community and increased global cooperation.
We commend the steadfast support of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations for the free and sovereign will of the Ivorian people. We express our deep concern over the grave humanitarian and socio-economic situation in Côte d'Ivoire. In this
regard, we call on the International Community as a whole to extend the necessary support to alleviate the plight of the refugees and internally displaced persons as a matter of urgency and to lend support to President Alassane Ouattara and his government to enable them to restore lasting peace, security stability and economic recovery throughout the country. We also encourage the Ivoirian authorities to spare no efforts to take the necessary steps to address the issues of justice, peace and reconciliation among all Ivoirian people, and to implement the pending issues of the Ouagadougou Political Agreements, including those relating to Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of ex-combatants.
We commend the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan for its work with the Sudanese parties. While congratulating the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the people of Sudan for the successful conclusion of the 2011 referendum, we condemn the recent escalation of violence in Abyei. We call on all parties to withdraw all unauthorized forces from the area, to uphold their previous commitments, and we call on the parties to reach agreements on all outstanding issues of the CPA, particularly the status of Abyei, oil issues and debt. We also urge the parties to reach a speedy conclusion to the negotiations on post-referendum arrangements between Sudan and an independent South Sudan, within the framework of good neighbourhood and the mutual economic viability of the two states. We express concern about the persistent violence and insecurity in Darfur and call on all parties to engage with a view to reaching a speedy solution in the context of the Doha Process mediated by the Joint Chief Mediator and the Government of Qatar. We encourage G8 and African countries' continued cooperation and mutual efforts to these ends, including through the Sudan Consultative Forum.
We urge the Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to broaden and consolidate the reconciliation process and to work with the international community with a view to agreeing on the way forward notably on how to end the transition and on the key tasks ahead such as the constitutional process after the Transitional Federal Institutions' mandate expires in August 2011. We call on all actors to support an inclusive, Somali-led process as the means to resolve the conflict. We commend the action undertaken by the African Union and its mission, AMISOM, and express our full support for the mission and the effort of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Somalia. We commit to remain constructively engaged on Somalia and to support international efforts for the establishment of a peaceful and secure environment in which human rights and democratic institutions can develop at all levels.
We welcome the Political Declaration and Action Plan adopted at the G8 Ministerial Meeting on Transatlantic Cocaine Trafficking on May 10 and aimed at strengthening the international and regional cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking on both sides of the Atlantic.
We reaffirm our commitment to fight against all forms of terrorism and address the conditions conducive to terrorism in full compliance with international law, in particular the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and international conventions. We encourage the creation of regional strategies to take into account all the dimensions of this transnational threat. We stand ready to assist the countries affected by this scourge in building their own capacities to fight terrorism and terrorist groups.
We express our continued concern regarding the serious threat of piracy, in particular emanating from Somalia. We underline our determination to continue to respond resolutely to this threat, through a coordinated response at sea and by tackling longer-term regional capability development needs, including through the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, as well as the comprehensive strategy that would address the root causes of piracy and reinforce the Somali capacity. In parallel, we agree that effective prosecution including execution of sentences need increased support. We welcome the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1976, which represents a significant step forward in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.
We welcome efforts made by the African Union and the regional economic communities to build up the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), including the African Standby Force, as well as the successful implementation of the G8 Action Plan, adopted at the Sea Island Summit in 2004, to reinforce African peacekeeping capabilities. We stress the need to further enhance the APSA in a spirit of mutual accountability, and we recognize the progress made with the recent APSA assessment and the adoption of the indicative elements for the APSA Roadmap. We emphasize the importance of improving coordination between all stakeholders in providing assistance and of promoting African ownership, in order to ensure maximum impact and sustainability of peace and security initiatives on the African continent.
Respect for human rights, the rule of law and democratic governance, as well as gender equality, are of key importance to sustaining development, stability and democracy. We welcome the African Union decision on speeding up the ratification of African governance and human rights instruments, in particular the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. We recall our support to the African Governance Architecture, in particular the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), and we encourage further implementation of the APRM National Programmes of Action's recommendations. We also encourage ratification and full implementation of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and its Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa.
We fully support the action taken by the African Union and African regional organizations to fight unconstitutional regime changes. We encourage further efforts to ensure the rule of law and the respect of human rights and to tackle impunity. We strongly welcome the initiatives taken by several African countries to set up transitional justice mechanisms to address human rights violations. These actions need to be further developed.
Economic Development and Environment
Africa is increasingly a destination for foreign investment and private sector development. The challenge today is to build on the current and positive dynamic of the African economy to achieve a more inclusive, shared and sustainable growth that creates jobs, ensures human security and empowers individuals, especially the younger generation. We need to intensify our efforts on drivers for economic growth, including human capital development, regional and global trade integration, business environment, domestic resources mobilization, and scaling up access to infrastructures and related services, including for energy, transport, information and communication technologies. In this regard, we welcome the conclusions of the 16th meeting of the Africa Partnership Forum (APF) on 21 April 2011 in Paris.
Beyond traditional official development assistance (ODA), African countries need to attract additional domestic and foreign direct investment to finance economic growth, while preserving debt sustainability. Mutual efforts to improve the regulatory framework and the business environment, and to fight corruption, need to be strengthened. To this end, we will establish a dialogue within the APF, involving business, to increase momentum and help remove obstacles to business environment reform. We encourage responsible investment by all stakeholders and call on companies to improve their corporate and social responsibility.
Regional integration is essential to increase growth and stability in Africa. Ambitious strategies have been adopted but progress in implementing those remains slow and uneven. African economies are also not sufficiently integrated into global supply chains. We support an ambitious vision for regional integration initiatives and free trade areas in Africa, as building blocks to deeper integration at a later stage. We welcome the proposed focus of the January 2012 African Union Summit on boosting intra-African trade for the means of fostering a better regional and continental integration on this issue. We will continue to support the African Union and regional economic communities to fully implement their action plans, including the Minimum Integration Programme of the African Union. We encourage increased coordination between them and with the African Union. We will support actions to improve the efficiency of key trade corridors, especially those that are important for accelerating trade in Africa's landlocked countries, notably the implementation of the corridor action plans developed by the regional economic communities. We also call for policy reforms required for increasing regional trade and improving infrastructure. Taking into consideration the specific challenge the continent is facing, we call for concerted action by the international community, and notably through the Multilateral Development Banks, to prioritise Africa in financing infrastructure projects.
Regional integration in Africa is also crucial to ensure the effective integration of the continent in the global markets. We reiterate our commitment to advance the process of trade liberalization and rule-making to strengthen the multilateral system, and are ready to explore all negotiating options to bring the Doha round to a conclusion including with regard to the priorities of least developed countries (LDCs) in line with the Doha mandate.
Improved domestic resources mobilisation is crucial to sustain development, strengthen growth resilience and reduce aid dependency. Improving taxation administration systems and policies in developing countries will help build a sustainable revenue base to fund nationally owned development plans.
Transparency in payments and revenue collection linked to extractive resources and sound financial governance on the management of these revenues are essential to taking full advantage of domestic resources and ensuring delivery of public goods and services for citizens. More broadly, transparent, fair and functioning public financial systems are very important requirements for poverty reduction as well as sustainable and self-determined development. Good financial governance on both the revenue and spending sides is a key prerequisite to reach this. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of further fostering the 2007 G8 Action Plan on Good Financial Governance in Africa and welcome the ongoing African-led development efforts for Good Financial Governance.
We will all continue to support transparency in other areas including through the full implementation of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). We call on all countries, notably resource-rich countries, and extractive companies to join or support this initiative. We also welcome the complementary efforts to increase revenue transparency, and commit to setting in place transparency laws and regulations or to promoting voluntary standards that require or encourage oil, gas, and mining companies to disclose the payments they make to governments. We encourage full implementation of international and regional initiatives to tackle illegal exploitation of and trade in natural resources in Africa, such as the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region Action Plan adopted in Lusaka in December 2010. A comprehensive and global approach is needed to address the illegal exploitation of and trade in mineral resources and promote sound natural resources management, including the protection of forests.
The G8 will continue to support capacity building and technical cooperation on macro-economic governance, domestic taxation, public financial management, and negotiations of concessions and contracts.
Limited access to energy along both dimensions – electricity and cooking fuels – remains a major concern. It is a key bottleneck for economic development and poverty reduction, and the widespread use of traditional cooking fuels is at the origin of severe negative health and environmental impacts. We therefore emphasize the need to ensure access to sustainable energy services, with a particular focus on renewable energy sources. The G8 will continue to support projects for access to energy, both decentralised and centralised, notably those with a regional dimension and a sustainable development perspective, as well as cross-border trade and capacity-building initiatives on energy. The African Union-NEPAD Action Plan and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) constitute appropriate frameworks to mobilise foreign direct investment. We stress the need for institutional and regulatory reforms to attract increased investment, notably from the private sector.
We deem of the utmost importance that the use of large river water resources should have in due consideration the interests of both upstream and downstream countries in order to reach agreements aiming at common development.
Agriculture in Africa can serve as an important driver of broad-based sustainable economic growth and development. Sustainable increases in agricultural productivity and production offers ample opportunities to attract private-sector investment and leverage private sources of capital, create jobs, raise income of farmers and stimulate inclusive growth in rural Africa. They contribute to better food security and are key factors in counteracting price volatility. We commit to improving food security in Africa by enhancing cooperation among the G8 and Africa through the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
In a spirit of mutual accountability, we are fully committed to meeting our commitments and to monitoring their implementation, with a view to achieving the Millenium Development Goals by 2015, strengthening economic growth and job creation, and addressing global challenges.
We welcome the mutual accountability process, and the 2011 G8 Accountability Report on health and food security and the first African Union and NEPAD Accountability Report on the G8/Africa Partnership. We recognise the need to continue our efforts to improve the mutual accountability process.
We encourage mutual accountability and transparency in the use of domestic and external resources for development and we encourage civil society and private sector stakeholders to foster accountability at all levels. Accountability mechanisms should monitor performance and provide for adequate incentives for compliance. We call on all donors and African partners to provide transparent and comprehensive information on aid flows and participate in multilateral accountability efforts. We welcome the determination of Japan to hold the TICAD Ministerial Meeting held in Dakar on 1 and 2 May despite the challenges caused by the recent disaster.
Ahead of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held later this year in Busan, Korea, we welcome efforts to implement the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action. Major challenges remain such as involving new stakeholders in the development agenda, including new donors and the private sector, enhancing the impact of aid, limiting aid fragmentation through a better division of labor, strengthening institutional capacities, and increasing accountability and transparency. We call for a reinforced focus on the impact and outcomes of aid and development policies.
Considering the remaining challenges, we stress the urgent need to mobilise a wide range of resources for development and global public goods. ODA is a key element for African developing countries, in particular least developed countries and fragile states. We reaffirm our commitments, including on ODA and enhancing aid effectiveness. In synergy with other sources of funding, ODA also serves as a catalyst for key development policies and to leverage for private investment for economic growth. We stress the need to go beyond aid and mobilize other resources as stated in the Monterrey consensus, including domestic resources, innovative financing, migrant remittances, market instruments used by development banks and private sector flows.
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The challenges lying ahead are considerable. But so is our shared commitment to overcome them. We will act in the spirit of partnership aimed at liberating development potential of one billion Africans.
Source: African Union Commission (AUC)