The second session of the Committee on Gender and Social Development of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa opened in Addis Ababa Wednesday with ECA Deputy Executive Secretary, Giovanie Biha, challenging participants to come up with ways on how the continent can best integrate inclusive gender and social policies in national plans and budgets.
Biha also urged the participants from 44 African countries to come up with ways on how the ECA can further assist member States in the design and monitoring of national plans to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDG) targets.
She said the fact that 44 countries are represented at the meeting demonstrates the commitment of member States to highlight and integrate social perspectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as the continent drives forward for their integration and implementation.
The theme of the meeting is “Achieving Agendas 2030 and 2063: From Planning to Implementation of the Gender and Social Development Goals for Inclusive and Sustainable Development”.
“Rigorous and ambitious national development strategies will help make effective progress towards the SDGs. Our mandate to mainstream more inclusive gender and social development policies within national planning and sectoral programmes is the first step. Good governance in implementing the strategies is critical,” said Ms. Biha.
She said the ECA is fully engaged in responding to challenges facing Africa, working with member States.
“ECA proposes to deepen the analytical work in various aspects of gender and social development to continue to support member States achieve the SDG targets,” said Ms. Biha, adding implementing the 2030 and 2063 Agendas requires enhanced collaboration and the right national strategies.
Re-designing national policies to feature equal opportunities of access and utilization is a way forward, she said.