Returning from New York after attending the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Madam Graça Machel, the Chairperson of the ACCORD board of Trustees, hosted a partner and stakeholder luncheon on 2 October 2015 in Pretoria to reflect on the SDGs and their implications for peace and security in Africa.
She echoed Ban Ki-Moon comments: “This is the people’s agenda, a plan of action for ending poverty in all its dimensions, irreversibly, everywhere, and leaving no one behind,” by calling on all to put their forces behind the new Development Goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals will set the development agenda until 2030 and were adopted by a special UN summit held 25-27 September 2015 in New York. They take forward and build on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals, which targeted 2015.
Madame Graça Machel shared some of her insights with diplomats from all continents as well as ACCORD funders and stakeholders. She noted that the work now passed to member states to take the SDGs and implement them. In her address, Madame Machel thanked ACCORD for the dedication displayed in its work and thanked the donors whose ongoing support and commitment make it possible. Madame Machel’s welcome address was followed by a presentation by ACCORD’s Executive Director, Vasu Gounden.
Mr Gounden illustrated the complex convergent challenges facing the African continent. He looked at how Africa could be impacted by this convergence and complexity, and examined how the intersection of many societal forces in the 21st century, inter alia demographic, technological, political, environmental and economic, present the nations of Africa with uniquely interrelated challenges. These challenges will be inextricably linked to already existing developmental and security pressures. For the SDGs to be met in this context, a number of mitigating factors need to be in place. The work of organisations such as ACCORD is vital to creating spaces where the SDGs can be successfully pursued.