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African countries vow to make voice heard in post-2015 development agenda


14:31, June 03, 2013

YOKOHAMA, Japan, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Delegates at an African development conference vowed Monday their efforts toward making African voice heard in the Post-2015 Development Agenda in the Japanese port city of Yokohama.

In the Yokohama Declaration 2013 adopted at the closing of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), participants stressed the importance of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa by 2015 and pledged to ensure that "Africa's concerns and priorities are reflected to the maximum extent possible" in the post-2015 development agenda.

Co-organized by the Japanese government and international institutions such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank, the three-day TICAD V brought together representatives of 51 African countries, 74 international and regional organizations both from Africa and Asia, the private sector and civil society.

Despite significant strides in economic growth and development, a number of African countries are struggling to achieve the MDGs and, at the current rate of progress, are unlikely to achieve most of them by 2015, especially in poverty reduction as the absolute number of poor people has increased in the continent though progress has been made.

In addition to that, new challenges to sustainable development like youth unemployment are emerging, which the post-2015 development agenda as an overarching framework should address, according to the declaration.

African leaders and representatives attending the TICAD V affirmed the African Common Position on the post-2015 development agenda currently being developed will be of relevance as inputs to their future work on the agenda.

The delegates committed themselves to promoting their work and building upon ongoing assistance and support of the international community, and welcomed the UN secretary general's engagement in the process.

As part of the efforts, they vowed to fight for an effective and coherent development framework with focus on sustainable development guided by human security, human rights and dignity, equality and equity.

They also resolved to "act together to eradicate poverty in all its forms, protecting and empowering individuals," particularly the vulnerable, and creating conditions for economic transformation, peace, prosperity as well as sustainable and inclusive development.

Under the theme "Hand in Hand with More Dynamic Africa, Transformation for Quality Growth", the TICAD V addressed the issues of sustainable growth, resilient society and peace and stability, among others.

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