Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.
by Brendan Welsh
Today, Onaje and I attended the DPI/NGO forum moderated by Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division of the Department of Public Information. Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, featured speaker at the event, and the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Africa, said, “there is no peace without development, and there is no development without respect for human rights.”
Mr. Abdelaziz primarily spoke on the Millennium Development Goals, saying, “we should not sit idle between now and 2015 to wait for the post-2015 development agenda to be implemented. We have to work hard between now and then.” He was excited to announce that Africa’s partnership with Japan has yielded a plan for “$32 billion to be spent over 5 years in support of African projects.” Unfortunately, only 5 countries have managed to present projects for funding, so Mr. Abdelaziz is trying to mobilize more African groups and individuals with ideas for projects involving renewable energy, and clean water. The EU, the US, and the UK are also on board with funding these new endeavors, as most African projects with International funding have been extractive rather than productive for Africa itself. Furthermore, the 10-year capacity building program, a signed agreement between UN and African Union, is centered on supporting the AU capacities regarding peace, security and development.
Mr. Abdelaziz puts most of the responsibility for social reform on Africans themselves. He said, “The African people themselves need to have a perception change; that if you win an election 51% to 49%, you can’t act like the 49% doesn’t exist, and we can’t just tell Africa to think that way, Africa has to come to that place themselves.” You can find out more about the post-2015 development agenda by clicking here; and the PC(USA)’s work in Africa by clicking here.