UN Africa adviser says High-level Panel’s report needs to clarify development strategy

UN Africa adviser says High-level Panel’s report needs to clarify development strategy

Ibrahim Gambari
The report of a blue-ribbon panel on challenges facing the United Nations was restrained on development and humanitarian strategies and silent on Africa’s special needs, according to a top aide on Africa to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The report of a blue-ribbon panel on challenges facing the United Nations was restrained on development and humanitarian strategies and silent on Africa’s special needs, according to a top aide on Africa to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The report of the 16-member High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change “did not articulate fully the ways of increasing financial resources for the United Nations system and its agencies in order to better assist African countries,” Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari said in a recent briefing of diplomats and senior UN staff.

On overseas development aid (ODA) he said, “The pledges of additional ODA made to support Africa’s development still falls below the 0.15 to 0.20 of GNI (gross national income) to ODA made in the Brussels Programme of Action” for the least developed countries (LDCs).

“The report did not address the issue of mutual accountability, whereby both the donor community and the developing countries would honour their respective commitments on resources for development,” he added.

The Panel urged the establishment of a Peace-building Commission, under the Security Council, to identify countries at risk of violent conflicts, organize anti-war interventions and sustain international peace-building efforts.

Mr. Gambari said the Panel needed to spell out the sources of funds for peace-building operations and post-conflict reconstruction in Africa and to say whether new sources would be voluntarily donated or would be assessed, mandatory payments.

On trade he said, “For nearly a quarter of a century, starting in 1970, the dramatic decline in Africa’s market share has amounted to an estimated income loss of $70 billion per annum, almost five times the average ODA to Africa.

“The report has not adequately addressed how such policy incoherency could be reduced.”