At meetings in Tunisia, UN deputy chief affirms relevance of SDGs and education for all |

Ms. Mohammed was in the country to attend the eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8), which ended that day.

The conference has been organized by Japan since 1993, under the philosophy of “Africa’s development for Africans”. It is co-organized by the UN, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and the African Union Commission.

A new era

In welcoming the deputy head of the UN, President Saied spoke of the new era in the world, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, but also in Tunisia, which has a new Constitution which, according to him, will establish greater responsibility for all.

The President also acknowledged that the UN plays an important role as a “united nation”, working together to address common challenges.

He said that TICAD has already brought important results for Africa, and that there will be a lot to do to implement the agreements reached during this last edition of the conference.

The SDGs remain relevant

Ms. Mohammed recalled that the SDGs remain a very relevant framework in this new era, and TICAD served as an important reminder.

The 17 goals aim to create a more just and equitable world, including by ending extreme poverty, achieving gender equality and boosting economic growth, while tackling climate change and preserving the environment. natural.

They were adopted by world leaders in 2015 and have a deadline of 2030.

The deputy UN chief said that in many places governments have yet to deliver better public services, especially for women and girls. She added that the UN will continue to support countries and give people hope.

While social cohesion and the concept of the state have recently weakened in many places, she agreed that a new model and appreciation of democracy is needed to build more effective and inclusive institutions capable of serving people. of the world.

© Save the Children/Dereje

Leden, a student with disabilities in Ethiopia, receives targeted educational support, through a program funded by Education Cannot Wait (ECW), the United Nations fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

Transforming Education

Ms. Mohammed reminded President Saied of the invitation of the UN Secretary-General to attend the upcoming UN General Assembly and the important Transforming Education Summit.

The three-day event, which begins at UN headquarters on September 16, aims to define a new vision of education that gives learners of all ages and backgrounds the skills, knowledge and values ​​they need to thrive.

She said that as a teacher, President Saied could help redefine and rethink education in Africa.

The President confirmed his interest in attending and mentioned that adapting education to this new era is fundamental. He said a Supreme Council for Education and Learning is included in Tunisia’s new constitution.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, who also attended the meeting, added that a new social contract is needed between people and their institutions.

Human security essential for Africa

The meeting with President Saied came a day after Ms. Mohammed addressed TICAD8, where she focused on the importance of realizing a sustainable and resilient society based on the concept of human security.

She highlighted how the partnerships established at the conference over the years have helped to increase access to health services, education, water and sanitation, in addition to promoting peace and stability.

However, she said many people still struggle when it comes to issues such as housing, health, education and gender equality.

In addition, new challenges have emerged which jeopardize sustainable developmentsuch as the global food and energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, and the “triple planetary crisis” of climate, biodiversity and pollution.

“Achieving human security — safe from fear, want and indignity — is more important than ever to protect the people of Africa from threats to their survival, dignity and livelihoods,” she said.

“It is also essential for the empowerment of all, including women, children and other vulnerable groups – to shape and fully own the process of building communities and nations.

Solutions for a sustainable future

The conference was an opportunity to leverage the human security approach to finding solutions to today’s global challenges, Ms. Mohammed told attendees.

“This will help countries and communities across Africa access the best solutions to accelerate progress. Only then can we deliver on our promises and help millions of people in Africa co-create a sustainable and inclusive future,” she says.

Deputy UN chief outlined five ways the human security approach can help countries navigate the current ‘complex landscape’ as they strive to achieve UN-defined development goals and the African Union.

“Faced with systemic risks, we must intensify our work of recovery, prevention and anticipation of future crises in an integrated way. Prospective analysis and research on social protection will be key tools,” she said.


A women's cooperative is formed in the commune of Yoko, Cameroon.

© UN Women/Ryan Brown

A women’s cooperative is formed in the commune of Yoko, Cameroon.

People-centered approaches

Ms Mohammed called for a “data revolution”. She said indicators of development progress must go beyond simply focusing on measures such as gross domestic product (GDP) to determine well-being to better measure vulnerabilities.

“People-centred and people-centred approaches should be at the heart of everything we do“, she pointed out. “Rebuilding trust and promoting a stronger social contract between governments and citizens must be an integral part of our efforts.

His fourth point was on the New Agenda for Peace – a United Nations platform for constructive dialogue on the nexus between peace, development and humanitarian affairs, as contained in the report of the United Nations Secretary-General United titled Our common future.

“We need a reset of current responses to prevent and resolve conflicts. Women will be key players in this endeavor,” she added.

For her final point, Ms. Mohammed stressed the need to pay greater attention to digital threats, including online propaganda and hate speech.

At the same time, governments need to find ways to using technology to serve peopleshe added, while ensuring that core learning includes the use of digital tools in teaching and learning for all.

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