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Carrying forward the Sharm el Sheikh Commitments on Water and

By Karen Lopez,2014-05-06 11:58
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Carrying forward the Sharm el Sheikh Commitments on Water and

Carrying forward the Sharm el Sheikh Commitments on Water and

    Sanitation adopted by the African Union Assembly of Heads of State

    and Government: “a sprint to the finish line”

    JOHANNESBURG

    MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

I. Introduction

    1. We the African Ministers of Water, and Heads of delegation assembled in

    Johannesburg, South Africa on 9-13 November 2009, in the capacity of the African

    Union’s Specialized Technical Committee on Water and Sanitation, on the occasion of ndndthe 2 Africa Water Week, 2 Pan African Implementation and Partnership Conference thand the 7 Ordinary Session of the African Ministers’ Council on Water are determined

    to carry forward the Sharm el Sheikh Commitments on Water and Sanitation adopted in July 2009.

     th2. We assembled in Johannesburg at 7 Ordinary Session on 13 November 2009

    together with senior officials of the African Union Commission, representatives of Pan-African Institutions, representatives of international communities, civil society women and youth of our region, express our profound gratitude to H.E. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, the people, the government and leadership of the Republic of South Africa, for the excellent arrangement and the conducive environment which facilitated our deliberations . We are deeply thankful to H.E. Ms Buyelwa Sonjica for the very warm welcome and hospitality.

    3. We pay tribute to H.E. Minister Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, outgoing President of AMCOW for the commendable leadership demonstrated during his tenure (2007-

    2009). We highly appreciate the many remarkable and tangible achievements of

    AMCOW during his stewardship. We acknowledge and recognize that he hands over the presidency at greater heights in the growth of the African Ministers’ Council on

    Water. AMCOW has come a long way during his tenure and there is now a firm basis for enhanced progress towards the future. Our appreciation also goes to the outgoing members of the AMCOW Executive Committee and the TAC. Their selfless efforts and contributions are highly valued. We welcome the new members of these two

    committees.

    4. Our deliberation benefitted greatly from opening address of the Minister in the Presidency (National Planning Commission, Hon. Trevor Manuel, MP., who drew

    attention to some of the lingering challenges relating to water infrastructure, unplanned urbanisation, inadequate sanitation, lack of access to clean water, the need to strengthen the management of cross-boundary resources and to expand rain water harvesting and storage. The issues raised in the keynote address will be accorded particular attention by AMCOW.

5. Our Session was preceded by a number of segments, notably the 2nd Africa ndWater Week, the 2 Pan-African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water

    and sanitation, meetings of the sub-regional organs of AMCOW, as well as meetings of the Technical Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee. We express our

    appreciation to the delegation of the African Union Commission for the strategic direction and political guidance provided during our deliberations. There were also meetings of Civil Society and other stakeholders. We commend the African Ministers of Water

    representing the five sub-regions of Africa for significantly contributing to the thdeliberations at our 7 Session

    6. We reaffirm our commitment to accelerate the translation into action, at the national, sub-regional and regional levels of the of the Africa Water Vision 2025 and the Sharm el Sheikh Commitments on Water and Sanitation including its components

relating to the Brazzaville Declaration (2007), the eThekwini Declaration on Sanitation

    nd(2008) and the Tunis Ministerial Declaration on accelerating Africa’s water Africa ndsecurity. Our Session was preceded by a number of segments, notably the 2Water Week, the 2 Pan-African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water

    and sanitation, meetings of the sub-regional organs of AMCOW, as well as meetings of

    the Technical Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee. We express our

    appreciation to the delegation of the African Union Commission for the strategic direction

    and political guidance provided during our deliberations. There were also meetings of

    Civil Society and other stakeholders. We commend the African Ministers of Water

    representing the five sub-regions of Africa for significantly contributing to the thdeliberations at our 7 Session

6. We reaffirm our commitment to accelerate the translation into action, at the

    national, sub-regional and regional levels of the of the Africa Water Vision 2025 and the

    Sharm el Sheikh Commitments on Water and Sanitation including its components

    relating to the Brazzaville Declaration (2007), the eThekwini Declaration on Sanitation

    (2008) and the Tunis Ministerial Declaration on accelerating Africa’s water security.

7. We express our deep gratitude to Africa’s Heads of State and Government for

    having significantly enhanced great political commitment and leadership in the water and

    sanitation sector.

8. The acceptance of H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of the Republic of

    Liberia to be our Goodwill Ambassador on Water and Sanitation in Africa, reconfirmed

    the firm resolve of African leaders to demonstrate high level political commitment. We,

    the African Ministers on Water express our profound gratitude to her for accepting to

    lend leadership to such a great cause.

II. Preamble

    th9. We recognize that the years between Brazzaville (6 Session of AMCOW, May th2007) and Johannesburg (7 Session of AMCOW, November 2009) have witnessed a

    number of significant events and a period during which a number of important

    declarations were adopted, including the Sharm el Sheikh Commitment on Water and

    Sanitation. These include the Ministerial Conference on Sanitation which adopted the steThekwini Declaration, the organization of the 1 Africa Water Week which adopted the

    Tunis Ministerial Declaration on accelerating Africa’s water security, the Ministerial

    meeting on Water for Agriculture and Energy held in Sirte, Libya (December 2008), and ththe Africa Regional events at the 5 World Water Forum. These events and actions

    have increased awareness of water security and sanitation issues, notably water for

    growth and development, the achievement for water and sanitation targets in the Africa

    Water Vision 2025 and the Millennium Development Goals, Impact of Climate Change

    and Variability on Water Resources, Food Security, Financing, Africa Water

    Infrastructure as well as the need for improved regional cooperation on Water

    Resources Management.

10. Our session is being held 5 years prior to the 2015 target date set by the

    international community for achieving the millennium development goals. We fully

recognize that the Sharm el Sheikh Declaration, resulting from the July 2008 Summit of

    African Heads of State and Government, represents, at the highest political level, a

    crucial impetus for urgently addressing Africa’s Water and Sanitation challenges. It also

    provides the mandate and direction to making a renewed and re-invigorated push to

    achieve the MDG water and sanitation target by the 2015.

11. During the period, since our last Council Session, we have seen important

    progress particularly in consolidating initiatives and strategies that have been agreed at our Ordinary Session in May 2007. We note, with satisfaction, that a large number of

    initiatives as well as other commitments, programmes and initiatives for helping achieve

    the 2015 MDG and 2025 Africa Water Vision target for water and sanitation have been

    launched, especially at the sub-regional and regional levels, culminating in the high level of political commitment for accelerating action. We applaud the significant actions taken by governments to reform the water and sanitation sector at the national level and the

    strengthening of relevant policies.

12. Africa has now reached the point where there needs to be greater convergence

    between the high level commitments and delivery through concrete and unambiguous

    actions, strengthening and scaling up of existing initiatives and refinement of strategies to close gaps. With this challenge in mind, we have taken a number of critical decisions

    at our meetings in Johannesburg, which we hereby present to the Africa Union and its

    relevant constituent parts, African countries and their governments, our people and

    institutions. Whilst continuing to rely on our resources and strategies, we shall continue counting on international solidarity and partnership to address the implementation

    challenges confronting us in our pursuit of the achievement of the Sharm el Sheikh

    Commitments on Water and Sanitation.

     nd 13. In light of the above, we express gratitude to the many participants of the 2ndAfrica Water Week, the 2 Pan-African Implementation and Partnership Conference on thWater and Sanitation, the 7 Ordinary Session of the African Ministers’ Council on Water

    and endorse the outcomes of our events held here in Johannesburg, Republic of South

    Africa, on 9-13 November 2009. We also place on record, the key outcomes,

    recommendations and decisions of this event.

III Decisions and Follow-up Actions

    14. AMCOW makes the following decisions as follow-up to the implementation of the

    Sharm el Sheikh Commitments on Water and Sanitation made by our Heads of State in

    July 2008:

    (a) Reporting of country actions in respect of water security i. The document “Delivering on Africa’s Water Security Commitments: A

    Framework for Reporting Actions to the African Union” is adopted as the

    Roadmap for the Implementation of the Sharm-el Sheikh Commitment

    ii. Countries should internalise the actions in their national plans and provide

    annual reports on their water security status; iii. Regional Bodies - RECs, RLBOs - should adopt the reporting mechanism and

    provide input to AMCOW’s annual report on progress on water security;

iv. The modalities for a peer review mechanism on country water and sanitation

    progress shall be developed by the secretariat in consultation with partners; v. The AMCOW Secretariat shall be strengthened to monitor and report actions;

    vi. The Executive Committee (EXCO) should give directives on themes of future

    Africa Water Week.

    (b) Convening of Meeting of Water and Sanitation Ministers

    i. The meeting of African Ministers of Water and Finance requested by the AU and

    to be convened by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and the

    African Development Bank (AfDB) will be held in the first quarter of 2010. The

    meeting will be dedicated to reviewing achievements and to mobilising resources ndrd and 3 phase for the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) 2implementation; that meeting will also discuss broader water security issues of

    AMCOW initiatives.

    15. In order to carry forward the outcomes of our meetings in Johannesburg, we

    shall direct our attention and actions to the following:

i. Convening of meetings of African Water Ministers and Finance Ministers,

    together with development partners; establishing a short-term African Water

    Finance Task Force to bring together the finance story, and to monitor impacts of

    the current financial crisis on investments in African water;

ii. Accelerating progress on implementing the 2008 eThekwini Declaration and

    AfricaSan Action Plan, notably the development of national sanitation and

    hygiene policies;

iii. Increasing commitment to the African Water Facility to scale up its support for

    major infrastructure programmes and projects;

iv. Promoting scale-up support to Country Sector Reviews, National MDG

    Investment Plans and National Finance Strategies;

v. Reviewing achievements and to mobilising resources for the Rural Water Supply

    ndrdand Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) 2 and 3 phase implementation;

vi. Developing a road-map to accelerating progress in drinking water and sanitation

    in Africa, in particular fragile states, where the coverage gaps are greatest, under

    the aegis of AMCOW;

vii. Encouraging urgent disbursement of implementation funds in small-scale water

    management in response to the Africa Food Price Crisis;

viii. Launching and adoption of the pan-African Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

    framework as the monitoring tool in Africa for water and sanitation;

ix. Planning for the Third African Water Week as a forum for high-level policy

    dialogue and knowledge dissemination;

x. Strengthening engagement with the G8 over implementation of the Evian Action

    Plan and Joint Statement of the G8 Africa Water Partnership;

xi. Strengthening AMCOW’s presence at sub-regional and national levels, including

    especially regular convening of sub-regional meetings of AMCOW EXCO and

    institutionalizing partnerships with regional economic communities;

xii. Adopting special measures to ensure gender mainstreaming, particularly

    recognising the role and interests of youth and women are incorporated in all

    water and sanitation policies and programmes;

xiii. Assessing the threat of climate change to the viability of water resources and

    capacity to meet the 2015 MDG water and sanitation targets and put in place

    adaptation measures;

xiv. Developing and/or strengthening and implementing among riparian countries the

    water management policies, laws and action plans for the equitable and

    sustainable use of shared water resources.

IV. Outcomes

A. Outcomes of the 2nd African Water Week (Annex 1) nd Pan African Implementation and Partnership Conference (annex II) B. 2thC. 7 Ordinary Session of AMCOW (Annex III)

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