African Union Agenda 2063: Impediments and Prospects for Sudan – Side event from the 40th session of the Human Rights Council (2019).
For CD4Peace and its commitment to sustainable development, the side event hosted by the Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development was while interesting. Unfortunately, this event, focusing on the path forward for Sudan in achieving the 2063 Agenda laid out by the African Union, took place in a mostly empty room and failed to engage some of the major theme of sustainable development found in the Agenda 2063. Indeed, it barely mentioned sustainable development, clearly showing that for many decision-makers, creating an equitable society is not considered as a critical step to building peace. This gap is specifically the area that CD4Peace hopes one day to fill, by informing policymakers that by ensuring cultural diversity and sustainable development, they could build more peaceful societies.
The conversation that took place was held in the wake of strong protests taking place in Sudan throughout the months of January and February. The first panelist, Mr. Elligai, introduced the Agenda 2063, defining it as more important than the UN Agenda 2030. Indeed, it represents the strategic framework through which the social and economic transformation of Africa will occur throughout the next 50 years. It seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and future initiatives for sustainable development, and shows that the leadership of the African Union are clearly prioritizing the importance of sustainable development to their long-term ambitions.
However, the effective implementation of the 2063 Agenda is facing several challenges. The case of Sudan is of particular interest, since the war and violence that had proliferated throughout the country represent obstacles to Africa’s transformation. To Dr. Mujahid Ibrahim, Western intervention’s ambition was ultimately to destroy Africa’s “breadbasket”. Indeed, it is the major driver of famine in the region, harming its potential at large. What had started as a simple humanitarian mission evolved into the ambition of South Sudanese independence.
However, one of the clear messages to emanate from the side event is the call from the Sudanese community to end the international community’s negative intervention in their affairs. Peace and political stability need to come from the Sudanese people themselves.
Moreover, Dr. Abdulkareem concluded this event by addressing the human rights situation in Sudan from a legal and regulatory perspective. He decried the overwhelming use of violence from both police officers and protesters, while demanding that all participating in such acts should be held accountable. Moreover, despite the existence of several human rights legislation in the country, the state still needed to engage in legal reforms, with the recommendations of the 2011 UPR a good place to start, in order to effectively implement the 2063 Agenda’s initiatives.
To summarize, achieving the African Union Agenda 2063 is a real challenge, especially in destabilized African countries facing numerous obstacles, such as Sudan. Therefore, the international community must do whatever is possible to encourage and support change in these countries, to achieve a sustainable development crucial for our future, instead of inhibit it. Last but not least, events like these demonstrate the need for organizations like CD4Peace to provide long-term solutions to improving societal conditions in countries such as Sudan.