Tanzania`s Dr Asha-Rose Mtengeti Migiro, who has just completed her five-year term as United Nations Deputy Secretary General, has appealed to decision makers in Africa to draw on recommendations by the MDG Africa Steering Group and design effective national development strategy plans.
The call forms part of the gist of an opinion article she has penned as her own evaluation of her tenure as second-in-command at the world body.
Dr Migiro says that the MDG (Millennium Development Goals) Africa Steering Group, launched by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in September 2007, brings together the leading institutions supporting the continent’s development.
“After five years of dedicated deliberations, the Working Group, which I had the privilege of leading, has produced concrete recommendations and outlined an implementation plan which I strongly recommend to decision-makers in Africa and elsewhere,” she notes.
“If properly applied, this plan could serve as a practical tool-box for the design of effective national development strategy plans,” she adds.
In the article (full text on Page 7), Dr Migiro warns that the time for taking stock of the achievement of the MDGs in September next year was fast approaching, and it is From Page 1
only fair to say that the eight goals have provided an effective framework to improve the lives of ordinary people everywhere and, without any doubt, in Africa.
“We know today that beyond simple empathy, societies are more resilient and successful when there is greater equity among all citizens,” she points out.
Commenting on the role of the UN Deputy Secretary General, she says it has evolved to include system-wide coordination and coherence as the world body grew in size and scope.
She elaborates that this has proved invaluable in providing leadership on implementing the ‘Delivering as One’ initiative, which promotes the conduct of the United Nations’ operational activities for development.
An upbeat Dr Migiro explains that she was leaving the organisation when recent authoritative statistics indicated that global efforts to halve the number of poor in the world are yielding results.
“The fact that this is happening in spite of the negative impact of one of the most severe financial and economic crisis in our lifetime is cause for optimism in our work on development,” she says.
She describes advancing the achievement of the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals at the global, regional and national levels as having been an essential aspect of her work.
“I drew a lot of inspiration from the remarkable global commitment and support shown by all development partners: governments, civil society organisations, academia and businesses alike. They collectively embraced the MDGs as the premier framework in the fight against extreme poverty,” she notes.
Dr Migiro also recommends the UN Secretary General’s pledge to establish the MDG Integrated Implementation Framework (IIF), which was launched last month.
She sees the framework serving as the first-ever “one-stop-shop” web-based tool to monitor policy and funding commitments to development, hence making all stakeholders more accountable and focused in delivering measurable progress.
Elaborating on her time at the UN, Dr Migiro says it was “a real privilege and a genuinely humbling experience to help respond to some of the most daunting challenges”.
The challenges included extreme poverty, gender inequality, disease and violence against women and girls, as well as the need to contribute to collective efforts to improve the management and stewardship of the UN in a complex international environment.
She has promised to remain engaged in any capacity she may have in the future in support of the work and objectives of the world body, saying “an effective response to the daunting challenges before us will continue to require the committed and collective dedication of all: governments, civil society, business, philanthropic organisations, academic institutions”.
Law graduate Dr Migiro, who turns 56 today, served as Tanzania’s Community Development, Gender and Children minister from 2000 to 2006 and thereafter as Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation minister under President Jakaya Kikwete.
On January 5, 2007, she was named UN Deputy Secretary General on January 5, 2007 but was formally appointed and assumed office on February 1, 2007.
Ban is quoted as having once said of Dr Migiro: “She is a highly respected leader who has championed the cause of developing countries over the years... Through her distinguished service in diverse areas, she has displayed outstanding management skills with wide experience and expertise in socio-economic affairs and development issues.”