The Annual Meeting for the National Focal Points of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) on the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) was held from 13-14 July 2017 in New York.
The meeting focused on accelerating the implementation and monitoring of the IPoA within the context of the 2030 agenda including the integration of IPoA in the national planning processes.
In a presentation made by Mr. Hassan Soroosh, Acting Director General of Economic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he explained the post-conflict development planning in Afghanistan and the efforts to integrate IPoA into the national development framework.
Mr. Soroosh, in particular, elaborated on the post-2014 development planning and explained the key elements of the self-reliance strategy which laid the foundation for the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) and the new National Priority Programs (NPPs).
He stated that the ANPDF, NPPs as well as Afghanistan- SDGs all aim at advancing sustainable development including through increasing productivity, creating jobs and improving the delivery of essential services to people, thus, helping with the realization of IPoA. He stressed the importance of a whole of government support, inter-ministerial coordination as well as continued high-level oversight for the implementation of SDGs and IPoA and explained the high-level relevant institutional arrangements that exist in Afghanistan.
Mr. Soroosh also highlighted the importance of regional economic cooperation as a cross-cutting enabler for the implementation of the ANPDF, NPPs, SDGs and IPoA. He, in this context, presented the example of Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and stated that investment criterial under RECCA’s new approach, among others, included the impact of priority projects on growth in trade, transit or extractives; their contribution to employment and public revenue; and their role in encouraging private sector participation.
He added that it was expected that the implementation of the priority projects under RECCA in areas such as energy, transport networks, trade and transit facilitation, communications, B2B and labor support would contribute to the implementation of relevant NPPs and thus to the realization of A-SDGs and IPOA in Afghanistan and the wider region.