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On the sidelines of Egypt's Review at the UN High-Level Political Forum: Maat Discusses Sustainable Development

Okeil: We recommend providing opportunities and strengthening civil society to contribute to sustainable development in Egypt

Bodeli: Morocco can benefit from sustainable tourism in Egypt, and Egypt can adopt Morocco's National Human Development Initiative

Al-Ferjani: We recommend the formation of an Egyptian-Libyan civil society committee so that Libya would benefit from the Egyptian experience

In cooperation with the African Union's Economic Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, organized an event on the reality of sustainable development in North Africa, to provide an evaluation vision for development paths, shed light on the successful experiences in those countries, and discuss the possibilities of achieving them by focusing on the Egyptian model. This event was organized on the sidelines of Egypt’s voluntary national review by United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF).

The representatives of the North African region in the African Union's ECOSOCC agreed that sustainable development in Egypt had achieved many notable successes in the development goals in general, and the first six SDGs of the 2030 Agenda in particular, which have to do with combating poverty, food, health, gender equality and clean water. Besides, they agreed that the obstacles triggered by the emergence and outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the regional and international changes continue to hinder the process of development in Egypt.

Ayman Okeil, President of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, presented an overview of the reality of sustainable development in Egypt and its limits since the launch of “Egypt’s Vision 2030” in 2016. Okeil also highlighted the most important challenges to sustainable development in Egypt, topped by the steady increase of population growth, water scarcity, the negative impacts of the GERD, as well as the lack of sustainable finance. The development expert recommended increasing preventive policies to reduce the cost of economic reform programs and their social repercussions, encouraging the contribution of the private sector, working to provide sources of financing for the sustainable development process, and the need for the government to the participation of the civil society, stakeholders and development partners in the sustainable development process, given their key role in achieving development.

On the other hand, Khaled Bodeli, North Africa Coordinator at the African Union's ECOSOCC, stated that there are determinants that contributed to the success of sustainable development in Egypt, topped by the interest in human development, sustainable tourism, and economic growth through e-government. He added that Morocco can greatly benefit from Egypt’s file of sustainable tourism, and called on Egypt to adopt Morocco's National Human Development Initiative. Bodeli recommended the need to create job opportunities, reduce immigration, pay attention to agricultural and industrial development, encourage diversify production, provide social support, economic liberalization and depend on the employment approach.

Mahmoud Al-Ferjani, head of the Libyan Organization for Cultural Exchange and Democracy and a member of the African Union's ECOSOCC, presented the lessons learned from the Egyptian experience in Libya, and attributed Egypt's ability to launch its 2030 development vision to political stability. Al-Ferjani noted that development in Libya needs parallel political stability and strong political institutions, including a government of national unity, supported by the international community, the Libyan people and neighboring governments. He recommended the possibility of forming an Egyptian-Libyan committee of civil society organizations so that Libya would benefit from the Egyptian experience, given the strength of historical, cultural and religious ties between the two peoples, which contributes to rebuilding the Libyan state and its reconstruction.

Notably, following the event, a study on sustainable development in Egypt through the lens of the existing situation has been released. The study monitors the limits of sustainable development and evaluates its successes and challenges from the perspective of the United Nations development goals.

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