CEB reviewed current economic and social trends in African development and the serious problems that many African countries continued to face in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and recalled its earlier decision to place African development as a regular item on its agenda.

With the midpoint target date to meet the Millennium Development Goals approaching fast, it was incumbent on the United Nations system to make a strong renewed effort to revitalize its common endeavours in support of Africa. CEB concurred with the need to adopt innovative approaches to addressing African development in the future. The Board called for an inclusive preparatory process to the CEB discussions engaging, as necessary, outside experts to develop clear analyses and specific action-oriented recommendations to strengthen the system support to African development for further consideration by CEB. The Secretary-General observed that the gap between developing countries, particularly in Africa, and the developed world, rather than narrowing, appeared to be widening. At the same time, some countries, including some African countries, were registering very encouraging progress in the path towards the Millennium Development Goals. CEB agreed that Africa should be on the agenda of the next CEB session and the consideration of the issue should proceed on the basis of a thorough preparation for that discussion. CEB also decided that the specific implications for Africa of the Board’s discussion on thematic issues should be highlighted.