Tuesday, August 21, 2018 08:05:59 AM
Amina J. Mohammed :
The 2030 Agenda is the most ambitious plan governments have ever developed to eradicate extreme poverty and safeguard our planet. While it is a global agenda, it will only be achieved by addressing the multidimensional aspects of poverty and through ensuring ownership on the part of communities, local authorities and individuals.
There are many examples of local actors, cities and state governments in particular, that are creating new development pathways, overhauling their plans and budgets and taking other innovative steps to achieve the ambitious SDG targets.
Durban, South Africa and Cauayan City in the Philippines have aligned their development plans with the SDG targets, while local governments in Benin have made SDG progress a condition for accessing national funding.
Meanwhile, Kaduna State in Nigeria conducted a robust multi-level data exercise to analyze how all of its residents, particularly the most vulnerable, are faring in relation to each Sustainable Development Goal.
We need more of these local SDG leaders. At the 2017 session of the High Level Political Forum, it was revealed that local and regional governments have participated in only 57 per cent of the National Voluntary Reviews. We will not achieve the SDG's if such low engagement with local governments continues.
To achieve the SDGs, all communities must be engaged substantively.
We must also increase our knowledge of local conditions. All data must be disaggregated, capturing the lives of residents in the most rural areas and densest informal settlements. And we must act on that knowledge with finance that reaches the communities most in need. Global and national funds must be decentralized and new financial instruments developed in cities and states.
As a former minister, I know the important role of community-focused programmes and projects. In my current role, I see, even more clearly, the value of local actions in realizing global development efforts.
You know as well as anyone the conditions that can make or break efforts to expand development opportunities to everyone.
Across Nigeria, local initiatives led by state governments, civil society actors and financiers are making outstanding contributions to poverty reduction.
The Ekuri Initiative, for example, which is located in the Cross River State, seeks to sustainably manage the forest as a community asset, generating income, subsistence materials and food.
The Smallholders Foundation is using rural radio broadcasts to educate 250,000 farmers on modern agricultural and environmental management techniques, to provide up-to-date market information, and give farmers a platform on which to advertise their products.
Nigeria, like many African countries, is at a crossroads. The country has an opportunity to build on recent economic, political and social gains and to leverage its vast human and natural resources to eradicate poverty.
At the same time, many internal conflicts are challenging the genuine efforts of Nigeria's leaders, including the insurgency in the north-east, the issue of militancy in the Niger Delta and disputes between herders and farmers, thus undermining and reversing development gains.
To address these challenges, we must prioritize an integrated response to peace, security, human rights and development. And we must improve our efforts to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts while promoting inclusive, sustained and equitable development.
Harnessing the power of partnerships will be critical. We must deepen the joint and coordinated efforts of the federal government, state governments, local authorities, private sector and civil society organizations. Nigeria has taken concrete steps in this direction.
Under the leadership of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria launched the first national Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's), to coordinate public-private partnerships and amplify locally-driven solutions to achieve the SDG's. The PSAG includes 13 diverse partners, including Lagos Business School, the Dangote Group, General Electric and the Sahara Group.
The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa is another inspiring example of partnership mobilization to achieve the SDG's. Chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Aliko Dangote, CEO of the Dangote Group, the Center brings together national governments, civil society and private sector leaders to collectively devise SDG solutions such as advancing inter-country projects on sustainable infrastructure and development of new platforms to better connect communities to achieve the SDG's.
Meanwhile, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has stimulated inspiring partnerships between the Ministers, immunization and health experts in Nigerian States and private sector companies to strengthen vaccine cold chain infrastructure in Nigeria.
Together with initiatives such as Project Last Mile and Coca-Cola, the Foundation aims to increase the number of Nigerian children who can access life-ensuring vaccines, with the focus on the most vulnerable and hardest to reach children.
Similar work is underway elsewhere in Africa, such as in Ethiopia, where the Gates Foundation is supporting the advancement of national priorities and reinforcing government leadership in the areas of agriculture and health- through partnerships across the country that aim to improve agricultural productivity and increase the coverage of life-saving health and nutrition interventions.
UNDP is also partnering with the relevant authorities to promote SDG localization in Anambra, Benue, Kaduna and Kogi States, and to support implementation and monitoring of SDG-based State Development Plans.
The promise of the 2030 Agenda to leave no-one behind cannot be kept without translating global goals into local action. This requires concerted and coordinated efforts at all levels of decision-making, and the empowerment of local actors.
To eradicate poverty and ensure a life of dignity for all, we must work with the world's most vulnerable people at the level of their everyday realities to make extreme poverty a problem of the past.
(Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, in an address to the UN Commission on Social Development).
THE rituals of the annual congregation of Muslims in the holiest city Mecca to perform the religious obligatory have begun with devotion, piety, and cheer that ended into Eid-ul-Azha. The Eid comes to the life of 1.5 billion adherents of Islam when a majority of the followers are undergoing political ...
AFP, Cincinnati :Novak Djokovic ended a career-long jinx, lifting the trophy in Cincinnati at last to complete a matched set of Masters 1000 titles.Djokovic, who came up empty in five prior Cincinnati finals, defeated seven-time winner Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the final.The former world number one became the first ...
Reuters, Kochi :Indian health authorities prepared defenses against the spread of disease in flood-hit Kerala state on Monday as water receded and a huge clean-up gathered pace after the worst floods in a century killed more than 200 people.Incessant rain since Aug. 8 in the southern state has swelled rivers ...
Seven people, including three leaders of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), were killed and six others injured in two gun attacks in Khagrachhari town on Saturday. With these, 33 people have so far been killed in violence in Rangamati and Khagrachhari this year. The UPDF alleged that it was a ...
AFP, Madrid :Two goals from Lionel Messi either side of a Philippe Coutinho strike allowed Barcelona to start their defence of the Spanish title with a 3-0 win over Alaves at the Camp Nou on Saturday night.Wearing the captain's armband following the departure of Andres Iniesta to Japan, Messi stepped ...
Bepannaah actress Jennifer Winget likes to challenge herself with each of her projects. “I like to do something that challenges me. I like to do something different from my previous characters,” Jennifer told IANS. “I have been fortunate enough to be offered characters and projects that challenge me and that ...
Reuters, Vienna :Russian President Vladimir Putin danced arm-in-arm with Austria's foreign minister Karin Kneissl at her wedding on Saturday, after receiving an invitation that opposition critics said undermined the West's stance against Moscow.Mr Putin arrived in a car carrying a bouquet of flowers and accompanied, local media said, by a ...
IN the latest development, the US Treasury on Friday slapped sanctions on four Myanmar military and police commanders and two army units for involvement in "ethnic cleansing" and other human rights abuses against the country's Rohingya minority. In response to Myanmar's crackdown on the Rohingyas, the sanctions are so far ...
Usain Bolt says he's deadly serious about becoming a professional footballer and plans to show the world what he's capable of after arriving in Australia Saturday for a trial stint with an A-League club.The superstar athlete has been given the chance to prove his worth by the Central Coast Mariners, ...
Family and close friends of Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre have come out as the biggest support in her journey of fighting cancer. The actress who has been diagnosed with high-grade cancer is undergoing her treatment in New York. Being a true fighter, Sonali has not shied away from sharing her ...
Entertainment Desk : The 12th death anniversary of Shamsur Rahman, one of the major poets in modern Bengali literature, was observed on Friday in a befitting manner.Marking the anniversary, different socio-cultural organisations placed wreaths at the grave of the poet at Banani graveyard and arranged Doa Mahfil.Jatiya Kabita Parishad and Kabi ...