What are the SDGs
So … What are Sustainable Development Goals ??
Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 ambitious goals to improve livelihood , abbreviated as SDGs these are a universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years. Hence the hash tag #agenda2030 .
Where did these goals come from ?
The Sustainable Development Goals, otherwise known as the Global Goals, build on the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015. The MDGs, adopted in 2000, aimed at an array of issues that included slashing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and access to water and sanitation. Enormous progress has been made on the MDGs, showing the value of a unifying agenda underpinned by goals and targets. Despite this success, the indignity of poverty has not been ended for all.
The new SDGs, and the broader sustainability agenda, go much further than the MDGs, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people.
Why do we need another set of goals?
The eight MDGs – reduce poverty and hunger; achieve universal education; promote gender equality; reduce child and maternal deaths; combat HIV, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; develop global partnerships – failed to consider the root causes of poverty and overlooked gender inequality as well as the holistic nature of development. The goals made no mention of human rights and did not specifically address economic development. While the MDGs, in theory, applied to all countries, in reality they were considered targets for poor countries to achieve, with finance from wealthy states. Conversely, every country will be expected to work towards achieving the SDGs.
A list of the 17 goals –
1 Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere
2 Ending hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
3 Ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
4 Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
5 Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls
6 Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
7 Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
8 Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
9 Building resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
10 Reducing inequality within and among countries
11Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
12 Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns
13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact
14 Conserving and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
15 Protecting, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all
17 building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels and Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development .
But Zimbabwe has decided to prioritise 10 goals …
SDG 8 , 7 , 2 , 9 , 6 , 13 , 3 , 4 , 5 , and 17
Together we can
#myZimSDGs – Leaving no one behind
UN high level political forum nudges SDGs forward
Bishow Parajuli and Amarakoon Bandara
Zimbabwe presented its progress report on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) from 10 to 19 July 2017 at the UN headquarters in New York.
Under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the HLPF is the central, all-member states’ follow-up and review platform of the Agenda 2030 and its 17 SDGs.
Zimbabwe’s delegation led by the Minister of Macroeconomic Planning and Investment Promotion, Dr Obert Mpofu was comprised of Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Dr Judith Kateera and other government officials, representatives of civil society and youth organisations.
The forum was chaired by the president of ECOSOC, Ambassador Frederick Shava, Zimbabwe’s permanent representative to the UN.
This year’s HLPF was significant for Zimbabwe, one of the 44 countries (7 from Africa) that undertook a Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the SDGs.
Zimbabwe has put in place institutional structures and is articulating a prioritised agenda for achieving the SDGs, one of the first few countries to do so even before the SDGs were formally adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015.
Zimbabwe’s commitment was reconfirmed at the HLPF by Dr Mpofu, who said: “To us in Zimbabwe, SDGs represent a core constitutional value and an overall strategic development imperative”.
The forum was an eye opener with rich discussions on the issues, challenges and opportunities in implementing the SDGs and emphasis on country experiences so far in the process.
The UN Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterres was forthright in his statement on the shortcomings of globalisation, especially its adverse effects on inequality, despite dramatic progress in trade, global wealth and improved living conditions all over the world.
Mr Guterres lamented that youth unemployment presents a severe challenge in different parts of the world, undermining the future of the youth but also making them a target by extremist groups threatening global peace and security.
The answer lies in the multilateral governance structures, and the Agenda 2030 has enormous potential to overcome this deficit of trust.
The Secretary General underscored that it is only by working together that we can build the trust and multilateral governance needed to lead the Agenda 2030.
He emphasized the reform of the UN development system to make it fit to help countries achieve the SDGs.
In his keynote speech, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, special advisor to UN Secretary-General on the SDGs was very critical of the vested interests of fossil fuel lobbies that are “killing” the planet and the paltry level of funding to implement the Agenda 2030 despite the world being richer than ever.
His call for “big, bold thinking” warrants attention by all the key players in the global political economic scene as the success of a complex and comprehensive global development agenda such as the Agenda 2030 depends very much on the technical and financial support to developing countries to take initiatives to build domestic capacities, including strengthening fiscal space, to implement SDGs.
The two specific proposals made by Professor Sachs that is the “SDG Fund” for low income countries and compensation based on the polluter pay principle for climate related loss and damage, merit further consideration.
The VNR reports provided ample evidence of what governments could do to achieve agenda 2030.
The following are some observations from these reports of interest to Zimbabwe:
First, Innovation is the key driver for growth, not only to cater for the immediate needs of the people but also to Zimbabwe’s development aspirations in the medium to long run.
Zimbabwe could adopt many good practices from around the world, some of which were presented at the HLPF. For example, Thailand’s e-payment system to support the livelihoods of 12 million people and the “New Theory of Farming” under the sufficiency economy philosophy as well as Kenya’s “Beyond Zero campaign” to accelerate economic and social development through the health facet were cited as innovative approaches. In addition, Malaysia’s “philosophy of growth with equity” based on a two-pronged strategy of poverty eradication and restructuring of society and Netherlands’ “Green Deals”-cross sector partnerships on themes like energy, biodiversity, water, resources, climate, food and construction, were highlighted as cost effective approaches that could have significant beneficial effects on development. Zimbabwe’s own initiative to mobilise domestic resources through the AIDS levy to fight against the disease is considered a good practice for others to adopt.
Secondly, Zimbabwe has ample resources and capacities to successfully implement SDGs, if decisive action is taken in policy design and sustained implementation, institutional change and allocation of funds. And that action should be taken now looking to the future, but without forgetting the past.
As expressed at the Financing for Development Conference held in Addis Ababa in July 2015 and well-articulated in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), the primary responsibility of implementing the Agenda 2030 rests with national governments, which was acknowledged at the HLPF. The UN, the International Financial Institutions and Official Development Assistance should continue to play a catalytic role by leveraging their resource bases and comparative advantages.
Third, the successor to ZIM ASSET, the national development plan – provides a great window of opportunity for designing a development strategy that is forward looking, inclusive practical and funded through a healthy mix of domestic financing, private sector financing, development assistance and so on.
A common message of most VNR reports was an inclusive and multi-stakeholder approach to designing national development policies that involves communities, youths, the private sector, civil society, the media, different vulnerable groups and parliamentarians, among others, would leave no one behind.
Such an approach will enable for the building of strong ownership of strategies in achieving national development objectives and the SDGs. Sustained partnerships matter for development, especially in a natural resource rich country like Zimbabwe where availability of technology and capital make a huge difference in making maximum use of such resources for growth and improved well-being.
At the heart of it all, well-functioning accountability and transparency mechanisms at all levels are key for the above-mentioned initiatives to effectively work. Curbing corruption, closing the tap on resource leakages and loopholes as well as international efforts to cap illicit financial flows which drain financial resources along with the use of ODA to supplement national efforts would increase the momentum in implementation of SDGs.
In addressing some of these issues and taking the SDG implementation agenda forward, we are pleased to note plans by the government to convene a Zimbabwe Financing for Development Conference to explore domestic and external financial resources.
The UN Development System in Zimbabwe stands ready to partner with the government and all other stakeholders to make the SDGs a reality for all Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe VNR summarised report – High Level Political forum presentation
imbabwe Voluntary National Review (VNR) of SDGs for the High Level Political Forum- Summary of Key Messages
Zimbabwe Voluntary National Review of SDGs full report
Zimbabwe Voluntary National Review (VNR) of SDGs for the High Level Political Forum full report
: PRFT co-hosts a side event with CAFOD and SightSavers at the High Level Political Forum
Revised draft calls for putting the furthest behind first.
The co-facilitators of consultations on the 2017 Ministerial Declaration of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High-Level Segment and the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) released a revised draft, ahead of a reading by UN Member States on 20-21 June 2017. The joint declaration is expected to be adopted by the HLPF on 19 July 2017, and by the ECOSOC High-level Segment on 20 July 2017.
The HLPF will take place from 10-19 July 2017, in New York, US. It will consider the theme ‘Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world,’ hold an in-depth review of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14 and 17, and hear 44 Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) on implementing the SDGs at the country level.
The revised draft, issued on 19 June following informal consultations on the zero draft on 15-16 June, highlights the global SDG indicator framework agreed by the UN Statistical Commission, with Member States welcoming its adoption and looking forward to its implementation and “continual improvement in an inclusive manner.” The text stresses the need to build national capacities for follow-up and review.
Unlike the zero draft, the revised draft does not refer to the establishment of an interagency task force to provide further policy guidance towards national efforts to enhance policy integration for achieving the SDGs. The revised draft encourages countries to fully implement the Paris Agreement on climate change, or to deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession as soon as possible, and stresses the importance of strengthening disaster risk reduction and early warning systems.
On SDG 1 (no poverty), the revised draft calls for putting the furthest behind first. It also highlights the need to: adapt institutions and policies to take into account the multidimensional nature of poverty and the interlinkages between different SDGs and targets, and to implement nationally appropriate social protection systems for all.
On SDG 2 (zero hunger), the draft notes that resilient, sustainable and inclusive food systems that protect natural resources, sustain rural and urban livelihoods, and provide access to nutritious foods from smallholder producers, must be at the heart of efforts to simultaneously eradicate poverty and hunger, ensure adequate nutrition and promote prosperity. It calls for urgently and effectively responding to rising crises and emergency levels of food insecurity, affecting millions of people. The revised draft does not refer to the Accelerated Agriculture and Agro-industry Development Initiative PLUS (3ADI+) or the Programme for Country Partnerships, which were mentioned in the zero draft.
On SDG 3 (good health and well-being), the revised draft stresses the need to step up efforts to combat communicable diseases, to strengthen preparedness to respond to epidemic outbreaks, and to promote investment in scientific research and innovation to meet health challenges. On SDG 5 (gender equality), the draft notes the “mutually reinforcing links” between the achievement of gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls and the eradication of poverty, as well as the need to ensure an adequate standard of living for women and girls throughout the life cycle. It also calls for implementing all other SDGs in a manner that delivers results for women and girls.
On SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), the draft highlights the importance of innovation-driven development and the growth of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). On SDG 14 (life below water), the draft calls on all stakeholders to urgently undertake the actions highlighted in the Call for Action adopted during the UN Ocean Conference and to implement the voluntary commitments pledged during that Conference.
On SDG 17 (partnerships for the goals), the draft stresses that strengthened multi-stakeholder partnerships are instrumental in achieving poverty eradication and the SDGs. It encourages the UN system to share knowledge and best practices on partnership approaches with a view to improving transparency, coherence, due diligence, accountability and impact. By the text, Member States would encourage continued support for operationalizing the Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) and the Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
Africa: Slow Growth Stalls SDGs’ Progress
By Tharanga Yakupitiyage
United Nations — The world will not be on track to eradicate poverty by 2030 if current growth trends continue, a UN task force found.
The Inter Agency Task Force, comprising over 50 international institutions, launched a report assessing progress on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, a global framework on development financing to help implement the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Though there has been some progress in development financing, slow global economic growth and decreased trade and investment growth since the 2008 financial crisis has hampered progress on the SDGs, including the eradication of poverty by 2030.
“Despite expectations of improved growth in 2017 and 2018, the current global environment bodes poorly for the achievement of the SDGs,” said Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Wu Hongbo.
In 2016, the world economy grew at its slowest rate since the crisis and the global GDP is projected to grow at less than 3 percent over the next two years. Such rates are likely to leave almost 7 percent of the world’s population extremely poor by 2030. Least developed countries (LDCs) will fall the farthest behind, Hongbo stated.
Though the number of people living on less than 1.25 dollars per day has decreased dramatically in the last few decades, the decline largely relied on strong economic growth in developing countries, the report notes.
Low economic growth is also contributing to rising levels of unemployment. The International Labor Organisation estimates that there will be 3.4 million more unemployed people in 2017 than in 2016, and further increases are expected in 2018.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) Director of the Division on Globalisation and Development Strategies Richard Kozul-Wright noted that these trends are partly due to the failure to develop sustainable growth strategies.
“A lot of people expected that the post financial crisis that there will be a serious reflection on the kinds of growth strategies forged prior to the crisis which were clearly unsustainable and not inclusive, but that hasn’t really happened,” he said.
Weak investment is another major challenge hindering the achievement of the SDGs and thus growth, he added.
Between 1 and 5 trillion dollars of additional investment is needed for infrastructure alone, a key element to help sustain growth in developing countries. Transportation infrastructure enables trade and economic development, which is particularly important in land-locked developing countries, while energy-related infrastructure is essential for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
However, public and private infrastructure investment has declined globally. Though official development assistance (ODA) increased by almost 9 percent in 2016 from 2015, escalating humanitarian needs have led to significant short-term and long-term financial gaps.
Uncertainty in key policies of major countries only heightens risks in the global economy, including the U.S.’ proposals to cut foreign aid and climate finance.
Hongbo noted that the creation of national policies that align with the SDGs as well as international cooperation to boost sustainable and inclusive growth is crucial.
“Many of the challenges that countries face, including slow economic growth, climate change, and humanitarian crises, have cross-border or global repercussions and it cannot be addressed by any one actor alone,” he stated.
The launch of the report coincided with the second annual forum on financing for development which brought together member states and international organizations to discuss the pressing issues laid out in the report and its potential solutions.
Participants reached an agreement on SDG financing, calling on governments to increase and adhere to their ODA commitments and improve tax policies, including international efforts to fight tax evasion, while urging development banks and private sector actors to help mobilize catalytic resources.
“We will have our voice heard whenever we can, we will speak loudly for the LDCs and the vulnerable countries and its people,” Hongbo concluded
VNR Countries in Special Situations Report on SDG Progress
6 June 2017: Twelve countries that will present Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the 2017 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) are part of the small island developing States (SIDS), least developed countries (LDCs) or landlocked developing countries (LLDCs). Most of these countries have shared the “main messages” of their reports, showing that many have made institutional and consultative arrangements for implementing the SDGs and are currently establishing follow-up mechanisms.
The VNRs are a component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development follow-up and review process at the global level, and are presented during the annual session of the HLPF under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Through the VNRs, governments discuss national efforts in implementing the SDGs. According to UN General Assembly resolution 70/299, the VNRs aim to “facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned.” The Division for Sustainable Development of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has created an online platform for the VNRs, featuring the main messages from each volunteering country.
As per these main messages, Belize (SIDS) says it has adopted the ‘Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS) 2016-2020,’ which serves as a national integrated development strategy that incorporates the principles and priorities of the SDGs. It reports that a GSDS Monitoring and Evaluation Framework has been developed, and that the Statistical Institute of Belize has embarked on a program to enhance its capacity to act as the central repository for GSDS and SDG statistics. Belize says it will discuss in particular SDG 5 (gender equality) and 14 (life below water) during the HLPF.
The Maldives (SIDS) notes that it will carry out a rapid integrated assessment and identify national priorities for the SDG targets through consultations with implementing agencies, civil society and the private sector. The Maldives has established a National Ministerial Coordination Committee to provide overall policy guidance and political support towards the implementation of SDGs, supported by a Technical Committee on SDGs that brings together representatives from various government institutions and civil society. On monitoring, the country is identifying data gaps and will develop a monitoring framework to monitor and report on SDG targets achievements. It plans to organize focused awareness sessions for parliamentarians, local councils, and members of the judiciary, non governmental organizations (NGOs), students and the general public by the end of 2017.
Bangladesh (LDC) notes that it has integrated the 2030 Agenda in its seventh Five Year Plan (FYPs) 2016-2020, and should finalize an action plan for implementing the SDGs in line with the FYP by June 2017. At the institutional level, Bangladesh has established an ‘SDGs Implementation and Monitoring Committee’ at the Prime Minister’s Office to facilitate implementation of the SDGs Action Plan, and has introduced an Annual Performance Agreement (APA), which serve as a results-based performance management system that assesses individual and ministries performance. It reports that it has mapped out lead, co-lead and associate ministries against each SDG target to reduce duplication of efforts and enhance synergies. According to its main messages document, the government has data for 70 indicators, partially available data for 108 indicators, and needs to devise new data mining mechanisms for 63 indicators.
Benin (LDC) reports that it has organized a high-level seminar on the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as several awareness-raising workshops on the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda for public decision-makers, administrators, civil society organizations, universities, the private sector, young people, women, parliamentarians and the media, among others. It has adopted an institutional framework structured around four thematic groups (Social, Economic, Environmental and Governance) organized around focal points responsible for planning and programming in sectoral ministries, and supported by various stakeholders. Based on a mapping exercise, approximately 60-70% of the SDG targets are already taken into account by national policies and strategies, the main messages indicate.
Togo (LDCs) notes that a training was organized for national and subregional actors on tools and methodologies for integrating SDGs and their targets in planning processes. The Government is also developing its national development plan 2018-2022, which will incorporate the SDGs. To this end, indicators have been defined, and objectives, targets and indicators have been prioritized. Other initiatives undertaken by Togo to implement the SDGs include: the development of a national program for capacity building and modernization of the State for sustainable development; a training on a sustainable development analysis grid (GADD-F) and on a strategy for sustainable public procurement in Togo; and raising awareness of parliamentarians, the media and civil society on the Goals.
In its main messages, Botswana (LLDC) outlines its efforts to align it national Vision 2036 (2017-2036), its National Development Plan 11 (2017-2023), and the associated District and Urban Development Plans with the SDGs. In terms of institutional arrangements, Botswana says it has established a National Steering Committee (NSC) to drive the policy agenda, a Technical Task Force (TTF), and a SDG Secretariat in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED), and has defined a National SDGs Roadmap. The roadmap identifies broad areas to be covered in the medium to long term (coordination, ownership and leadership; implementation; and data and progress tracking and reporting), and a plan of action for the next five years which will be broken down into annual workplans.
Botswana also indicates that the country has mapped SDGs indicators and aligned them to the national Vision 2036, the National Development Plan 11 and the African Union Agenda 2063, and that Statistics Botswana will be responsible for monitor progress on SDG implementation in conjunction with the National Strategy Office (NSO). Its VNR will focus on SDG 1 (No poverty), but will highlight links with other goals related to hunger, health and well being, gender equality, infrastructure, and means of implementation. It also reports that several private sector entities (including the Botswana Stock Exchange and Debswana) and financial institutions are embracing the SDGs in the country.
Zimbabwe (LLDC) notes it will prioritize SDGs 2 (zero hunger), 3 (good health and well-being), 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 6 (clean water and sanitation), 7 (affordable and clean energy), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 13 (climate action) and 17 (partnerships for the goals). It reports that its Government has established an institutional framework for the SDGs, including: a steering committee chaired by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet to provide overall guidance and strategic leadership to the process; a technical committee; thematic clusters for mainstreaming and localizing the SDGs; a monitoring and evaluation policy; and a Parliamentary Thematic Committee on the SDGs.
Azerbaijan (LLDC) mentions that it has a National Coordination Council for Sustainable Development (NCCSD) with its Secretariat in the Ministry of Economy, and has established four thematic working groups (TWGs) on: economic growth and decent jobs; social development; environmental issues; and monitoring and evaluation. On data and statistics, the country’s main messages note that intensive consultations are still in progress to align the SDGs, their targets and indicators to national priorities. The State Statistical Committee (SSC) is a key national agency responsible for processing and maintaining a database to measure progress on the SDGs, and all central government agencies and local governments have appointed focal points to support the SSC in collecting and processing data, and introducing new indicators for SDG monitoring and evaluation. Azerbaijan reports it will create an interactive web-platform to promote awareness on global and national SDG goals, targets, milestones and indicators, and will convene, in 2018, a National SDG Conference in collaboration with the UN Country Office to discuss means of implementation for SDGs at the national level.
Tajikistan (LLDC) notes that its National Development Strategy (that goes to 2030) and its Mid-term Development Program for 2016-2020 are two key tools for nationalizing the SDGs. As to its main messages, Tajikistan has identified strategic development goals for the next 15 years that are aligned with the SDGs, including on: ensuring energy security and efficient use of electricity (SDG 7); ensuring food security and people’s access to good quality nutrition (SDGs 1 and 2); and expanding productive employment (SDG 8). It adds that the integration of related SDG indicators into its monitoring and evaluation system will be a priority for the next five years.
Ethiopia (LDC and LLDC) reports that all the SDGs have been integrated in the priority areas of its Second Five Year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) 2015/16-2019/20, approved by the Council of Ministers and ratified by the House of Peoples Representatives of Ethiopia, and that it has become legally binding to implement the SDGs in the country. Its main messages state that approximately 70% of its annual regular national budget allocation has been focusing on poverty oriented sectors such as agriculture, education, health, water and sanitation, and rural roads, and that its SDG-integrated GTP II seeks to attain a national poverty level of 16.7 % by 2019/20.
As per its main messages document, Afghanistan (LDC and LLDC) says the Ministry of Economy is the lead line ministry and focal point for the coordination, monitoring and reporting on the SDGs, and the nationalization process is closely coordinated with High Council of Ministers. The country indicates that it has an oversight ‘National Coordination Commission’ supported by a secretariat and technical working groups that work on data collection and verification, reporting and follow-up mechanisms for the SDGs. The Government is finalizing the nationalization of SDGs, targets and indicators, and has conducted around 50 workshops, seminars, symposiums and conferences with civil society organizations, private sector actors, academia, media, youth, students and women’s groups on this matter, the document says.
Nepal is another LDC/LLDC country that has volunteered to present its VNR during the HLPF 2017, but its main messages are not available yet. The VNR presentations are scheduled for the second week of the 2017 HLPF, as part of the three-day ministerial segment (17-19 July). [VNRs 2017 Online Platform] [HLPF 2017 Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on VNRs Online Platform]
Engage children participation in implementing SDGs
BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
The SDGs, otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by year 2030.
These 17 goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, among other priorities.
Speaking during the Child Coalition Conference held in Harare recently, Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC) programmes officer Maxim Murungweni said his organisation has embarked on a mission to engage child and youth participation at all levels of decision making in the country, a move that he said will ensure the smooth implementation of the global goals.
“Zimbabwe ratified both articles on children rights and as such is expected to ensure that it provides children with the conducive platforms to actively participate and contribute in national development issues. In order to ensure that children are no left behind there is need for all stakeholder to address the barriers that prevent children from actively participating in development processes,” he said.
Murungweni added that lack of access to education, poverty and high cases of child marriages all negatively affect children from participating in development processes.
Zimbabwe is making great strides in engaging children on national issues, for example, the establishment of the Junior Parliament is such one good platform that provides children with such an opportunity to air out their views and share ideas.
Currently, ZNCWC has implemented a child participation through supporting the Bulawayo and Harare Junior Council which has seen children participating in the local decision making process.
Child rights expert Samuel Mandiwana, who has been leading the project, said despite the progress being made on child participation, there was need for more resources towards the cause.
“We are happy of the progress of child and youth participation at local government level; especially the platforms created to engage children and youth in decision making and community developmental processes. However we do feel that more resources should be channelled to the participation of children and youth and this should be accompanied with training for adults to bridge the knowledge gap,” said Mandiwana.
Other achievements from the child participation project include the inclusion of children from marginalised communities like Hopley in Harare who are given platforms and space to reach out to policymakers.
Munyaradzi Muzenda, the director of Africa Speaks, an organisation that has been cycling across Africa in support of the SDGs said, the current generation is the future of tomorrow hence there is need to engage them since they will be adults by 2030.
“Children’s participation is pivotal because if we are talking about 2030, we are talking of people below 15 years because in 2030 the 15-year-old will be 28 Years. The one with five years will be 18. So based on that, it’s critical to include them instead, the elders must listen to them regarding the Africa they want, and the Zimbabwe they want. SDGs are not meant for government officials or senior citizens,” he said.
The adoption of the Agenda 2030 in September 2015 by the United Nations represented a firm commitment by the world leaders and United Nations member states to address the most challenging issues facing the world.
The SDGs are expected to influence the course of the history of humanity in the next 15 years: 2016-2030, while tackling issues such as poverty, inequality and unemployment which are more crucial in Africa.
The Government of Zimbabwe is signatory to the SDGs and was also signatory to the former Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): 2000-2015. The Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2000-2015 were implemented during a difficult economic era for Zimbabwe.
Voluntary National Reporting
40 countries including Zimbabwe volunteered to be part of national voluntary reviews (VNRs) at the 2017 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) .
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developments as part of its follow-up and review mechanisms encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven” . These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF), meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. As stipulated in paragraph 84 of the 2030 Agenda, regular reviews by the HLPF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and involve multiple stakeholders.The voluntary national reviews (VNRs) aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.