NEW YORK, Sep 22 – Political goodwill is critical in ensuring full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, according to a United Nations Development Programme official.
The Chief Economist and Director Strategy and Analysis Team at UNDP Ayodele Odusola nonetheless says Africa is on the right path since it was the only continent that adopted a common agenda before the SDGs were adopted last year.
“A major challenge is political buy-in. Political buy-in influences resource allocation to the goals. We need the Presidents, government officials as well at the private sector and civil society to be champions of SGDs,” he told
Capital FM News on the sidelines of UN General Assembly in New York.
He said it is critical to mainstream the goals into respective national plans and budgets.
“We need to translate the agenda into concrete development actions and require advocacy and awareness creation at national and sub-national level since national ownership is crucial.”
He said it was essential for government’s to prioritise what goals to implement.
“It is very difficult for any country anywhere in globe be it developing or an advanced economy to be able to implement the 17 goals simultaneously,” Odusola said.
He noted that Kenya had taken steps to domesticate the SDGs, with plans to translate the 17 goals into Kiswahili.
“There’s need to ensure that goals which have the largest multipliers get attention in terms of resources and implementation.”
He said Africa performed well in enforcement of the Millennium Development Goals, which paved way to the SDGs.
“When the MDGs were formulated, Africa was nowhere in terms of growth and development but we came out towards the end of the MDGs to become the second fastest growing continent in the world.”
He said Africa now needs to make the growth inclusive to tackle poverty and inequality.
The 17 goals include ending poverty in all its forms, ending hunger, ensure healthy lives, inclusive and equitable quality education, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
They also ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation and reduce inequality.
The goals aim to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, take urgent action to combat climate change, ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
They also seek to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels and strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.