“National Launch of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development”

Jan 26, 2016

UNDP Resident Representative Antonio Vigilante speaking at the SDG launch in Monrovia

Theme:  “Toward the domestication and implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), leaving no one behind to realize our aspiration for the world we want in 2030”

The UN Agencies Funds and Programs applaud the efforts of the government to launch as early as possible the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal at the national level. And the SDGs, the central part of the agenda, have been decisively inspired by the outstanding work of the HLP of eminent persons, which was co-chaired by the President of Liberia. Allow me on behalf of the UN Country team to express admiration for the efforts of Madame President in her continued engagement on the SDGs, and her role as Chairperson of the AU High Level Committee of Heads of States and Governments on the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

The Agenda 2030 is a comprehensive universal agenda for peace and development of humanity. It reflects an integrated vision where vital human development goals are interdependent among themselves and together promote inclusive growth, decent work, essential services and infrastructure, within a preserved planet for all. It builds on the MDGs but goes far beyond, for instance moving beyond the averages in achievements with the aim of not leaving anyone behind. It is a question of human rights for all, it is a very ambitious global social contract. This is why the title of the agenda and of this conference is “transforming our world”, not “improving our world”.

The SDGs represent, then, a major progress in global governance, since the world has adopted for the first time an integrated plan for the long term, so overcoming the fragmentation of sectorial objectives with different timelines. The SDGs put in relation, for instance, peace and education, or peace and development, development and climate change.While being universal,the agenda recognizes that each country needs to nationalize SDGs and adopt context-specific goals and also carefully consider policy inter-relationships.

Most importantly, what has been adopted is not only a necessary but a possible agenda. The world has the means, the knowledge and the technology to convert the agenda into a real plan of action and achieve the 2030 aspirations. The real issue is the equitable access and use of the resource, the technology and the knowledge.Ambitious as it is the goal of eradicating extreme poverty by that date, there are encouraging trends. The MDGs achievements have led some analysts to state that 2015 has been the best year in history for the average human being, and the achievement on MDG1 encourages us all to pursue ‘zero poverty’. Furthermore, present trends lead to expect that by 2030, 80% of the world population may achieve the income category of middle class, and 80% of those are expected to be in developing countries.

For the UN system and development partners, the SDGs represent a call to break the work in silos, and bridge the gaps between peacekeeping, development and humanitarian work. The SDGs promote an integrated human security approach to achieve peace, security and eradicate poverty while preserving the planet. The recent report to the UN SG of the high level panel on humanitarian financing, just released, goes in the same direction.

PROCESS

The Sustainable Development Goals have been developed in the most inclusive process in the UN history. Governments, civil society organizations, business, academic institutions, NGOs, and multilateral organization’smobilized their networks and got involved.Millions of people were consulted. The UN Secretary General has defined the post-2015 agreement as a triumph of multilateralism. This inclusiveness needs to be replicated at the national and local levels during the implementation phase, in order to ensure ownership of SDGs by communities and local administrations as well.

While work continues, in order to identify at global level the indicators that go with the goals and the targets, Liberia has already started the process of integrating the SDGs in the national development agenda. The UN has prepared a guide to support and advice the process of mainstreaming SDGs, some elements of which will be part of a presentation this afternoon. The UN agencies will provide continued support to the domestication of SDGs, whereby national stakeholders willdecide on priorities and the sequence of the goals and their incorporation in the national development strategy (such as Vision 2030 or the agenda for transformation) policies and budgets. A good dose of innovation will be needed to try to leapfrog and identify development accelerators.

An important task to which the event of today’s contributes, is the need to popularize SDGs amongst the national stakeholders (government, civil society and private sector).It seems critical to prepare a communications strategy to facilitate and ensure the awareness and understanding of the 17 goals (and 169 targets!). The success of SDGs will depend also on citizensbeing familiarized, identified and owning the goals.

The new Agenda’s emphasis on accountability requires that governments and development partnersintensify efforts for better quality and accessible data and knowledge.The MDG monitoring has been able to provide periodic reports, although with data that frequently were only partial or needing update. An enlarged national baseline data set is needed so as to effectively monitor implementation of the SDGs. Indeed, the availability of high quality, reliable and timely data, disaggregated by income, gender, age and other characteristics, is one of the targets of goal 17.

Also for the tasks of dissemination of SDGs and the improvement in data availability, the UN stands ready to support.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, allow me to wish Liberia to achieve all the nationalized priorities, to achieve a lot of the SDGs, and to reiterate the readiness of the UNCT to support the work ahead in the implementation of the domesticated goals.

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