By Emmanuel Ntirenganya
With three months left for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to give place to the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs), Lamin M. Manneh, the UNDP Resident Representative and United Nations Resident Coordinator for Rwanda calls upon all African leaders to take action and put in place policies that will facilitate the smooth implementation of SDGs.
He made the remarks on Monday, during the Rwanda Social Good Summit 2015 in Huye District, to welcome the adoption of the SDGs as new global development goals.
Adopted on September 25 by all 193 UN Member States, the Sustainable Devel-opment Goals are 17 ambitious goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030. UNDP Rwanda has said it stands as a ready partner to support the Govern-ment of Rwanda and others to achieve the Goals at the national level by 2030.
While making the opening remarks, Manneh said the challenges of global poverty, growth inequalities and climate change underscore the importance of the global social good leitmotiv.
“You have to look at your development plans and make sure that the goals are integrated in your plans. This is what Rwanda has done,” he said. “Leaders have to be serious about these things (development goals). So this is what we are advocating for also for the SDGs. When they come back, the population has to demand from all the leaders that these targets are integrated,” he said.
“If our leaders were determined to achieve these goals, the end-result will make it possible for all the other preconditions to be implemented. But if the leaders are not interested, it is going to be what we call business as usual,” he noted.
Rwanda was chosen as the headquarters for spearheading the implementation of SDGs in Africa, because of the progress it made in respect to MDGs implementation.
“It [Rwanda] has met virtually all the MDGs. This is due to the strong leadership that Rwanda has, very important development policy innovations, like One Cow per Family, One Cup per Child, which help the country to slow down poverty; sound policies that have been put in place,” he said.
Manneh commented that the African con-tinent did not perform well in regards to MDGs implementation. “In general, if we take Africa, the continent as a whole is able to fully attain only three goals, which are the reduction of poverty by 15% and access to education (primary school) and gender equality (the basics). For the rest, most of the countries have not been able to attend to the goals,” he said.
He said the challenge was that, in his analysis, when the leaders returned from New York in 2000, many countries did not put in place effective mechanisms to ensure the proper implementation of the MDGs.