The Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with its partners, has begun the process to domesticate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with view to ensure that the Global Goals resonate with the local context.
With a few days to the first anniversary of the Goals, adopted during last year’s UN General Assembly in September, the ministry’s move to streamline Goal 16 (that concerns justice) to fit the reality on the ground is fundamental to the country’s bid to deliver on the 2016-2030 SDGs agenda.
More importantly, the ministry is conducting wide-ranging consultations in this process and this will ensure that the stakeholders own the implementation of the SDGs both at the grassroots and national levels.
The consultations should be inclusive enough to make sure that all the issues that might have come up in the future are catered for as early as possible.
SDGs are about improving the socio-economic conditions for all and making the world a better place for the present and future generations. They are not just a set of goals that governments should work towards achieving; rather they represent a collective call to action, a call that concerns every single person and institution anywhere in the world.
And one of the important ingredients to achieving these Goals is ownership. It is imperative that every citizen understands the essence of SDGs, own them, and to understand the role they are expected to play to help bring them to life.
In the case of Rwanda, SDGs fit with the existing national efforts to eradicate poverty, create prosperity for all and build an inclusive economy. Therefore, all stakeholders, including citizens, need to understand that SDGs are not about reinventing the wheel, rather pursuing sustainable development in a more globally integrated context with the opportunity to share experience with others and learn from them.
For Rwanda, SDGs should sit well with the country’s growth agenda having been one of the few countries that achieved nearly all the targets under the 2000-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) framework, the blueprint that preceded SGDs.
We urge all the other sectors to borrow a leaf from the Justice sector and undertake a comprehensive process to domesticate the Global Goals to ensure maximum impact.
The earlier the better.