Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require concerted efforts to achieve and bring about development in Rwanda and other nations of the world, the United Nations resident co-ordinator in Rwanda, Lamin M. Manneh, has said.
Manneh said the almost one-year-old SDGs are “expected to create a benchmark for balanced and sustainable economic development to ensure global environmental protection and poverty reduction.”
“Therefore, collective and individual efforts at the local, national and international levels are necessary to achieve these goals. Moreover, governments will need the broad involvement of other stakeholders, such as the private sector, the general public and civil society organisations,” he said.
Manneh made the remarks during the Social Good Summit hosted by United Nations Development Programme at the University of Rwanda College of Business and Economics in Kicukiro District, Kigali on Monday. The event was a local version of the seventh edition of the Social Good Summit, an annual event that takes place during the UN General Assembly, and intends to promote open discussions on different solutions that can be adopted to make the world a better place for future generations.
This year’s global event was held under the theme, “Connecting Today, Creating Tomorrow” and focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the global community approaches the first anniversary of the adoption of the goals by UN member states.
SDGs succeeded the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and focus on critical dimensions of sustainable development in both developing and developed countries, including human rights obligations, good governance, poverty reduction, social justice, and equity within countries, sustainability, particularly environmental sustainability, and access to health, among others.
Speaking at the one-day event, Manneh commended the government of Rwanda, saying it was “one of the SDGs front-runner countries in Africa” having launched a national communication campaign on the SDGs and translating them into Kinyarwanda, as well as completing a comprehensive assessment of her readiness to implement the SDGs, among others.
Addressing the gathering that included students, private sector representatives, civil society organisations, government officials, development partners and different UN agencies, Dr Diane Gashumba, the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, emphasised that gender equality as a tool can eliminate poverty and achieve the SDGs.
She added that this is crucial to the achievement of SDGs.
The participants discussed ways to foster partnerships for the SDGs agenda and how to support Rwanda’s efforts to achieve the goals and targets by 2030.
They reflected on the one year anniversary of the SDGs, as they rooted for deeper public awareness and commitment, as well as encouraging discussions on how the SDGs can be realised in Rwanda.
The summit featured several panel discussions focussing on 5 goals – poverty reduction, which is goal one; gender equality (goal 5); goal 13 on climate action, as well as goal 16 that covers peace and justice; and goal 17 on partnership.
The panelists discussed ways to promote gender equality in Rwanda’s development and employment pogrammes and policies, both in the public and private sectors, as well as pro-poor climate change actions, and ways of developing accountable and efficient institutions to accelerate development.