Nigeria submits progress report on SDGs as nations commit to 2030 agenda

Representatives of the Women’s Major Group wears red scarves in support of women human rights defenders, celebrating their advocacy for “passion, commitment and revolution” during the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, recently

A global initiative to accelerate the uptake of eliminating poverty, bolstering equality and sustainability has undergone a status update by the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The initiative is coming under the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, a 15-year framework that went into effect last year known as High-level Political Forum (HLPF).

The meeting offered Nigeria and 42 others, both developed and developing to present their national voluntary reviews to the HLPF, efforts to implement the 17 goals and 169 related targets. Another 17 countries took part in last year’s review forum. This year’s theme was “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”.

Countries that made presentations were: Afghanistan, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Monaco, Nepal, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Slovenia, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.

Nigeria’s report highlighted key policy, institutional and regulatory measures put in place to create necessary enabling environment for mainstreaming of SDGs in national policies, plans and programmes, and its coherent coordination.

The report is the outcome of wide and in-depth consultations organized by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) with a wide array of stakeholders drawn from line ministries, civil society organizations, organized private sector, academia, development partners, youth groups, women organizations, persons with disability and media organizations.

It listed its key successes as establishment of multi-layer and multi-cluster institutional frameworks for enhanced coordination and SDGs mainstreaming process as well as upscaling the Conditional Grants Scheme (CGS) and identifying and targeting the poor and vulnerable people.

“ The CGS, a counterpart contributory mechanism which incentivizes subnational governments to mobilize resources to accelerate progress in SDGs core areas and is acclaimed as a best practice in implementing the global development agenda is currently being up scaled.

“This has been achieved through establishment of a “National Social Register” for poor and vulnerable households. There is a monthly conditional cash transfer of N5,000 to such households as part of a national social safety net programme.”

Similarly, Nigeria used the forum to seek support in mobilizing adequate financial and other resources, including from domestic sources, and through traditional (North – South, South – South and triangular cooperation) partnerships.

“However, the country has advanced on curbing illicit financial flow and asset recovery which will enhance effort on resource mobilization for implementation of the SDGs. Technology transfer and capacity building on inter alia, data, information and performance management will be needed to support SDGs implementation.”

Meanwhile, the countries reaffirmed their commitment to achieve the landmark 2030 Agenda.

The declaration commits “to ending poverty and hunger and ensuring healthy lives (…); combating inequalities within and among the countries; and healing and securing our planet”.

It also stresses “that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable.”

While the declaration represents an early indication of the global resolve to achieve the SDGs, many countries also expressed disappointment that various issues were not fully represented, or that certain issues were not represented as strongly as they wished.

The over 1,000 business leaders attending the SDG Business Forum also issued a declaration stating that business supports the SDGs as a framework of universally applicable goals to tackle the world’s most pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges, and vowed to step up action.

“Business drives innovation, provides a source of finance and constitutes an engine for economic development and employment. Strong and visionary business leadership is therefore essential to achieving the transformation required by the SDGs.”

The forum takes place every year under the auspices of ECOSOC and every four years it also meets under the auspices of the General Assembly at the level of Heads of State and Government. The next forum at that level will be held in September 2019.

Participating in the HLPF were 77 ministers, cabinet secretaries, or deputy ministers and 2458 registered stakeholders. The Forum consisted of 36 meetings, 147 side events, a partnership exchange event, and 10 learning courses and workshops.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in his remarks to the Forum, said, “We need global answers and we need multilateral governance forms. And we need to be able to overcome this deficit of trust, and that, in my opinion is the enormous potential of the Agenda 2030—because the Agenda 2030 is an agenda aiming at a fair globalisation.

“It’s an agenda aiming at not leaving anyone behind, eradicating poverty and creating conditions for people to trust again—in not only political systems, but also in multilateral forms of governance and in international organisations like the UN.”

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Antonio GuterresECOSOCHLPF
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