The Country Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen, says in order for Liberia to be on par with its counterparts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), her citizens need to work collaboratively to bring development.
He made the observation on Monday at program marking the Social Good Summit (SGS) organized by the UNDP in partnership with the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), held in the slum community West Point, Monrovia.
Dr. Kamaluddeen disclosed that for a country to attain development, all it citizens must work together with the mustered courage to bring the needed developments.
“You are the masters of your own development, and working together as people and a nation will bring in the best kind of the level of such that you would want to achieve, because the growth of your country is in your hands,” Dr. Kamaluddeen told a cross-section of Liberians at the occasion.
He disclosed that the SDGs provide broader and wider platforms to improve and make better implementation of programs that will support poverty-stricken communities to achieve the 17 SDGs, which include poverty reduction as well as improved health delivery systems.
Dr. Kamaluddeen reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to support the development of post conflict Liberia.
For his part, Press union of Liberia (PUL) President, Kamara A. Kamara, said as world leaders adopted the SDGs; the union was therefore encouraging Liberians to take concrete action to put an end to poverty, diseases and other vices that have deprived the country of its development initiatives.
The Social Good Summit was organized in 2010, but has never been celebrated in Liberia until the program on Monday.
For this, Mr. Kamara disclosed that during the peak of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD), there were joint forces that contributed immensely to end the epidemic in the country.
The program was followed by discussions on topics including the Social Goods in Liberia, innovations, technology utilized in the fight against the deadly EVD in the country and the transition from MDGs to SDGs.
Dr. Netty Joe, of the Community Based Initiative UNDP/Ministry of Health Incident Management System Program, discussed how technology was used to tackle the Ebola virus.
She said to tackle the EVD at the time, volunteers were trained in active case finding in communities to help spot and report on cases of Ebola and ensure supply of food as well as psychosocial support.
Dr. Joe disclosed that during the peak of the EVD, and of the over 800 deaths, 75 percent were cremated, while 25 percent were buried; something she described as a difficult moment for the team.
She however remains grateful to the volunteers for sacrificing their lives to save others.
For his part also, the director for Economic Policy Unit at the Ministry of Finance Development and Planning, Bobby E. Musah, described technology as very important in the implementation of the SDGs, adding that introducing technology will improve the country.
The SDGs were developed to build upon the MDGs, focus on the achievement of sustainable development: economic development, social inclusion and environment.
The SDGs are action-oriented, global in nature, and universally applicable to all countries, among others. It will succeed the MDGs at the end of December 2015 as the new global development goals.
Meanwhile, this year’s Social Good summit was centered on the build-up to the adoption of the SDGs.