The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and government agencies yesterday began a weeklong development dialogue on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for sustainable development.
The dialogue, which has brought together 100 participants from various institutions, including the physically challenged, is held under the theme, “Enhancing the Capacities and National Statistical Foundation for the Evidence Based Policies Toward the Domestication and Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
Mr. Stanley Kamara, UNDP Economic Specialist said the SDGs are very important to the development of Liberia since they comprise 17 goals and 169 targets.
Mr. Kamara said the intent of the workshop is to determine the mechanisms to put in place to help implement the SDGs in the country.
He said Liberia will include civil society organizations (CSOs), the media and traditional leaders, among others to implement the SDGs.
“The inclusive dialogues,” he said, “are central to transformative development to address the underlying barriers to progress, including inequalities to laying the groundwork for structural transformation.”
Mr. Kamara emphasized the need to prioritize social inclusion of vulnerable groups and promote human security.
He reassured government agencies of UNDP’s support through the provision of services, including neutral and impartial facilitator of dialogue and co-operation on development issues.
Representing SCOs, Martha Karnga said what led to the slow operation of the MDGs has to do with the government not involving CSOs.
Deputy Minister for Administration at the Ministry of Labor, Levi Demah, described the workshop as timely.
“The dialogue will lead to examining the challenges and the way forward to achieve the SDGs and we will continue to work for the successful implementation of the SDGs which stand to benefit the country and citizens at large,” he said.
“The launch of this dialogue is timely as the world focuses on strategies to improve human development and achieve the global goal of poverty reduction,” said Mr. David Sembeh of the Liberia Business Association (LIBA).
He pledged LIBA’s support, indicating that “LIBA’s primary focus is Goal number 8, which talks about promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and productive employment and decent work for all, as well as Goal number nine that talks about building resilient infrastructure to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.”