Liberia Starts Domesticating SDGs

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The government has begun the implementation of the global development initiative, Agenda 2030, adopted late last year by the United Nations in New York.

The agenda comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its domestication and it began with an official launch by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Monrovia City Hall yesterday.

It was hosted under the auspices of the government and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN), private philanthropist Dr. Betsee Parker, United Nations Country Team, Save the Children International, and other partners.

These 17 ambitious goals, which have subsets of 169 targets, address environmental, economic, and social challenges facing the world. With the adoption of the SDGs on September 2015 in New York, United Nations member states were encouraged to integrate its contents into their respective national development agenda.

She recounted how Liberia was in conflict when the first global development agenda was crafted, thereby having no input but had to implement what had been prepared by technicians from the West who ignored local realities on the African continent.

In spite of this, Liberia, she said began the implementation of the MDGs six years after its adoption, and has a progress rate of 33 percent.

She, however, added that the country was fully involved in the crafting of the SDGs and as such Liberia should get fully involved so that much can be achieved to improve the lives of the people.

“This time this agenda included everybody and we must work to have them achieved,” she said.

President Sirleaf called on Liberians to work out strategies that would see the smooth implementation of the agenda.

She lauded House Speaker Alex Tyler who earlier committed the Legislature to ensuring that the agenda is successful.

Speaker Tyler, who was at the launch to articulate the role of the Legislature on the domestication, pledged the support of Lawmakers to the process.

He said Liberians need to tackle the root causes of poverty and underdevelopment and the agenda is one of several programs that set the path toward that.

He called on the Executive to put in place proper monitoring and evaluation measures for the implementation and noted that the process must be void of politics.

Finance and Planning Development Minister, Amara Konneh called for the establishment of a taskforce to fast-track the implementation of the SDGs.

He said Liberia is a bit ahead in the implementation of the SDGs because the country has already begun the implementation of almost all of the contents of the SDGs in its previous development agenda.

Though the Agenda 2030 contains 17 goals and 159 targets, Minister Konneh outlined what he termed as the pivotal ones that the country should pursue.

According to him the following goals, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 16 and 17 must be of priority to government

“Today we are committing ourselves to a global development process that is very awesome but difficult to achieve,” he noted.

“The world is saying to all countries of the world to take charge of their own development. Raise your own money and spend it wisely. We will help you when we see the need but you must take the first step,” he stated.

He noted that the only way Liberia can achieve the goals of the SDG is for all Liberians, especially officials of government, to put the interest of the country above all other interest.

“History will not judge our endeavors and a government cannot be selected merely on the basis of tribe, religion or even party affiliation in this country. Neither will competence and loyalty and stature, while essential to highest degree, suffice in time such as these,” he said.

“For those to whom much is given, much is required” he added. “And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of us, recording whether in our brief span of service to our people we fulfilled our responsibility to the state.”

Participants at the event included government officials, UN Country Team, foreign and bilateral partners, local and international non-governmental organizations, academia, youth, civil society, women and religious groups, private sector, business community and the media.

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