Wednesday, 12 October 2016

United Nations And Civil Society Roll Out Sensitisation On SDGs

Chenai Mukumba giving her opening remarks
By Paul Shalala

The United Nations System in Zambia has pledged to support Zambia meet all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which President Edgar Lungu committed the country to last year in New York.

In September last year, President LUNGU was among dozens of world leaders who committed their countries to all the 17 SDGs which are aimed at fighting poverty and inequality in society.

The SDGs replaced the Millennium Developmental Goals.

UN Resident Coordinator Janet Rogan says the global body will support the government, Parliament and civil society in Zambia to ensure that the country implements strategies aimed at achieving the SDGs and developing the country.

Ms ROGAN says the United Nations has a lot of experience in developmental programs which it can use to help the Zambian government uplift the lives of its people.

She said this in a speech read for her by United Nations Development Program National Economist Elda Chirwa in Kitwe last week during the official opening of a symposium on localizing the SDGs in the northern part of Zambia.

And Copperbelt Province Permanent Secretary Howard Sikwela says attaining all the 17 SDGs will help in improving people’s lives.

Reverend Sikwela says government is committed to doing everything possible to meet the SDG targets which replaced the Millennium Development Goals last year.
Some of the participants at the symposium 

He said this in a speech read for him by Acting Kitwe District Commissioner Dr. Chikafuna Banda at the same event.

Meanwhile, the Civil Society Poverty Observatory Group says the high poverty levels and inequality in Zambia are worrying.

Organisation Chairperson Chenai Mukumba says the poverty levels can only be reduced if government and stakeholders work together to localize the SDGs so that they can have impact at household level.

Ms Mukumba has since called on District and City Councils countrywide to work together with the civil society and government to implement programmes which are aimed at fighting poverty in society.

The meeting brought together over 30 representatives of civil society organizations in five of Zambia’s 10 provinces for the one day symposium.

About five journalists from community radio stations on the Copperbelt, Luapula, North Western, Muchinga and Northern Provinces were part of the deliberations as a way of mainstreaming the SDGs in their news and programs.

“When I return to Mpika, we shall start a program on the SDGs. This program will enlighten people on these global goals and we shall utilize local non-governmental organizations to explain them to the masses,” said Allan Dumingo, the station manager at Mpika FM radio in Muchinga Province.

The 17 SDGs as explained on a pop up display
Another journalist Martha Musoka of Kasempa Radio said most of the station’s programs are on developmental issues and her participation at the symposium was going to benefit the station which is located in the North Western Province.

“We are the voice of the voiceless in Luapula Province. This workshop has come at the right time and it will help us explain the SDGs to the people, said Joyce Phiri of Radio Yangeni.

Having sensitized the civil society and media in the Northern Region, the United Nations will soon hold another symposium in Lusaka for the southern part of the country in the next three weeks.

The aim is to ensure that no one is left behind in the implementation of the SDGs which will ultimately translate into economic development and wealth creation.

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