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The East African : Sep 19th 2015
28 S U S TA INAB L E D E VE LO PME N T World set to ‘finish the job’ of ending poverty in the next 15 years The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals a≥e built a≥ound the mant≥a, ‘leave no one behind’ By CHRISTINE OMULANDO The EastAfrican F rom September 25-27, world leaders meet at the United Na- tions General Assembly in New York to adopt a new development plan of action for ending poverty, dubbed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs — an ambitious set of 17 goals and 169 targets — are expected to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were established in 2,000 and expire this year. The eight MDGs (and 21 targets) placed people at the centre, and helped to improve the lives of many around the world. Yet despite the progress made, there are pockets of those that have been left behind, including poor women in rural areas and other vulnerable and marginalised groups. Consequently, the agenda of the SDGs is to “finish the job and leave no one behind,” over the next 15 years, on three interconnected fronts — ending extreme poverty; fighting inequality and injustice; and fixing climate change. By bringing together the three el- ements, the SDGs go further than the MDGs — which focused primarily on the social agenda — and for this reason the UN is optimistic they will achieve better results over the next 15 years. “We must invest in the unfin- ished work of the Millennium Development Goals, and use them as a springboard into the future we want, a future free from poverty and built on human rights, equality and sustainability,” said UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon. “This is our duty, and it must be the legacy we strive to leave for our children.” Particularly, the SDGs address the root causes of poverty and rally behind the promise of inclusion. They are also to be applied universally, not just to the developing world, as was the case with the MDGs. They also recognise the key role of the private sector in financing sustainable development, in partnership with governments and civil society. “For the first time, we’re not putting a band-aid on the problem, we’re looking at the root causes and not only the symptoms,” said Amina J Mohammed, the Secretary General’s special adviser on post- 2015 development planning. At the heart of attaining the SDGs, is tackling climate change and protecting the environment. Research has shown that there is a strong link between climate change and the SDGs. In line with this, a new a global climate agreement is set to be adopted in December. “The level of ambition of the new climate agreement will have a significant impact on the world’s ability to achieve the SDGs,” notes the Climate and Development Knowledge Network, which helps decision-makers in developing countries design and deliver climate compatible development. Developing nations that depend on natural resources and have a limited capacity to adapt to a changing climate are the most vulnerable, mainly affecting their ability to achieve targets on poverty and energy. Governments came up with the idea of the SDGs in 2012, at the Rio+20 conference in Brazil. An open working group of the UN General Assembly was established to develop a set of goals. After a year of negotiations involving member states, experts and other civil society stakeholders, they were trimmed to 17. This is another point of departure from the MDGS, which were produced by a group of experts behind closed doors. In early August this year, the 193 member states of the UN reached consensus on the outcome document of the new agenda, Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In December, the UN Secretary- General released the report, The Road to Dignity, which summarises the inputs into the final document and charts the road map to achieving dignity by 2030. Ms Mohammed said that the process of developing the goals had been the most transparent and broadest that has ever taken place within the UN. “Civil society, businesses and parliamentarians have all been involved in developing the economic, social and environmental agendas’ said Ms Mohammed. “So if there is anything that we are taking away from this report, it is that by 2030 we can end poverty, we can transform lives and we can find ways to protect the planet while doing that.” The EastAfrican OUTLOOK SEPTEMBER 19-25,2015 United Nations’ 2030 development ta≥gets 1. POVERTY • Eradicate extreme poverty for all people ie those living on less than $1.25 a day. • Reduce at least by half the proportion people living in poverty. • Implement social protection systems and measures for all. • Equal rights for all men and women. • Build resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations such as climate change. • Ensure significant resources are mobilised for developing countries. • Create sound policy frameworks on development strategies. 2. HUNGER AND FOOD SECURITY • Ensure access by all people to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. • End all forms of malnutrition. • Double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers. • Ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices. • By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals. • Increase investment in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks. • Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets. • Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets in order to help limit extreme food price volatility. 3. HEALTH • Reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births. • End preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age. • End the epidemics of Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, and combat communicable diseases. • Reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases. • Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, and harmful use of alcohol. • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services. • Achieve universal health coverage. • Substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination. • Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. • Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases. • Substantially increase health financing and training of health workers. • Strengthen the capacity of all countries for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks. 4. EDUCATION • Ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education. • Ensure all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education. • Ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university. • Substantially increase the number of youth and adults with relevant skills for decent jobs and entrepreneurship. • Eliminate gender disparities in education . • Ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults achieve literacy and numeracy. • Ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. • Build and upgrade education facilities for all. • Substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries. • Substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers especially in least developed countries and small island developing states. 5. GENDER EQUALITY AND WOMEN’’S EMPOWERMENT • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation • Recognise and value unpaid care and domestic work • Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making • Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights • Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources • Enhance the use of enabling technology to promote the empowerment of women • Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels 6. WATER AND SANITATION • Achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. • Achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. • Improve water quality. • Substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors. • Implement integrated water resources management at all levels. • By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems. • Expand international co-operation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes. • Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management. 7. ENERGY • Universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services. • Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. • Double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency. • Enhance international co-operation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology. • Expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all. 8. ECONOMIC GROWTH • Sustain per capita economic growth, at least 7 pc GDP growth per annum in the least developed countries. • Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation. • Promote development-oriented policies. • Improve progressively, global resource efficiency in consumption and production. • Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men. • By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training. • Eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and by 2025, end child labour in all its forms. • Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments. • Promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.
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