President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on Liberians to work out strategies that would see the smooth implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Liberian Leader made the call at the official launch of the SDGs held in the Capital, Monrovia. 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.
President Sirleaf, at the launch recounted Liberia in the middle of a civil conflict when the first global development agenda- MDG was crafted. She said at the time of the crafting of the MDG Agenda,peoples voices were not taken into account with local realities ignored.
“In spite of this, Liberia began the implementation of the MDGs six years after its adoption, and has a progress rate of 33 percent” President Sirleaf noted. She, however, added that the country was part of 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. We are leaving no one behind”she said. She lauded House Speaker Alex Tyler who earlier committed the Legislature to ensuring that the agenda is successful.
Speaker Tyler articulated the role of the Legislature on the domestication of the SDGs, pledging the support of Lawmakers to the process. “Liberians need to tackle the root causes of poverty and underdevelopment and the agenda is one of several programs that sets the path toward that” Speaker Tyler stressed.
Outlining Liberia’s Priorities, Finance and Planning Development Minister, Amara Konnehpointed out that 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.
He called for the establishment of a taskforce to fast-track the implementation of the SDGs. 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, goals 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 16 and 17 must be Government’s priorities. “Today we are committing ourselves to a global development process that is very awesome but difficult to achieve,” he noted.
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.
Also making remarks the Special UN Special Representative Farid Zarid committed the UN system in Liberia, pledging to work closely with all branches of government to work together to sustain the peace, while UNDP Representative Antonio Vigilante described the SDGs as the most inclusive Agenda.
“Agenda 2030 reflects an integrated vision to promote SDG beyond MDG” Mr. Vigilante intimated. For his part, the Director of the Millennium promise and member of the UN Sustainable Development Solution Network Leadership Council AmandouNiang stressed partnership as important in the roll out of the SDGs, using the bottom-up approach and community engagement.
Mr. Niang urged government actors to speed up the national implementation Plan. 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.
The agenda comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).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.-Press release