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UN lauds Uganda on Sustainable Development Goals

KAMPALA- Uganda is on the right truck towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms Rosa Malango said on Wednesday.

“I am grad that the government of Uganda took several bold steps before other countries did on implementing the agenda 2030 by making the SDGs part of the second National Development Plan. Uganda put the SDGs in NDP II before they were even though of,” Ms Malango said.

She was speaking during the launch of the roadmap for creating an enabling environment for delivering on SDGs in Uganda. The roadmap was launched by Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda at the President’s office conference hall in Kampala.

The SDGs, otherwise known as Global Goals, are a universal call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The 17 SDGs adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and came into effect in 2016 to build on successes of the Millennium Development Goals, give guide to the UNDP policy and funding of agenda 2030.

Ms Malango who is also the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative said that Uganda is the first country in the world to translate the MDGs from English to at least 10 local languages.

She said that, for the last three national budgets, the government has through allocating money to different sectors made significant steps to eradicate poverty, ensuring gender equality, reducing unemployment, fostering economic growth, innovation and infrastructure,  responsible consumption as well as the protection of the planet.

“The budget process has allowed for important decisions to take place on typical issues of concern such as physical infrastructure as well as human capital development.

Thanks to the National Planning Authority for aligning the plans on SDG and also in relation to the Public Finance Management Act 2015,” she said.

The UN chief said that the SDGs are a catalyst of change and they need all actors that include government, private sector, civil society and development partners to work together, adding that on the Ugandan perspective, they have also been integrated in Vision 2040.

The SDG roadmap

With support from UNDP, the SDG implementation roadmap seeks to provide priority actions during Uganda’s NDP II which runs from 2015/2016 to 2019/2020 fiscal years, has been broken down into five thematic areas.

According to Mr Joel Wanjala, the acting Permanent Secretary Office of the Prime Minister, the thematic areas for this roadmap are; coordination, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting; planning and mainstreaming; data; communication and popularisation; and resource mobilisation and financing.

The implementation of the roadmap in the remaining period of NDP II will cost Shs6.6 billion but out of this only Shs1.2 billion has been realised leaving a funding gap of Shs5.4 billion.

The funding gap will be financed by the government, development partners, civil society and private sector.

Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said that the government recognises the need for the implementation of the SDGs adding that this roadmap creates an enabling environment to empower all relevant actors in a coordinated manner.

Dr Rugunda said that with the country already moving towards implementation of the SDGs, what is important is consorted efforts by actors to ensure that Ugandans are sensitised about them.

“I note that various sectors, ministries, departments and agencies, and local governments are yet to fully align their plans with the SDGs.

This must therefore be a priority for all government institutions and I therefore urge all MDAs, development partners, private sector and CSOs to include MDGs in all their communications” Dr Rugunda said.

He said that, having integrated the SDGs in national planning, the government is committed to have them as a “catalyst of transformation”.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) mission director in Uganda, Mr Joakim Parker who represented all development partners at the launch, described the roadmap as a milestone in implementing the SDGs because it will identify the missing gaps.

Mr Parker, however, said there is need for strong leadership in Uganda if the country is to achieve the SDGs by 2030 adding that the development partners are willing to help Uganda in mobilisation strategies.

“There is need for priority investments in social services and health. This is a serious concern because achieving 2030 agenda requires new resource mobilisation strategies.

Investments must be prioritised and planned,” Mr Parker said.

UTILITYCabinet and Parliament in 2016 approved the National Coordination Framework for SDGs to guide the implementation of agenda 2030.

The roadmap is a result of that framework and will be used to mobilise for implementation of the each of the 17 SDGs.

By Daily Monitor

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