By Pascal Kwesiga & Anna Adima
African religious leaders have backed the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) generated by UN to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The new goals have been developed by the UN Open Working Group through consultations with about half a million people across the world.
The goals are:
- ending poverty and hunger;
- attaining health life for all at all ages,
- providing equitable and inclusive quality education and life-long learning opportunities for all,
- attain gender equality, empower women and girls,
- secure water and sanitation for all,
- ensure access to affordable, sustainable and reliable modern energy services for all
- promote strong, inclusive and sustainable economic development and decent work for all by 2030.
- promoting sustainable industrialisation,
- reduce inequalities,
- build inclusive, safe and sustainable cities and human settlements,
- promote sustainable consumption and production patterns,
- address climate change,
- attain conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, oceans and seas,
- protect and restore terrestrial ecosystems and halt all biodiversity loss,
- achieve peaceful and inclusive societies,
- rule of law, effective and capable institutions
- strengthen and enhance the means of implementation and global partnership for sustainable development.
Rev. Father Patrick Ngoyi from Ijebu-Ode Catholic diocese in Nigeria said the new goals are achievable and that they reflect the concerns of the poor and groups of people who have been marginalized and excluded from the development process for long.
“The post 2015 development agenda will be participatory because the goals have been generated from communities. The people will be at the center of the development process this time around,” Ngoyi said.
He was speaking during the pre-summit conference for women, youth and persons with disabilities on the post 2015 development agenda at Speke Resort Hotel in Kampala Monday.
The pre-summit conference preceded a high level meeting of clerics from Africa that opens tomorow Tuesday.
The summit is expected to generate a common position of African religious leaders for the post 2015 development framework to be incorporated into SDGs.
Kampala Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Lwanga hailed the SDGs, adding the MDGs cannot be articulated by the people they were designed for.
“There is need for a single participatory agenda to build on the positive outcome from MDGs and anchor it on the needs of the people living at the peripherals of society,” he added.
Lawrence Bategeka, an independent research fellow said MDGs placed the people at the peripherals of the development process.
“The people should be the ones driving the development process. MDGs are heavily hinged on donor aid which may worsen the dependence problem,” he added.
Economic and policy analyst Prof. Julius Kiiza of Makerere University said Uganda needs heavy investment in infrastructure, information and communications technology and quality education.
He said government and MDG reports showing Uganda halved the proportion of people living below the poverty line from 56.4% in 1992 to 24.5% in 2010 should be taken with caution.
“The figures are misleading and they regard someone who can spend a dollar (sh2595) a day as being a little better of yet even some one spending five dollars a day is poor,”
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African clerics back new UN goals