ZAMBIA has advised that unless Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are implemented to effectively expand the economies of the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) to benefit local people, globalization will remain a means of making rich nations richer while leaving poor countries poorer.
Zambia’s Minister of National Planning Honourable Lucky Mulusa has said the SDGs and the Agenda 2030 whose aim is eradicating poverty can only be achieved if the fundamental guiding principle of ‘not leaving anyone behind’ does not remain rhetoric but translated into action at global, regional and national level.
Delivering a speech on behalf of the Group of the Landlocked Developing Countries at the 2017 United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York on Monday, Hon Mulusa stated that economic growth in LLDCs is failing to eradicate poverty because local citizens are not benefiting from their economic progression.
Zambia is the Chair of the LLDCs and is being represented at the 2017 ECOSOC High Level Political Forum by Hon Mulusa who is leading a delegation of two other Cabinet Ministers of Transport and Communications Brian Mushimba and Gender Victoria Kalima as well as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Planning Chola Chabala and other senior government officials.
He stated that LLDCs continued to face numerous inherent development challenges linked to their geographical locations associated with distance and isolation from the global market and therefore should work towards the effective and full implementation of the Agenda 2030.
“Why does economic growth in Landlocked Developing Countries fail to eradicate poverty? Why has globalization made rich nations richer and poor countries poorer…we know the answers but we fail to act! Unless we ensure that citizens of Landlocked Developing Countries begin to benefit from economic activities of their nations, we will continue meeting and wondering why we are not eradicating poverty. Deliberate efforts are therefore, required to address special challenges associated with Landlocked Countries so that they are not left behind,” Hon Mulusa said.
The Hon Minister said eradicating poverty and achieving socio-economic prosperity continues to be at the centre of the development agenda of LLDCs.
Hon Mulusa explained that SDG 9 which is about building resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, is of particular importance to LLDCs because such nations face high trade and transport costs as a result of inadequate resilient infrastructure.
“High costs of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and energy, inadequate trans-border infrastructure are hampering efficient trade facilitation. Our economies face constraints on structural transformation and economic diversification with signs of de-industrialisation manifesting in most countries. These issues are at the heart of the Vienna Programme of Action for the LLDCs adopted in 2014,” the Hon Minister stated.
Hon Mulusa said LLDCs have made progress in the area of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls which has also seen the reduction of harmful practices against the female gender.
He said there has been progress in enhancing the participation of women in different social, political and economic spheres with the proportion of seats being held by women in national Parliaments in LLDCs increasing to 26 percent from 8 percent between 2000 and 2017.
The 2017 session of the Economic and Social Council and the three-day ministerial meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development has been convened under the theme: “Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in Changing World.”