The Government of Zambia has set a conducive environment for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will continue to assess its performance and check for areas needing further refinement.
The Minister of National Development Planning Honourable Alexander Chiteme, MP, has invited media houses to play a critical role in raising public awareness on SDGs voluntary national review by providing a platform for public discussions and allow Government and other stakeholders to be held accountable.
“The SDGs overarching goal is to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The core principles of the agenda 2030 include: universality, leaving no-one behind, interconnectedness and indivisibility, inclusiveness and multi-stakeholder partnerships,” Mr. Chiteme said. “To actualise these principles by 2030, United Nations member states need to follow-up and review implementation of the SDGs through the Voluntary National Reviews at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum.”
He said the voluntary national reviews at the High-Level Political Forum are intended to share experiences on progress on the implementation of the SDGs.
“Zambia has volunteered to be peer reviewed during the 2020 high level political forum. The process involves the preparation of a national SDGs implementation report whose findings will be presented at the forum,” The Minister said. “The government has mainstreamed eight-six (86) percent of SDGs targets into the Seventh National Development Plan. This implies that the implementation of SDGs in Zambia is being done concurrently with the implementation of the 7NDP, and consequently, monitoring and reporting on SDGs is being done using the existing structures used to monitor and report on the 7NDP programme implementation.”
The Minister said the structures for monitoring and reporting including overall coordination of SDGs involve district development coordinating committees, provincial development coordinating committees, cluster advisory committees and the national development coordinating committee.
He said the aggregate reports from these committees are presented to His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, who convenes cluster meetings with representative ministries to account before him on how we as a country are implementing SDGs and the 7NDP.
“To achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, we are required to work together in a manner that mutually reinforces our efforts. To this effect, the Government working closely with the UN and other key stakeholders (line ministries, private sector and civil societies) developed the national SDGs coordination framework to guide the implementation, monitoring and reporting on SDGs.”
The Minister explained that the development of the framework went through wide consultations from national to sub-national levels, involving all key stakeholders.
“The Ministry of National Development Planning has also developed the national baseline report on SDGs. The report presents a comprehensive assessment of indicators that Zambia is able to report on. The ministry has also conducted an analysis of selected indicators at sub-national level, up to constituency and ward levels,” the Minister said. “The purpose for undertaking this exercise was to highlight the situation at the lowest level of government administration and be able to identify areas in critical need of policy and programme intervention to meeting our SDGs.”
Mr. Chiteme will this week participate in the Sixth session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development under the theme: “2020-2030: A Decade to Deliver a Transformed and Prosperous Africa through the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063” in Victoria Falls Town in Zimbabwe.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the United Nations system convene the Africa Regional Forum, an intergovernmental platform, to share experiences and lessons learned, and build consensus on recommendations in the form of key messages to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 of the African Union.
These messages serve as Africa’s collective regional input to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development convened annually under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council.