WELCOME REMARKS BY THE SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SSAP-SDGs) AT THE BREAKFAST MEETING WITH STATE LIAISON OFFICERS AND FOCAL PERSONS ON SDGs TO DISCUSS STRATEGIES FOR DEEPENING SDGs AWARENESS AND IMPLEMENTATION AT THE SUB-NATIONAL LEVEL.
VENUE: Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja
DATE: September 4th, 2018
UNDP Resident Coordinator
Leadership of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
State Liaison Officers and State Focal Persons on SDGs
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this strategic breakfast meeting, which is jointly hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and OSSAP-SDG’s. I would like to thank the leadership of UNDP for facilitating this meeting and supporting our efforts to operationalize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the country. It is gladdening to see the quality of the audience that gathered here to explore strategies and options for productive advocacy and engagement to fast-track the implementation of the SDGs at the sub-national level.
2. As you may well be aware, the SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, safeguard the planet and ensure that all people enjoy prosperity and peace. The Goals provide clear guidelines and targets for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities. Building on the unfinished tasks of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the 17 SDGs and 169 targets aim to tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make positive change for both people and planet. Indeed, the SDGs work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the necessary choices to improve livelihood in a sustainable way.
3. As we discuss various options for deepening awareness and stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the SDGs at the sub-national level, I urge you to pay close attention to how we can effectively integrate the SDGs into our sub-national (state and Local Governments) policies, plans and programmes. The SDGs cannot be achieved through stand-alone projects and programmes. They must be carefully mainstreamed into the Medium and Long-term plans of the State and Local governments, as implemented by the National Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), it is our hope that any development plan at the sub-national level should be ‘SDGs-based’ Plan that consciously mainstream the relevant SDG targets and indicators.
4. I am glad to note that most states have put in place institutional structures to support the implementation of the SDGs within their jurisdictions and are currently implementing strategic programmes and initiatives – often in partnership with the federal government or development partners – that are aligned to the SDGs. It is equally inspiring to see that some states are proactively incorporating the three dimensions of the SDGs into their State Development Plans and related programmes. Certainly, this is the way to go if we are to ‘leave no one behind’. After all, the state and LGA are the closest tiers to the people and have adequate fiscal capacity.
5. The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) will continue to coordinate and work closely with the sub-national governments to fast track the implementation of the SDGs and the achievement of the desired outcomes. However, I must emphasize that institutional capacity is required at both national and sub-national levels if we are to make meaningful progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It is for this that we will continue to count on the technical support of our key development partners. I sincerely hope that this breakfast meeting will offer useful insights on how to create awareness and productively engage stakeholders at the sub-national level in support of the SDGs.
6. I welcome you once again to Abuja and wish you all a productive meeting!