Dr Gbeneol at the Session in UN, New York
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Millennium Development Goals, Dr Precious Kalamba Gbeneol has called for renewed and concerted efforts to mitigate impacts of poverty, especially in developing countries which, according to her, have been at the receiving end of economic and social advancements that have been witnessed across the globe in recent years.
She made this remark while speaking addressing a high level session of global leaders at the recently concluded Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The high level meeting is one of the many preparatory and consultative meetings leading to the adoption of a succession framework (SDGs) for the MDGs, which winds down in about 500 days ahead.
Gbeneol, who noted that that the Nigerian Government has remained focused on the common resolve by the global community to ensure that sustainable development is not mere rhetoric and remains at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda added that sustainable development requires that countries create greater opportunities for citizens by reducing inequalities, fostering social inclusion and promoting integrated sustainable management of the natural resources.
“As we craft the post-2015 agenda, embracing the principles of inter-generational and intra-generational equity, there is the need to balance the cost and benefits of the three dimensions of development both for present and future generations. In this regard, concerted efforts must be geared towards ensuring that the negative impacts of production and consumption processes are reduced to the barest minimum.”
Gbeneol urged world leaders to redouble efforts aimed at tackling the devastating persistent impact of poverty as the curtain fall on MDGs, noting that there has been unabated increase in the scale of material consumption, leading to increased global environmental, social and economic pressures, as illustrated by the repeated crises in water, energy, minerals, food, social cohesion, employment, and the financial system.
According to her, “Countries trapped in persistent poverty have suffered most from these impacts.”
She maintained that in order to successfully translate the SDGs into national policies, Member States must be willing to domesticate the post-2015 development agenda by integrating it into their negotiated national development plans
“It is important to ensure that the implementation of the SDGs is mainstreamed to sub-national levels in accordance with Local Agenda 21. The agenda must be realistic and implementable by taking due cognizance of national priorities, needs, capabilities, legislation and policy space whilst designing detailed and pragmatic frameworks for implementation.”
Gbeneol went further to emphasized that “there is a need for countries to begin early implementation of the development agenda given its short implementation time frame. For instance, many countries are lagging behind in the drive to attain the MDGs due to the late adoption and implementation of the agenda.”
Learning from the example of Nigeria, I suggest that countries should be prepared to set up high-level national offices for the implementation of the new agenda. There is a need to set up monitoring mechanisms for the new agenda by adopting appropriate sustainable development indicators. In this regard, it is imperative to integrate social and environmental perspectives into national accounting frameworks of Member States.”