The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) play a central role in guiding national and international development discourse hence the youth must work hard to ensure their achievement, a United Nations official has said.
United Nations Communications Specialist Sirak Gebrehiwot made the remarks during a youth training of trainers’ workshop held at a Harare hotel recently.
“Each and every one of you here wants a better Zimbabwe by 2030, that is, 15 years from now. Thus, as the youths, you need to do something to influence the future and make the achievement of the SDGs a reality,” Gebrehiwot said while addressing over 100 representatives of young people”s associations under Zimbabwe youth for SDGs meant to reach more than 20000 youths.
Adopted by the 193-Member States of the United Nations in September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is comprised of 17 SDGs and 169 targets and also builds on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Gebrehiwot said the SDGs take the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability under a universal and trans-formative agenda.
“The social calls on the need to end poverty and hunger and to ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment. It leaves no one behind. The environmental on the other hand emphasises on the need to protect the planet from degradation so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations. United Nations Climate Change Conference adopted by 193 countries in Paris in 2015 and signed two weeks ago 175 Countries in New York speaks to this.
“The economic dimension seeks to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature as espoused in the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda for Financing for Development.”
Since the 17 SDGs are interlinked and reinforce each other, an integrated approach is crucial for progress across the goals.
Globally, more than a billion people still live in poverty. Statistics show that 76% of rural Zimbabweans live in poverty. Over 800 million people go hungry every day with 2.8 million of these found in Zimbabwe.
This has resulted in growing inequality and injustice as people grapple with drastic effects of climate change; wars and resurgent terror activity.
“In the world including in Zimbabwe: the lines between development and humanitarian, between short and long term impact, between planning for development and planning for emergencies are becoming increasingly blurred. Our imagination has to stretch accordingly. Only our vision, imagination, aspiration and stories will create the future we want. One cannot ask others to sacrifice if he/she is not ready to do so himself/herself,” Gebrehiwot said.
By Byron Mutingwende