BY JULIA NDLELA
THE United Nations (UN) has implored Zimbabwean authorities to strengthen implementation and monitoring mechanisms to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the Decade of Action despite the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change challenges.
Zimbabwe participated at the 2022 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development held at the UN in New York, recently. HLPF is a monitoring and review mechanism on progress on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs.
The forum was held under the theme Building back better from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), while advancing the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
According to a statement from the Zimbabwe embassy in New York, the UN said Zimbabwe should ensure a whole society approach to make sure everyone is accommodated in the implementation of the development strategies.
“Going forward, Zimbabwe should continue to strengthen the implementation and monitoring mechanisms to achieve the SDGs during the Decade of Action, despite the current challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change impacts.
“In line with the NDS 1 (National Development Strategy 1) and the country’s Vision 2030, Zimbabwe should continue to mainstream the SDGs in the national development plans, focusing on building back better in the context of COVID-19,” the statement read.
The UN, according to embassy officials, said Zimbabwe should make use of some of the best practices, solutions, experiences and approaches shared by other countries at the 2022 HLPF.
These relate to ensuring food security (SDG 2), economic resilience and recovery (SDG 8), youth engagement in recovery (SDGs 10 and 17), building climate resilience for COVID-19 recovery (SDG 13), and the public-private partnerships and effective institutions that can support recovery (SDGs 16 and 17) all in the context of SDG implementation.
The forum held discussions to review in-depth four SDGs including SDG4 on quality education, sdg5 on gender equality, sdg 14 on life under water, SDG15 on life on land, and SDG17 on partnerships for the goals.
In the discussions, member States outlined how challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and the conflict in Ukraine affected their countries.
Challenges faced by member States included worsening inequality, economic and structural reforms and debt distress, inflation, fertiliser scarcity and rising prices of agricultural goods, food and water insecurity, pollution, biodiversity loss, sea level rise, and drought.
The 2022 HLPF identified the following areas for immediate action: Investing in equitable vaccine access; tackling the food, energy and fertiliser crises; and investing in people including through the Transforming Education Summit to be held in September 2022.
Zimbabwe was represented by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare secretary Simon Masanga.