The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Sosten Alfred Gwengwe, on Wednesday launched the second Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a call to stakeholders to focus on SDGs that will help in laying solid foundations for achieving an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant industrialised nation.
Gwengwe said Malawi should focus more on SDGs that will promote in the building of a strong and sustainable productive base to increase the country’s fiscal space and retire huge debt and managing environment given the recurring natural disasters due to climate change.
The launch was held under the theme: ‘Reviewing Malawi’s readiness to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030’
Gwengwe said he was pleased to note that despite the United Nations (UN) advising countries doing VNRs to largely focus on five SDGs, namely: SDGs 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17, Malawi Malawi has chosen to review all the SDGs in order to appreciate the level of progress and effort required to achieve each SDG as a country.
However, he said it would be good for Malawi to focus on SDGs that will help in laying solid foundations for achieving an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant industrialised nation and the immediate goals of wealth and jobs creation as well as food security.
“May I also emphasise that a key component of the VNR process should indeed be identifying initiatives being implemented by both state and non-state actors that are working and accelerating the various SDGs in the country. These will require scaling-up. In a country that has social media mostly pre-occupied with negativity, it is such success stories that will enthuse hope to all,” he said.
Added Gwengwe, “As highlighted in the presentation made by the National Planning Commission, let me emphasise the importance of inclusivity. This VNR process needs to be open, inclusive, participatory and transparent. It needs to be people-centred, gender-sensitive, respecting human rights, and paying special attention to vulnerable segments of our society.”
The minister assured the participants that the government fully owns and is committed to providing leadership in the whole of the VNR process.
The UN Resident Coordinator Ad Interim Shigeki Komatsubara commended the Malawi Government for undertaking the second VNR process following the first VNR in 2020, stressing that this is a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achievement of the SDGs.
Komatsubara said VNR is a main mechanism for tracking progress on the SDGs at the national level and reporting on them at the global level annually, specifically at the High-Level Political Forum under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council.
“It is, therefore, an important tool for accountability for the SDGs. Within this context, the VNR provides an important opportunity for Malawi to be answerable to its citizens in relation to the implementation of the SDGs, especially for members of the society who have limited space to participate in SDG accountability processes at national level,” he said.
Komatsubara further stated that as a tool for accountability, the VNR process is key to strengthening national ownership of the SDGs, promoting transparency, inclusivity, and participation in implementing, monitoring and reporting on the SDGs.
He assured of his organization’s commitment to assisting the Malawi Government to access available regional and global resources to strengthen the VNR process in Malawi.
He said in addition to the technical support, the UN system has already mobilized around USD 86,000 to help with the consultations, data collection and analysis and other logistical processes.
“It will also avail its technical expertise to support the Government in undertaking public consultations and engagement across different stakeholders including local leaders, chiefs, faith-based organisations and their leaders, youth, women and children, communities, persons with disabilities, and refugees,” assured Komatsubara.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :