In the first instance, why was Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) introduced? The answer to this question can be derived from the diverse issues that were combating the development of countries around the world which ranges from poverty, terrorism, hungry, climate change, unemployment and many more.
According to the United Nation report, “the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were introduced as a roadmap for the implementation of the Millennium Declaration and it has served as a global framework for collective action to reduce poverty and improve the lives of poor people.
If MDGs is global framework meant to reduce poverty, improve the lives of poor people and proffer solutions to some challenges combating the world, why the introduction of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is it as result of the inability of the MDGs to eradicate some of these challenges? This is a question that was posed to the Executive Director of Nigerian Networks of Non-Governmental Organisation Oyebisi Oluseyi at the global gathering of young people to end poverty, inequality, fight climate change in Lagos, a program that was spearheaded by One Campaign and Save the Children Foundation with other bodies.
Oluseyi in his explanation said that the SDGs, otherwise known as the Global Goals is built on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), “Across the eight clear goals, the MDGs include 21 time bound targets to measure progress in poverty reduction and hunger as well as improvements in health, education, living conditions, environmental sustainability and gender equality” He said that significant progress has been made across all goals and millions of lives have been improved due to concerted global, regional, national and local efforts, yet, much more are still needed in many areas to be achieved.
“We learnt some lessons in MDGs and most of the goals have been included in the SDGs and well expanded now so everybody is getting involve now, private sector, Civil Society Organisations, Government and the citizens, so it is an opportunity for us to see the world that we want.”
The Sustainable Development Goals are set of goals that include a set of seventeen goals that entail zero tolerance to poverty and hunger, good health and wellbeing, quality education, gender inequality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and industrialization, reduced inequality by 2030.
Others are sustainable cities and community, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions, and partnership for the goals.
In a draft outcome document of the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda, the SDGs are set of plan of action for people, planet and prosperity that seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom.
The goals will bring all countries and stakeholders together to act in partnership to implement the goals. It will resolve to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and secure the planet.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets will seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what were not achieve, realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality, the empowerment of all women and girls.
It wills are integrated and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development which include the economy, social and environment.
On how people can key into the goals, the Campaign Adviser for Save the Children, Hope Oduma said that the best way all Nigerian citizens in the SDGs is to get them involved as their own project.
“We want to start the discussion about SDGs and we feel that is the only way to have every Nigerians to understand what the goals all about key into it to. Government has a part to play and citizen also has part to play and that is why we are starting this tonight and hoping that Nigerians will start asking questions why things are not going well because most Nigerians don’t know what the MDGS is all about even after it has been implemented for 15 years so something has to change if not we will come back to the same point”, she said.
Oduma debunked the insinuation that MDGs did not achieve the eight goals, “the fact that we don’t achieve the 8 goals does not mean that we cannot achieve the 17 goals and for me the SDGs are being more detailed. We have now life in the sea, life on ground, energy, it does not mean that they can’t be achieved, it has been simplified and everybody can connect with it.”
She said she believe in the administration of President Mohammed Buhari to implement the goals and to ensure that everything works according to plans.
“I want to tell everybody to patient there a lot of potential in the country. We have a new government that has good patronage from all around the world. Everybody is involved in this campaign on Sustainable Development Goals.
Oluseyi further urged the Federal Government to develop a national plan and that national plan that must involve the SDGs.
“If President Buhari can nationalized the SDGs as a goal, the moment the national plan is SDGs based, we are starting a on a good momentum already and thank God there is no plan on ground so we must key into these goals, develop it into a national plan, do some consultation on the goals, let key ministries come together to develop a strategy then come back to CSOs and private sector to see what is doable, develop policy and national plan of action to implement the strategies and begin to monitor ourselves,” he urged.
The Country Director for One Campaign, Edwin ikhuoria said that all Nigerian citizens must come together as whole to make the government accountable.
“We want to make this goals known to world, because we have realized that during year 2000 , only few citizens knew about MDG, it was only the policy maker that knew about it and seven years later that we started doing few things”, he said.
He said that it was in 2007, that few people started taking specific development on achieving MDGs.
“So as soon as these goals are adopted, everybody must get on board not just the policy maker and our aim is to inform over 10,000 people. We want citizens to be involved; when every citizen is aware we are going to get to more people from different places.”