Lagos – The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos collaborated with other UN System agencies in Lagos, including WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA and IFC, to launch the Millennium Development Goals Report on Thursday, 7 July 2011. No fewer than 72 participants, including leaders of civil society organizations, representatives of the media and government institutions attended the Launch.
The Chairperson of the event, Dr. Charles Korir, Head of WHO Lagos Office and Deputy Head of the UN System in Lagos, gave the welcome remarks, stressing the importance of the MDGs Report in assessing how far countries have gone in meeting the targets set for the goals. Dr Korir emphasized the need for governments and civil society to intensify efforts in achieving these goals, as 2015 is now just a few years away. Highlights of the 2011 report were presented by the Officer in charge, UNIC Lagos, Ms Olajumoke Araba, who laid emphasis on the data on Sub-Saharan Africa, as Nigeria is in the region. Other heads of UN agencies in Lagos made contributions on the programmes and activities of their agencies to support the implementation of the MDGs in Nigeria. Dr. Charles Korir gave a general overview of the achievements of the UN System so far, in meeting the targets in Nigeria.
The presentations of the UN agency heads was followed by an interactive session in which other participants made comments on the report and asked questions on the effort of the UN Agencies in achieving the targets in the country. Some leaders of civil society groups, also spoke on their own programmes and activities and the support they are giving to the government and communities in order to meet the MDGs targets by 2015. These NGO leaders include Mr. Emmanuel Owoyemi of the Mental Health Foundation, spoke on what the NGO is doing in the area of mental health; Mr. Eugene Itua of Nigerian Environmental Society spoke on what the society is doing on environmental sustainability; Ms. Arinola Oluwo of the International Women Society/ Women Advancement and Youth Research Foundation spoke on what the NGO is doing on empowerment of women and women rights; and Ms. Yemisi Ransome Kuti – Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NNNGO) criticised lapses in governance, hindering progress in the achievement of some of the targets in the country.
The MDG Report was then presented to the audience by the Deputy Head of the UN Agencies in Lagos – Dr. Charles Korir. Printed copies of the Report were then distributed to Media representatives and NGOs in attendance.