No country, no region, can tackle global challenges alone – UN-DSG Amina Muhammed

United Nations Deputy-Secretary-General Amina Muhammed addressing the audience at the Kaduna State Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) Acceleration Conference 2019, on Tuesday 22 January.

Against the backdrop of rising global challenges, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Muhammed, has emphasised that no country or region alone could tackle the global challenges of today. “In the regions today, no country is alone. Our borders don’t make any difference in the Sahel when we talk about issues of terrorism, migration, and climate change. No country, no region can tackle the global challenges of today,” said Ms Muhammed at the opening of  Kaduna State Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Acceleration Conference 2019, on Tuesday, 22 January 2019, under the theme: “Building Effective Partnership For Accelerated Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.  

Despite a global decline in people living in poverty, the Deputy-Secretary-General observed that extremepoverty has remained high due to conflicts and other factors. She explainedthat “There are many reasons why people are in poverty: when there is noenabling environment and when there is no stability. Unfortunately, globalhunger has risen over the past few years. That’s a great concern.” However, shedisclosed that in the world today there is enough to feed the world two tothree times over but there are so many Inequalities in many places and millionsgo to bed hungry.

Those big issues, according to her, “affect the way we will invest, they short change us in the revenue otherwise would have been put into governance.” The Deputy-Secretary-General noted that it was important to put everything into national perspective, look at the regional context as the global one is addressed.

On global plan and local action for the achievement of the SDGs, Ms Muhammed underscored the importance of effective partnership as exemplified by the conference which she observed the involvement of the Federal Government, State Governments, the international community, Civil Society, local authority and community.  

She advocated for gender inclusion in implementation and results: “Part of our population, especially women and girls, has to be put at the centre of the results we have. They should not only be at the centre of our policies, we also want to see them at the centre of our results.” She explained further that “We need to see young people at the centre of the impact that is made on everyone’s life. Because they are not the future tomorrow; they are the future today.”

Also speaking at the conference attended by Hon. Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed; Resident Coordinator of UN in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon; representative of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, H.E. Prince Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and others from the UN system and the Civil Society, the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, disclosed that the State made history as the first in Nigeria to present an in-depth analysis of its SDGs data and strategy for implementation at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York. Malam El-Rufai said his administration has made progress by adopting the SDGs targets and indicators, investing in data that allows “us to know where we are coming from and what we have achieved so far.”

According to the Governor, “We believe that evidence-based data improves our decision-making process by indicating which outcomes are more realistic and how much is required to fund the programmes that ensure that no one is left behind.” He explained that the state was developing integrated and sustainable Infrastructure that would make Kaduna State a leading investment destination in Nigeria: “our comparative advantage’’ to drive the revamping of the industrial sector, to make our state globally competitive.

Mallam El-Rufai added that Kaduna state stood out as a pacesetter in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). iority48