Climate change, COVID-19, conflict hinder progress
Story by Memory Chamisa
GOVERNMENT has made significant strides in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by United Nations member states in 2015.
Eradication of poverty and hunger, as well as gender equality, provision of clean water and sanitation, innovation, and infrastructure development, are some of the SDGS the government is working flat out to achieve.
The goals also focus on improving access to health, education, and economic opportunities and tackling climate change.
As part of efforts to direct focus on achieving the SDGs, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare hosted an Exhibition at Harare Gardens showcasing Zimbabwe’s progress.
Various exhibitors highlighted the significance of achieving the set targets especially now that the world is faced with the harsh effects of climate change, conflicts, and pandemics.
“We have partnered with the government in ensuring we confirm SDG goal number 5 of gender equality where men and women are afforded the same opportunities in politics, decision-making, and other influential positions. Everyone must be accorded the same opportunities,” said one of the exhibitors.
Another added, “SDG number 3 is very critical in us reaching agenda 2020 in zero infection on HIV and Aids. Government has shown commitment in ensuring healthcare facilities are equipped and its citizenry has access to medication.”
“As children our rights to food, and education have been met as we have been afforded the chance to be children in a safe environment that has no conflict like what is happening in other countries,” another reiterated.
United Nations Resident Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon commended the Zimbabwean government for its accomplishments on SDGS.
“As the United Nations, we continue to stand with the Government and the people of Zimbabwe to ensure that Agenda 2030 is a reality for even the most marginalised communities. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is in peril. For the first time in decades, development progress is reversing under the combined impact of interconnected crises: climate disasters, conflict, economic downturn, debt distress and lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with developing countries most hardly hit,” he said.
The exhibition is running concurrently with the SDGs Summit in New York thereby providing a platform for world leaders to interrogate and review the position of the SDGs and come up with strategies to accelerate implementation.
Chief Director Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare, Mr. Clifford Matorera said, “I acknowledge that this SDGs Exhibition is running concurrently with the SDGs Summit that is commencing today in New York at the United Nations Headquarters. As a Member State of the United Nations, we are participating in the Summit. The SDG Summit will surely rekindle the clarity of purpose, ambition, solidarity, and commitment to make the 2030 Agenda possible.”
He added, “The development trajectory that our country has taken is encapsulated in Vision 2030 of an upper middle-income economy by 2030 as articulated by our President, His Excellency, Dr E. D. Mnangagwa.
“Our national development plans are in sync with the dictates of the agenda 2030 which signify collective commitment towards the elimination of poverty, building partnerships, and spurring economic growth, safeguarding the environment for our good and for future generations as we leave no one behind. The Government has not been hesitant to come up with strategies and policies to meet these challenges head-on.”
This year is the midpoint of the SDGs, with the Second Republic ensuring the citizenry is afforded equal opportunities, food self-sufficiency at the household level, infrastructure development, and universal access to health care.