UNDP assures Zambia of support over Sustainable Development Goals

THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is ready to support Government in ensuring a smooth transition to the new development agenda and articulating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in national development plan and policies.

UNDP country director Martim Faria-E Maya said Zambia could count on support from the UN system to develop effective mechanisms for people’s engagement in monitoring progress on the SDGs.

Mr Maya was speaking in a speech read for him by UNDP Zambia national economist Elda Chirwa yesterday at Hotel Edinburgh in Kitwe during the Copperbelt Province symposium for civil society on the SDGs.

The meeting was attended by civil society organizations and other stakeholders.

“Zambia can count on support from the UN system to develop effective mechanisms for people’s engagement in monitoring progress on the SDGs. This includes supporting Parliament in carrying out its critical oversight role and civil society in performing its watchdog role, service delivery, monitoring and evaluation role.

“UNDP is ready to support the Zambian Government in ensuring a smooth transition to the new development agenda and articulating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in national development plan and policies,’’ Mr Maya said.

Mr Maya said UNDP had extensive experience in handling the MDGs from early stages and remained fully committed  to supporting Zambia on its development path.

Copperbelt permanent secretary Howard Sikwela said Government and the United Nations had signed the Sustainable Development Partnership Framework that would govern the work of the UN in Zambia in support of the SDGs.

Reverend Sikwela said the framework would govern the activities of all UN agencies in Zambia in support of Zambia’s sustainable development priorities.

“The framework replaces the Zambia-UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2011-2015) which came to an end in December 2015.

“The implementation of the development framework would indeed focus on ensuring that adequate and well directed capacity is developed in the nation’s institutions.

“The partnership is particularly focused on the need to leave  no one behind,” said Rev Sikwela in a speech read for him by acting Kitwe district commissioner Chikafuna Banda.

Rev Sikwela said Zambia was ready for the SDGs challenge and was doing everything possible to ensure that it achieved them as was assured by President Edgar Lungu during the official opening of the 1st session of the 12th National Assembly last week.

Meanwhile, the Civil Society-Poverty Observatory Group chairperson Chenai Mukumba said the high poverty and inequality levels in Zambia were worrying and that there was an urgent need for Government to  implement the SDGs  to create a sustainable and even society for all.

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