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Stakeholders Discuss UN Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations has paid tribute to the almost one billion young and adolescent girls living around the world who face daily challenges to their development. (Photo: UNICEF)

The United Nations office in Zimbabwe on Wednesday convened a two-day all-stakeholders’ national dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country’s capital, Harare.

The meeting, which included government representatives along with members of civic society organizations, was for stakeholders to engage in comprehensive and inclusive dialogue to plan, build consensus and raise awareness of SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Goals are a proposed set of targets relating to future international development. They replace the Millennium Development Goals, which expire at the end of 2015.

Mcleo Mapfumo, youth president of the Zimbabwe United Nations Association, who attended the meeting, said the UN, along with the Zimbabwean government and several civic society organizations are pushing to involve the country in fully embracing the goals.

“I think if you look at Sustainable Development Goal number one and number two, they are about ending poverty in their forms everywhere, to achieve food security and improve nutrition and to support sustainable agriculture,” said Mapfumo.

The World Health Organization recently reported that the world is less poor and healthier now than it was 15 years ago when the United Nations launched the Millennium Development Goals. But officials said although strides had been made bringing down rates of child malnutrition, and cutting maternal and child deaths, they acknowledge they still are far from reaching the targets set under the Millennium Development Goals.

Mapfumo said in Zimbabwe they hope to make certain ordinary people understand and know the goals and make sure they are participatory members in addressing and working around the Sustainable Development Goals.

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The meeting being held in Harare, will continue on Thursday with stakeholders discussing the international and regional processes on Post 2015 Development Agenda and begin the process of domesticating and prioritizing the SDG’s in relation to Zimbabwe’s development vision espoused in the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset).