Zimbabwe: Achieving SDGs for better life in freedom

IMG_6525_0.JPG

26 October 2018, Harare - The United Nations in Zimbabwe held a monthlong advocacy under the theme “Achieving SDGs for Better Life in Freedom” to mark the 73rd Anniversary of the United Nations. The series of advocacy activities which featured live radio interviews, a weeklong youth led dialogue on SDGs facilitated by theSpace, UN results group public exhibition culminated with a reception in Harare on 26 October 2018.

The UN Day reception event was presided over by Hon. Vice President Kembo Mohadi, who reiterated the Government’s commitment to working towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the 2016-2020 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), which is fully aligned with the 17 SDGs and national development priorities.

“The Government of Zimbabwe expresses its firm commitment to endeavour to achieve the SDGs under Agenda 2030 as we believe that it is one of the strategies of creating a better life for our people, and it resonates well with our Vision 2030,” Hon. VP Mohadi said.

He also acknowledged the critical role of the public in reaching the SDGs, noting that citizens are as important as institutions in defining the future of their own countries. As such, the Government will put more effort in sensitizing citizens about the SDGs and what they can do to support the country achieve those ideals.

VP Mohadi said, “At the heart of the SDGs is the promise to end poverty and hunger. The Government is fully committed to reducing poverty in all its forms (SDG1) and has in fact put poverty eradication at the top of its agenda. There are various programmes currently underway to reduce poverty and eventually eradicate it, most critical of which includes the modernization and mechanization of the agriculture sector. Likewise, Government is committed to end hunger (SDG2) through various initiatives, which include among others, increasing land utilization, rehabilitating and developing new irrigation schemes, construction of more dams, improving agricultural productivity, funding of the special agricultural programme, command agriculture as well as the Presidential inputs support scheme.

At the same reception addressing some 300 senior officials from the Government, UN, Diplomatic Corps, NGOs, private sectors, and the media, the UN Resident Coordinator Bishow Parajuli, commended the progress made towards achieving SDGs in Zimbabwe and highlighted UN support to Zimbabwe’s national development priorities under the 2016-2020 ZUNDAF.

“As we mark the seventy-three years of the UN, we recall the vision of the United Nations as set out in the Charter: the vision of tolerance, universal human rights, peaceful co-existence and promotion of social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,” Parajuli said.

Under the 2016 -2020 ZUNDAF, the United Nations has delivered USD 1.1 billion by 30 June 2018 towards various development projects and programmes at mid-point of the five-year programme cycle, in support of the Government’s efforts towards six key areas: food and nutrition security; gender equality; HIV/AIDS; poverty reduction and value addition; public administration and governance; and social services and protection.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the strong partnership with the Government and civil society partners, and generous support from the development partners – including the United States of America, United Kingdom, European Union, Germany, Sweden, Japan and many others,” Mr. Parajuli said.

Meanwhile, as part of marking the 73rd anniversary of the United Nations, the UN Zimbabwe hosted a weeklong exhibition at Harare Gardens to showcase the work of UN Agencies guided by the ZUNDAF and facilitated dialogue with youth. In his address at the official launch of the exhibition and youth-dialogue on Monday 22 October 2018, Mr. Parajuli urged the youth to be at the forefront of the transformation of Zimbabwe. He highlighted that the United Nations recognizes the youth as agents of change who have the power and responsibility to create the world they want to live in by actively participating in decision-making processes.

The country’s Vision 2030 puts forth a vision for Zimbabwe based on values including: governance and the rule of law; democracy; peace; inclusive economic growth; citizen participation; re-engagement; and transparency, accountability and anti-corruption. The United Nations Country Team in Zimbabwe stands ready to support the Government to make Vision 2030 a reality for all Zimbabweans, including through support to the implementation of the Transitional Stabilization Programme and the development of the next National Development Strategy for 2021-2025.

The UN monthlong series of advocacy events was held throughout October to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter on 24 October 1945, which sets out to guide international cooperation among member states for the prevention of war, respect of human rights for all, of justice and promotion of socio-economic progress.

This year – the 73rd Anniversary of the UN – UN in Zimbabwe partnered with Classic263 –ZBC Talk Radio Station – to exclusively cover UN@73 public discourse around different development issues with focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 goals.

The aim of the programme was to highlight the commitments that the United Nations, together with its 193 Member States – including Zimbabwe, has made to advance peace, human rights, socio-economic progress, and life-saving humanitarian assistance during disasters. In addition, the programme gave the different agencies that make up the UN system in Zimbabwe an opportunity to showcase how their work supports national development priorities.

The radio series was officially launched by UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Bishow Parajuli when he appeared on air on 1 October 2018 for the curtain raiser interview in which he discussed the various changes that have been made since the UN Charter came into force on 24 October 1945. Speaking on Zimbabwe’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, Parajuli said, “There has been great progress made in Zimbabwe, but there is still greater momentum that needs to be gained towards achieving the 17 sustainable development goals.

The series of radio interviews featured all 14 UN Heads of Agencies covering topics ranging from ending poverty, hunger, HIV and AIDS, inequality to promoting quality education, universal health coverage, decent jobs, economic growth, industry, environmental protection, good governance and peace.