The Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Millennium Development Goals, Dr Precious Gbeneol has called on the global community to give adequate attention to issues of poverty eradication, inclusion and inequalities in the framing of the successor framework to the MDGs.
The Presidential aide made this declaration at the recently concluded Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations (Stocktaking session) held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, according to statement issued by Dr Christopher Otabor, Head, Information and Communications, OSSAP-MDGs.
According to Dr Gbeneol, “Nigeria believes for the Post-2015 Development Agenda to be truly open, inclusive and transformative, it must take due cognizance of the aspirations and dreams of the less privileged members of the society. The formulation process needs to continue to be inclusive so that developmental realities and not academic conjectures are tackled. This inclusion has the added benefit of increasing community buy-in across the world.”
Dr Gbeneol, while reaffirming the successes recorded in the implementation of pro-poor policies with the MDGs reiterated that the post 2015 framework must cover vital areas that were not attended to in the MDGs.
“The formulation of the Post 2015 Development Agenda is one that has generated a lot of interest following the success of the MDGs. The MDGs has significantly impacted the lives of the poor and vulnerable in developing countries and moving forward, Nigeria is of the view that its unfinished business must be attended to in the next development agenda. The new set of goals must tackle the crucial issues that were not addressed under the current framework, with poverty eradication, access to sustainable energy, infrastructure, population demographics, adequate development financing and governance at the centre.”
Dr Gbeneol maintained that: “the new goals must be carefully woven to integrate the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. It must be understood that these are crucial to the process and cannot be left out. If the MDGs framework was the so-called ‘floor’ for development aspirations on which to set more ambitious and contextually appropriate policy aims, then the new framework must consider the most fundamental problems facing the least developed societies in the world. It must tackle those problems first.”
The MDGs boss however lamented the financial constraint in funding the numerous components of the existing framework and urged the global community to address the limitations by providing for adequate financing options.
“Nigeria is of the view that goals without the means of implementation would remain mere rhetoric. In this regard, we stress that the Post-2015 Development Agenda must be ambitious in terms of allocation of resources and definition of the means of implementation. Nigeria believes that the report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing has provided viable financing options for the implementation of the new agenda. Similarly, Nigeria believes that the achievement of sustainable development should be considered as shared responsibility. Therefore, global partnership in the Post-2015 Development Agenda should embrace all relevant stakeholders including governments, private sector, philanthropists and civil society.”
Dr Gbeneol noted that the scale of resources needed for the implementation of the Post 2015 Development Agenda is daunting especially for resource-poor countries. According to her, many of the countries lagging behind in the implementation of MDGs lacked necessary resources to actualise the goals. She therefore added that as collective aspiration rises towards ensuring that no one is left behind in the next dispensation, there is need to mobilize key players to support the implementation of the new agenda.
In this regard, the SSAP-MDGs stressed that domestic resource mobilization would play a critical role and ensure national ownership of the new agenda. Thus, the governments must endeavour to improve their tax system, block all avenues of tax evasion and leakages.
Since the adoption of the MDGs in 2000, the agenda has served as the minimum benchmark for development. However, one of the weakest elements of the MDGs remained the global partnership. Nigeria is of the view that the means of implementation for each of the goals should be clearly defined in the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
“We therefore stress the need to harness resources from different sources including governments, the private sector, philanthropists and the civil society. More importantly, Nigeria believes that Official Development Assistance should continue to play a key role in the implementation of the new agenda. In this regard, we urge developed countries to fulfil their commitments to developing countries in the Post 2015 Development Agenda.” Dr Gbeneol Stated.