UN Resident Coordinator, Florence Rolle, speech for SDGs Fair on Tuesday 24 October 2017 at Mtsiliza Full Primary School Ground.
On behalf of the United Nations family in Malawi, I am delighted to be here today to join you in this first ever SDGs Fair for Malawi with the theme My Community’s Development, My Responsibility.
As some of you may be hearing the term SDGs for the first time because of this fair, let me explain what the SDGs are about.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of development goals agreed by all countries in the world, including Malawi, in September 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all people in a sustainable way by 2030.
The term sustainable development simply means development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Ndiye ndimafuna ndifunse inu nonse amene mwabwera kuno lero (So, I want to ask every one of you here)
Kodi pofika chaka cha 2030, mudzakhala muli ndi zaka zingati (How old will you be in 2030?)
Children will be young adults; the youth will be adults with families and the adults will be senior citizens.
We now have less than 5,000 days left to make sure that all Malawians have sufficient and nutritious food; the water we drink is clean, our houses, communities and country are clean, green and healthy and all children are in school.
Sustainable development for Malawi means:
- Smaller families so that the economy can grow at a faster pace than the population
- Sustainable agriculture to stop soil erosion and ensure food security for all
- Renewable energy to enable small businesses to grow and to reduce rapid deforestation
- And of course, better governance so that there is no discrimination or difference between the rich and the poor and no one is left behind.
The 17 SDGs are your goals
Chichewa – Mfundo zachitukuko chokhazikika ndi za ife anthu
And it’s our responsibility and duty to ensure that we do our bit in achieving these goals for a better and brighter future for ourselves, our children, the elderly, the vulnerable and the marginalised.
For the SDGs to be achieved by 2030, everyone needs to do their part: government, the private sector, civil society, academia, students, media and all citizens of Malawi. The theme of today’s event My community’s development my responsibility signifies just that.
The SDGs are built around the principle of leaving no one behind; it draws upon the UN Charter of 1945 stipulates enjoyment of human rights by all regardless of age, gender, race, disability, tribe, economic status, health status, language or religion This means that no one is sidelined, excluded or discriminated against in the development process.
Getting involved in the SDGs is not complicated or a matter left in the hands of the government and the UN. You can start getting involved in SDGs wherever you are, house, community, district, region.
For example, at your home, you can contribute towards saving energy by ensuring that you use energy saver bulbs and turn off electronic appliances when not in use. Since many of you use social media, if you see an interesting social media post about women’s rights or climate change, you can share it so that friends in your network can see it too.
You can also speak out against harmful cultural practices like child marriages which disadvantage children, especially adolescent girls.
You also have a role to play in preventing deforestation and poor waste disposal which degrade the environment. By ensuring that you buy products made in Malawi, you will be contributing to employment creation and economic growth in Malawi.
I also hope that all of you have registered for the national ID. The national ID will give you legal identity as a citizen of Malawi, contributing to achievement of SDG number 16, target 9 which promotes the right to legal identity including birth registration for everyone.
As you can see, there are many things that each one of you can do to contribute to the achievement of SDGs.
Through the Development Effectiveness and Accountability Programme – DEAP – the UN and the EU have a unique partnership where we the Malawi Government on the domestication and localization of the SDGs through the next medium-term development plan and the district development plans. You as citizens have an important role to support and monitor the implementation of these plans to drive the country out of poverty and underdevelopment.
As UN, we have learnt from the implementation of the previous Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that leaving some groups of people behind in development, drags progress and leads to failure on the overall development goals.
In many areas, Malawi has glaring disparities between rural and urban populations, women and men, boys and girls, as well as across various age groups and the country’s three regions.
For instance, according to MDGs reports, extreme poverty among Malawians has worsened from 23.6 percent in 2000 to 25.7 percent in 2015, with rural areas experiencing rising ultra-poverty. There are more under-five children who are underweight at 12 percent in rural areas as compared to 8 percent underweight prevalence in urban areas.
As we celebrate the UN day today let us together resolve to initiate a nation-wide people’s movement to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Today we have partners here to show case the work that is already taking place in the country towards achieving the SDGs. I urge all of you to visit the displays set up in the pavilions opposite and interact with the partners to learn more about the SDGs and what the country is doing about achieving the. The organization of the displays is connected with the national priorities articulated in the soon to be launched MGDS III. The displays will further highlight how the priorities contribute to achieving the SDGs. A walk through the pavilions will also give us direction and ideas on how in our own unique way we can support the achievement of the SDGs to ensure a better and brighter future from Malawians.
Tiyeni tonse titengepo mbali kuti Malawi adzakwaniritse mfundo za chitukuko zimenezi