Participants outlined initiatives undertaken in Nigeria and elsewhere to advance the SDGs and address the multidimensional nature of poverty.
The 56th Session of the Commission on Social Development is convening from 29 January-7 February 2018, in New York, US.
6 February 2018: On the sidelines of the 56th Session of the Commission on Social Development (CSocD 56), participants discussed ways to eradicate poverty and advance the SDGs, providing several examples from Nigeria. Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, remarked that at the global level, there are many examples of local actors taking steps to implement the 2030 Agenda, including in South Africa, the Philippines and Benin.
At the event titled, ‘Poverty Eradication: From Policy to Local Action,’ Mohammed noted that local and regional governments only participated in 57% of the VNRs, which is “not enough.” Talking about Nigeria, she noted challenges faced by the country, including internal conflicts linked to the insurgence of Boko Haram. She also outlined initiatives undertaken by various stakeholders to make progress on the SDGs, such as the launch of the first country-level private sector advisory group (PSAG). The PSAG seeks to provide guidance and strategic support to achieve the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria, and includes 13 key partners who share a commitment to achieving the SDGs and an interest in corporate social responsibility.
Samson Itegboje, Permanent Mission of Nigeria, outlined other initiatives taken by his country to reduce poverty and target the ones left behind, including: the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020, which seeks to enhance global competitiveness, and invest in people and in environmental sustainability; the Home Grown School Feeding programme that provides free nutritious school meals to children; the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP) that provides financial aid for the un-banked and under-banked; and conditional cash transfers. He noted the need for local coordinators to monitor implementation of national plans and programmes and ensure transparency.
Yahaya Hamza, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs), Nigeria, said his office is working with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning to mainstream SDG indicators and targets into the budget and into sectoral plans. He noted that Nigeria has established the National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF) and the National Social Investments Programmes (NSIP) to tackle poverty and hunger across the country, and that efforts taken by the country in several sectors are starting to yield results, as indicated by falling inflation and “unprecedented’ infrastructure investments.
Bettina Luise Rürup, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), said poverty eradication requires a broad variety of work, such as promoting gender equality, including youth and creating employment. She called for “disaggregating partnerships” to better understand how and with whom to engage. Vince Chipatuka, FES Zambia, highlighted evidence that social protection can reduce inequality and poverty, and should be considered a right and an investment, instead of a “cost” or “charity.”
Rosario Diaz Garavito, The Millennial Movement, Peru, stressed the need to engage with civil society organizations (CSOs) to involve those left behind, adding that the 2030 Agenda Peru Ambassadors Program has reached people in 21 regions of Peru. The Programme is promoted by The Millennials Movement, the World We Want Platform and the UN Inter-Agency Network for Youth Development, and seeks to facilitate participation of CSOs in the 2030 Agenda and the SDG process at the country level.
Enemona Adaji, University of Nottingham, UK, said countries should invest in youth as leaders and social entrepreneurs to help design SDG solutions. A representative from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) outlined the importance of inclusive growth, saying it should provide decent employment opportunities for people, especially young people, and be sustained over a long period of time.
The side event was organized by Worldwide Network Nigeria: Women in Development and Environment, and convened on 6 February 2018, in New York, US. CSocD 56 is taking place from 29 January-7 February on the theme, ‘Strategies for Eradicating Poverty to Achieve Sustainable Development for all.’
SDG 1 calls to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere.” [Event Programme and Concept Note] [CSocD 56 Website] [SDG Fund News on Nigeria PSAG] [SDG Action Campaign on The 2030 Agenda Peru Ambassadors Program] [IISD sources] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on CSocD 56] [DSG Remarks]