The Governments of Liberia and Somalia held national launches of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, announcing plans to implement the agenda domestically and align it with national plans.
In Liberia, officials discussed key steps in "domesticating" and mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda, stressing the importance of a bottom-up, decentralized approach to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into local and national development plans.
The Somalia event addressed the implications of the SDGs for the country, and the government's aim to facilitate early engagement and implementation.
26 January 2016: The Governments of Liberia and Somalia held national launches of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, announcing plans to implement the agenda domestically and align it with national plans. In Liberia, officials discussed key steps in “domesticating” and mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda, stressing the importance of a bottom-up, decentralized approach to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into local and national development plans. The Somalia event addressed the implications of the SDGs for the country, and the government’s aim to facilitate early engagement and implementation.
The Government of Liberia held its national launch in partnership with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the UN Country Team, Save the Children International and other partners, from 26-27 January 2016, at the Monrovia City Hall as well as other venues throughout the capital. Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, posed questions: “How to adapt [the SDGs] to our national priorities? Who does what and with what? How do we measure our progress and how do we ensure that everyone is on board?” She said the launch begins a 15-year process that will require commitment and continuous action from stakeholders in all sectors and levels of society, and called for a national dialogue on implementing the 2030 Agenda among “the three branches of government, the private sector, the media, civil society organizations, development partners, religious and traditional leaders, youth and women organizations, workers unions and the disabled.”
The Government of Liberia has established an Inter-Agency Task Force, led by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, to coordinate the SDGs’ implementation and to monitor, evaluate and report on progress and impact. Elaborating on these plans, Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh, said the government will take an integrated approach to the SDGs, including by incorporating the Goals into its National Vision and Agenda for Transformation. He said the government seeks “significant progress” in both urban and rural areas, and will prioritize SDG 3 (health), SDG 4 (education), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 9 (infrastructure), SDG 16 (peace and justice) and SDG 17 (means of implementation and partnerships). Liberia’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, recommended that Liberia develop specific targets to account for its specific situation. Various flagship programs were discussed including a new community health worker strategy, which builds on the training and extension work undertaken to combat the ebola epidemic and aims to achieve universal health coverage for all (SDG 3).
Observing that “the problems facing development are not the gap of knowledge; it is the gap of utilization of knowledge,” SDSN Director Jeffrey Sachs said research institutions are available to help countries incorporate information and communication technologies (ICTs), innovative approaches and scientific knowledge into national planning and implementation processes.
The Government of Somalia launched the SDGs at an event on 6 January 2016, organized by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Somalia office. Government leaders highlighted the SDGs’ relevance to Somalia’s National Development Plan, and discussed key actions to implement, monitor and achieve the goals. Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Mohamed Omar Arteh, called for strengthening government institutions to “tackle poverty, protect the environment and improve security,” while the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Abdirahman Yusuf Ali Aynte, recommended prioritizing SDG 1 (poverty) and SDG 7 (clean energy).
Liberia and Somalia are both members of the g7+, an association of countries that are or have been affected by conflict and are now in transition to the next stage of development. The g7+ countries have agreed to jointly monitor 20 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators to ensure that fragile and conflict-afflicted states are not left behind in achieving the 2030 Agenda. [Government of Liberia Press Release, 26 January] [Government of Liberia Press Release, 24 January] [g7+ Press Release] [Government of Somalia Press Release] [IISD RS Story on g7+ Indicator Monitoring] [SDSN Press Release]