In its efforts to ensure that the Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals form the basis for national dialogue during the electoral period, the United Nations in Nigeria has organized a roundtable with representatives of political parties on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s.
The roundtable which involved the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, and representatives of ten registered political parties which are contesting in the coming presidential and other elections, focused on political parties’ approach to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a possible future government administration.
Matthias thanked the representatives of political parties at the meeting for their time and commitment. “With attendees from across the political spectrum, this is a promising sign for the commitment of Nigeria to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – whatever the outcome of the upcoming elections.” He noted.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he explained, was adopted in the UN General Assembly in 2015 by 193 member states including Nigeria. He further said that at the heart of the 2030 Agenda were 17 indivisible SDGs.
“Together, this set of interconnected goals sets out a vision for a secure world free from poverty and hunger, with full and productive employment, access to quality education and universal health coverage, the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, and an end to environmental degradation,” said the UN Resident Coordinator.
He advised political parties to reflect the SDGs in their manifestoes, noting that there is an urgent need to rescue the SDGs and accelerate progress towards the achievement of the goals by 2030.
Representatives of the political parties at the meeting demonstrated awareness of the SDGs and provided the linkages between their parties’ programmes and the SDGs. They advocated for renewable energy, social justice, eradication of poverty, social protection including good health and quality education, and gender equality.
Schmale therefore, called on political parties to work towards credible, transparent, and peaceful elections in Nigeria.
“We encourage all actors to proactively calm tensions and avoid violence before, during, and after the election period.” He added, “the United Nations will continue to engage proactively with the government and other critical stakeholders at both national and state levels.
The roundtable was attended by Action Alliance (AA); Africa Action Congress (AAC); Action Democratic Party (ADC); Boot Party; Labour Party; National Rescue Movement (NRM); People’s Redemption Party (PRP); Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Social Democratic Party (SDP); and Young Progressive Party (YPP).