The sustainable developments seem to be ambitious and near impossible but with the successful reports of the Millenium Development Goals, there is a glance of hope; the hope of making the world a better place and leaving no one behind. In truism, the major key players to achieve these goals are the national governments. Countries are now starting up SDGs-driven objectives and implementing them into their national systems. These goals can serve as guiding lights to national developments and successes. Below are seven ways the national governments can secure their ways towards achieving the sustainable development goals.
1. The national government must assimilate the SDGs into existing national plans and policies.
Items in the SDGs are developmental, integrating these goals into the national action plan and creating national targets will attract sustainable national development. The national government must create policies to mainstream SDGs across all level of governments such as state and local governments. Localization is key. From grassroots to the urban hearts, the government must carry along these lower governments through specific funding, monitoring and assistance towards attaining these goals. Implementing policies that align with the SDGs must apply to almost all the sectors of the country such as Ministries of Internal Affairs, Women and Child Welfare, Labour, Science and Technology, Industries and so on. The interconnection between all the sustainable development goals is unarguably distinct likewise the functions of the ministries in line with the SDG. Inter-ministerial commitments and task forces can accelerate the implementation of the SDGs, getting all hands to be on deck.
2. Policy-making with the cooperation of the civil society and the private sector.
The civil society plays a huge role as middlemen between the people and the government. In fact, the civil society is made up of ordinary citizens who can relate to the issues and challenges they encounter in their various fields. The national government must always call on the civil society to undertake policy reforms. The private sector on the other hand as stakeholders must be supported to engage and build progress towards responding to the SDGs while growing their businesses and creating opportunities. Easy grounds on regulations, data collections and friendly collaboration are a few ways the national government must support the private sector. Many of these goals can be realised when the privately owned businesses provide technologies, reliable market environment, decent jobs and community social responsibilities that foster the feat of the SDGs.
3. The Parliamentary Role
Parliaments can translate these goals into laws and regulations and objectively monitor the implementation of SDGs in their respective countries. Another reason for connecting the parliaments is to influence policies for adequate funding that will foster an enabling environment for SDG implementation. The Sri Lanka government supports the country’s Parliamentary Select Committee on Sustainable Development and the parliament of Georgia recently got involved in the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs in Georgia with the assistance of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Intra-parliamentary Union (IPU).
4. Commitments On Financing and Methods Of Implementation
Hopefully, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides a new global framework for financing SDGs for all countries. Ghana has developed its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Budget Report to show that financing for the SDGs is being operated by the tenets of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) for implementing the SDGs. Ghana is the second country after Mexico to provide this report to assure a more efficient tracking of performance on the SDGs.
5. Addressing gender inequalities.
Women are likely to be excluded in policy making, they are likely to be poor, unpaid and maltreated. Their voices need to be heard in decision making and must enjoy decent jobs and wages. According to UNDP, between 2010 to 2014, the gender gaps cost the labour market about $95 billion yearly. Gender Equality is one of the goals to achieve in the 2030 SDG course. Gender inequality promotes poverty, food insecurity, mortality rates and so on. The national governments and the national policymakers must stop viewing the women folks separately and begin ensuring gender-equitable access to political positions, decent jobs, health and financial services. Gender inequality slows than sustainable developments. Iceland became the first country in the world to make pay inequality illegal. Firms that do not agree to equal pay for both male and female workers are fined to $500 a day. Favourably, Iceland has the highest employment rate (86.3%) among all countries in the world. According to UN Dispatch, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden are the top five most friendly countries to Gender Equality in 2018 while the Islamic Republic of Iran, Chad, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen ranks high in Gender Inequality.
6. Efforts on conflict resolution and management:
Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General said, “There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development”. Conflict and disasters can throw a nation backwards. Countries must always be ready to tackle these issues especially the violent crises such as inter-religious and inter-tribal hostilities. More than 65 million people are forcibly displaced either as refugees, internally displaced people or asylum seekers. Development goals are unachievable without sustaining peace. Governments must draft concrete frameworks to achieve peace in conflict zones in order to achieve SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) which of course can be instrumental to other accelerating other sustainable goals.
7. The First Partner Role.
The offices of the First Partners can help to promote, empower or achieve one or more of the SDGs. It is no longer surprising that First partners participate in tackling some major issues faced in their countries. Christine Kaseba-Sata, former First Lady of Zambia and Mrs Salma Kikwete, former First Lady of Tanzania, have contributed immensely to the work of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, to combat women’s cancers in their countries. Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s First Lady in 2017 empowered 1000 women and youths in Bauchi with skills acquisitions.