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    Working Group presents report to Foreign Minister

    z_p03-WorkingThe ‘Working Group’ appointed by Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to assess the implementation of the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, presented their report to the minister at his office, on Thursday, a press release from the Foreign Relations Ministry stated.

    Presenting the report, Working Group Chair Ahmed A. Jawad, Multilateral Affairs Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Relations, observed that a high-level leadership would be crucial for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals since the goals are of a cross-cutting nature, coming under the purview of multiple agencies; and, therefore, supervision at the highest possible political level becomes ‘absolutely important’, the statement read.

    The Minister of Foreign Relations appreciated the deliberations of the Working Group to produce the report in a short period of time, given the situation concerning COVID-19. He said that the report is important at this juncture with regard to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it added.

    The report underscores the importance of a strong institutional mechanism that could integrate economic, social, and environmental dimensions of Sustainable Development in a balanced, holistic and pragmatic manner, across all levels of government and society, and recommends the creation of an institutional framework for effective coordination of the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, the Ministry stated.

    One of the recommendations is that the composition of such a framework needs to cut across all sectors, given the interconnected nature of the Sustainable Development Goals. Meaningful engagement of businesses, academia, civil societies, trade unions, women, and youth, as well as indigenous groups; in the process of planning, target-setting, implementation, and monitoring; has been identified as a critical factor underpinning the success of implementation, the statement read.

    The report also emphasises that Sustainable Development Framework is a transformative Agenda which requires stewardship at the highest level, having both convening power and the ability to foster multi-stakeholder engagement to transform it towards a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach; and proposed number of actions for donor coordination, planning, SDG alignment, policy coherence, a national SDG indicator framework, an integrated monitoring and reporting mechanism, capacity-building, use of alternate data sources, development of a financing framework, domestic resource mobilisation, prioritise and support public sector innovation, and establishment of a ‘National Innovation Agency’, it added.

    ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ was adopted by the Heads of State and high-level representatives, including Sri Lanka, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, between September 25 and 27, 2015.

    This framework was planned to achieve sustainable development by 2030, building upon the achievements of the ‘Millennium Development Goals’.

    The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals, accompanied by 169 targets, with indicators under each target. Sri Lanka has taken a number of steps to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the enactment of the Sustainable Development Agenda Act No.19 of 2017 and the establishment of the Sustainable Development Council.

    The last decade of the framework, the ‘Decade of Action’ (2020 – 2030), began this year.

    The Working Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, chaired by Ahmed A. Jawad, is comprised of Anton Perera, Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister and Co-Secretary to the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation; Dr. Lloyd Fernando, Member of the Board of Studies at the Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayawardenepura; Dr. C.S. Weeraratne, former Professor of Agriculture at the Universities of Ruhuna and Rajarata; and Chamindry Saparamadu, Attorney-at-Law and Lecturer in Sustainable Management.

    Courtesy – Daily News

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