The Federal Government is moving to explore areas of strategic partnership and collaboration with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, (SSAP-SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire disclosed this while speaking at the side event on achieving 2030 Agenda for sustainable development during the recent 55th Session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development, CSocD55 in New York, USA.
In her presentation titled: “The Strategies for innovative partnership between Government and Civil Society Organisations in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria”, the presidential aide noted that government recognises the multiple functions the CSOs play in addressing the main challenges of poverty and environmental degradation, conflict and disaster, the HIV/AIDS pandemic and governance at all levels, from the local to the global levels.
“CSOs play an increasingly influential role in setting and complementing Development Agendas throughout the world. Many have been in the forefront of advocating principles of social justice and equity. OSSAP-SDGs actively encourages engagement with a wide range of organisations and associations whose goals, values and development philosophies are in accord with its mandate.”
She maintained that in order to ensure that partnerships effectively contribute to attainment of the SDGs, governments would need to: forge partnerships that are need-based and aligned with country priorities as well as the priorities for SDGs, promote multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional partnerships.
The senior aide also stated that governments need to simplify the rules of engagement for partnerships, while managing risks, encourage public-private partnership, and evolve ways and means of leveraging Private Sector Resources/Expertise as well as that of the Development Partners. Government would also need to enhance effectiveness and ensure accountability for results, she noted.
Princess Orelope-Adefulire added that OSSAP-SDGs had and has continued to build and forge strategic partnerships with all critical stakeholders, inclusive of the CSOs.
“The office in collaboration with the Private Sector and partners has held strategy sessions aimed at developing a framework for OSSAP-SDGs engagement with the Private Sector and the CSOs. Consequently, a Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) is to be instituted that would serve as think-thank for partnerships and private sector engagement.”
“The growing strength and sophistication of CSOs as actors in the development arena presents us with new challenges in building multi-faceted and creative alliances with the CSOs. To design and sustain genuine partnerships with CSOs, it is essential to understand the civil society sector, assess its capacities and weaknesses, and develop appropriate and effective tools and instruments to engage with,” she added.
Organised by Women in Development & Environment WorldWide Network Nigeria, the side event was aimed at seeking effective strategies and promoting multi-stakeholders’ partnership, if the implementation of the SDGs must leave no one behind.
The SDGs, which came into effect in January 2016, are a new universal set of 17 economic, social and environmental goals, with 169 targets and 231 indicators which United Nations-member states are expected to achieve by 2030.
The SDGs build and expand on the 8 goals of the MDGs by focusing on critical dimensions of sustainable development including human rights obligation, good governance, social justice, equity within & between countries, sustainability, vulnerability and the inclusion of marginal populations and the poorest of the poor. These universal goals are expected to create a benchmark that ensures the balancing of economic development and global environmental goal with poverty reduction objective.
Nigeria, in a powerful delegation led by President Muhammadu Buhari, was one of the over 190 member-countries which endorsed and adopted the SDGs at the landmark 70th General Assembly of the United Nations, which took place in New York in September 2015.