Thabane opens validation conference

KABELO MASOABI

Prime Minister Motsoahae Thabane will later today open a national validation conference for Voluntary National Reviews 2019 (VNR) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) at the ’Manthabiseng Convention Centre.

This was stated in the combined statement released yesterday by the Ministry of Development Planning and the United Nations Development Programme who together with development partners supports the initiative aimed at validating and building national ownership of the Lesotho VNR 2019 report.

Under the theme ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness’ and equality’ the two-day validation conference which ends tomorrow is intended to demonstrate the government’s commitment to nationalise and support the integrated sustainable development goals into the national strategic development plan (NSPDP II).

Objectives of the conference include strengthening the national platform for SDG engagement, monitoring and reporting through effective SDG coordination mechanisms. The forum is also intended to assess, validate and give inputs into the proposed areas that Lesotho needs support in fast-tracking the implementation of the SDG’s through the NSPDP II.

“Again, to review, validate and give additional inputs into the SDGs VNR documents produced by the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and to facilitate a participatory and open reflection on the national progress towards the targets of the ‘Agenda 2030’, and enable assessment of both the policy and legal environment to meeting the national milestones targets,” the statement shows.

It adds; “To achieve these objectives, it was stated a participatory and consensus building approach would be used during the conference whereby SDG documents would be presented by the drafting team from NUL, followed by panel sessions of different stakeholders.

“This year, the report would focus more on six SDGs which are (goal 4) ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong team opportunities for all, (goal 8) to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, (goal 10) to reduce inequality within and among countries.”

It further states: “(Goal 13) to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, (goal 16) to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels and (goal 17) to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Participation for Sustainable Development.

“The conference provides opportunity for multi-stakeholder validation of the Lesotho report which will be presented to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2019 in New York, USA to show-case Lesotho’s progress, challenges and lessons learned in the implementation of the SDGs.”

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