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GoL & UN-Liberia identify development Roadmap  

By Lincoln G. Peters 

The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) with support from the United Nations in Liberia has completed the national validation on commitment to acceleration and transformation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The two-day validation symposium which lasted from September 7-8, seeks to prepare Liberia for the upcoming global SDGs Summit in New York this September. 

The consultation and validation exercise aims to prepare Liberia to report on progress, challenges, and opportunities in the implementation of its SDGs. The workshop also seeks to address SDGs priority areas including, benchmark on poverty and equality to propose, strengthening institutions to deliver the SDGs and means of implementation, monitoring and reporting. 

The workshop was held on the theme “Amplifying the Voices and Actions for SDGs and Committing to Inclusive and Sustainable Transformation for Shared Prosperity.” 

During the first day of the consultation held Wednesday, September 7, technocrats from various government line ministries, agencies, and commissions as well as civil society organizations began the process of developing a SDGs Acceleration Roadmap highlighting a set of commitments to deliver in the next seven years up to 2030 expected to be presented at the SDGs Summit.

The discussions facilitated by a technical working group from the MFDP and a national consultant supported by the UN  and led by UNDP Liberia, centered on issues of political will, planning, data, resource mobilization, peace and development, investments, domestication, food security, building blocks, deliberate and intentional approaches and actions,  budget and finance, ownership, accountability, monitoring and reporting, collaboration and partnership, reforms as well as social protection systems, among others.

During the last day of the symposium on September 8, participants were divided into three groups, constituting two sessions with one session on the feedback on the draft roadmap document which saw participants discussing key interventions and requirements for the roadmap. 

While session two focused on reporting back to the plenary and recommendation for inclusion evolving focus areas for SDGs Acceleration and Transformation. Participants during the session looked at key interventions from recommended key sectors to be emphasized in the roadmap. 

Group one dialogue on Acceleration Actions for effective accountable and transparent institutions and scaling up actions on key transitions to accelerate SDGs progress, including mobilizing finance and investment through partnership. 

At the same time, group two dialogue on Acceleration for social protection systems including financial framework and partnership strategic and scaling up actions on key transitions to achieve the SDGs in Liberia. 

Meanwhile, the various groups recommended that in order for Liberia to achieve the SDGs Acceleration and Transformation Roadmap, Liberia should make digital transformation works for all, adopt a life-long learning course for essential services and invest in peace. 

They also recommended that Liberia should accelerate access to energy for all and shift to renewable energy, secured food, water, and sanitation systems, protect biodiversity and natural resources, and prevent, new, and reduce existing vulnerabilities. 

On behalf of development partners, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Louis Kuukpen, extolled Liberia for the two days’ intensive validation. 

He said Liberia has a better and stronger case to make during the pending summit in New York, which he believes will attract development and opportunity to Liberia.

“We are committed to support Liberia and we want to thank you for the validation process. We all have identified our weaknesses and strengths with strategic recommendations on Liberia’s achievement towards the SDG”, Mr. Kuukpen said. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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