Date: 9 December 2016
Suva – The interwoven nature of the Sustainable Development Goals should compel governments to work in partnership with civil society organisations says Pacific Islands Association of NGOs executive director, Emele Duituturaga.
Duituturaga made the comments while presenting on the SDGs to the Development Network (DevNet) Conference held in Wellington, New Zealand earlier this week.
She said because the SDGs are ambitious, universal, transformative and interconnected, governments must seek civil society and community collaborations for its mainstreaming, implementation and achievements at regional and national levels.
“It is also for these reasons that CSOs and citizens must not shy away from holding their governments accountable. When CSOs do these, they are not necessarily opposing governments, they are ensuring that governments and society improve their approaches to tackling each of the 17 goals,” she said.
“The goals are ultimately designed for all countries, for all people and the sustainability of the planet. It is our duty as civil society to ensure that the objective of leaving no one behind is really achieved and that can only be done if we are part and parcel of national and regional efforts on SDGs.”
“”The unfinished business of the MDGs demonstrated the critical role of civil societies because despite the global efforts, there were persistent inequalities, visibly poor ownership at national and democratic levels and highlighted the need for an alternative sustainable development model.”
“MDGs fell short in terms of addressing the root structural causes of social problems and conflict, the need for enabling environments for CSOs and helped the world realise that it needed a development paradigm that inculcated equality and sustainability.”
Duituturaga said PIANGO had learnt from these lessons and was now actively seeking out partnerships at regional and national levels to ensure the achievement of SDGs in the region.
“We have been working closely with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and other Pacific governments on the Pacific SDG Roadmap which is to be endorsed by the PIF leaders next year,” she said.
She said a few countries in the region have yet to conduct their national consultations but that PIANGO will be monitoring the involvement of civil societies in such processes.
“PIANGO is working on a CSO monitoring framework for SDGs which will be deployed to our 24 national liaison units by mid next year as a tool to encourage and compel governments to include CSOs as equal partners in this effort.”
The meeting ended on seventh December 2016 .