Challenge of exclusion and inequality remains for Fiji in SDGs: Fiji CSOs

Date: 16th July 2019

NEW YORK———-Fiji had promised to implement sustainable development goals (SDGs), pledging to leave no one behind.

However, for those that are marginalized due to living in remote maritime islands, those living with disability and gender based violence for example, the risk of exclusion remains, not only in Fiji, but throughout the region. 

However, for those that are marginalized due to living in remote maritime islands, those living with disability and gender based violence for example, the risk of exclusion remains, not only in Fiji, but throughout the region.
 
Representatives of Fiji Civil Society Organisations, represented at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York met with the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations, Dr. Satyendra Prasad and Minister for Economy, the focal point of the Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the SDGs in Fiji, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, for a brief update on their work towards the VNR for sustainable development. A sevusevu to the Fiji PRUN was led by the Fiji Council of Social Services chairman, Kunaika Sitiveni.

 PIANGO Technical Advisor, Emele Duituturaga said the Fiji CSOs are well organised in preparing their report. However, there has not been meaningful engagement between government and the Fiji CSO VNR taskforce.
 
Leave no one behind, has been the rallying cry of the \ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which feature a cross-cutting focus on inclusiveness and addressing inequalities at this year’s High Level Political Forum in NY, the annual review mechanism for country reports. This collective 2030 Agenda underscores the importance of working in partnership with civil society in its implementation.

Fiji CSOs representatives at the meeting , from left Rainbow Pride Foundation 4 LGBTQ Rights and Equality in Fiji, Project Support Officer Amasai Jeke, PIANGO Programme Officer , Akmal Ali, Laisa Vereti of Pacific Disability Forum, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Executive Director Nalini Singh, PIANGO Techical Advisor Emele Duituturaga, Fiji Council of Social Services, Executive Director Vani Catanasiga and FCOSS Chairman Sitiveni Kunaika.

 

 “It is more urgent now that we need to localise the SDGs. Not just pushing for internationally-agreed goals at the local level, but making the aspirations of the SDGs become real to communities, households and individuals, particularly to those who are at risk of falling behind,” Duituturaga said.
 

“We need to consolidate our strengths to collaborate across sectors and make the spirit of Agenda 2030 come to life for all people.”
 
Dr Prasad, while welcoming the delegations, said that civil society reporting on national progress towards the SDGs is  crucial which provides an important complement to official accounts of progress.
 
“I am so proud of the work that you do and we are in a better position to report the result of the action on the ground,” Dr Prasad said.
 
 “Fiji is looking at reporting again next year,” he added.
 
He said, CSO plays a critical role in challenging government’s progress, they must continue, to ensure that Fiji achieves the Agenda by 2030.
 
Hon. Sayed-Khaiyum, said the achievement of SDGs and the Agenda 2030 absolutely needs partnership between civil society, private sectors and government.
 
CSOs are willing to continue with the talanoa and explore ways in which they can facilitate the discussion that needs to take place, to enhance and strengthen their capacity when government opens the door of engagement.
 
Fiji will present its VNR report today July 16, at the United Nations Headquarters.
 
Fiji CSOs representatives at the meeting included Fiji Council of Social Services, Executive Director Vani Catanasiga, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement Executive Director Nalini Singh, Rainbow Pride Foundation Fiji, Project Support Officer Amasai Jeke and PIANGO Project Officer, Akmal Ali and  Laisa Vereti of the Pacific Disability Forum.

Ends