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Experience from the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has shown that significant progress can be made with targeted interventions, sound strategies and political will for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) known as the Agenda 2030.

The Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) said this in his remarks delivered at the official launch of the fifth and final 2015 MDGs Report and the inauguration of the SDGs in Lesotho at a ceremony held in Maseru on Wednesday.

Mr. Mothetjoa Metsing said the Lesotho government is committed to take urgent steps to improve on policy development and implementation, focusing on coordinated and integrated multi-sectoral approach to development as well as to decentralise services.

He said the intension is also to improve monitoring and evaluation systems for the establishment of baselines and tracking progress while on the other hand the government will improve sectoral capacity for implementation and ensuring that different sectors of the society know about this development agenda.

Mr. Metsing added that government is also committed to address the unfinished business of the MDGs along with the implementation of the SDGs, which he said will be integrated in the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP), adding that the Goals set forth a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity while they also seek to strengthen universal peace amongst others.

He said Lesotho made significant progress in the areas of education, gender equality, environment and global partnership for development however saying the country did not perform well in sectors of health and poverty in relation to MDGs. 

He further mentioned that the government has already come up with a development agenda roll-out roadmap to support the country in implementing the SDGs and other regional initiatives such as Agenda 2063.

He added that the Lesotho government in collaboration with the United Nations Agencies in the country started a process of sensitisation, prioritisation, localisation and mainstreaming of the SDGs into national policies and plans since the Goals call for increased efforts by governments in terms of technical and financial resources for successful implementation.

He said successful implementation of the SDGs also calls for active participation by all stakeholders hence urged stakeholders from various sectors such as private sector, civil society organisations, youth, women and the academia to mention a few. 

''Working closely with the government and UN Agencies will help in achieving a common vision of eradicating poverty, achieving sustainable human development, fostering environment sustainability and ensuring that no one is left behind'', he said.

He thanked the UN agencies for supporting Lesotho in producing the report, which was the Lesotho Government launched through the Ministry of Development Planning.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator, Dr Cornelia Atsyor congratulated Lesotho for producing the report saying for the past 15 years the country adopted and integrated the MDGs into the NSDP to address development challenge facing the nation.

She announced that the UN has supported the implementation of MDGs through the UN development assistance framework closely aligned to the NSDP particularly in areas of job creation, agriculture, governance, environment, health, education, HIV/AIDS, security, human development and social protection to mention a few. 

Dr Atsyor said as Lesotho is about to implement the SDGs, the UN will continue to support her in ensuring that the implementation of the Goals goes in line with the NSDP.

She urged the Lesotho government to ensure that no one is left behind when the SDGs are implemented for the improvement of the living conditions of Basotho.

The SDGs are comprised of 17 goals and 169 targets which are integrated and indivisible, while the MDGs had eight goals with 21 targets.

Source: LENA 15/02/2017


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