Today, we convene at a critical juncture in our country’s journey towards realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As we prepare to participate in the forthcoming SDG Summit in New York, these two-day National Consultations on Commitments for Acceleration and Transformation of the SDGs are both timely and important.
NATIONAL CONSULTATIONS ON COMMITMENTS FOR ACCELERATION & TRANSFORMATION OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
Honorable Dee Maxwell Kemayah, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Doyen of the Cabinet;
Honorable Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., Minister of Finance & Development Planning;
Honorable D. Zeogar Wilson, Minister of Youth & Sports;
Madam Christine Umutoni, United Nations Resident Coordinator;
Other Officials of Government, here present;
Development Partners & other staff members of the One UN System;
Representatives of Civil Society Organizations;
The Technical Staff of relevant government Ministries, here present;
Members of the Fourth Estate;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:
The SDGs embody our shared vision for a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. They remind us of our commitment to leaving no one behind and tackling the complex challenges facing our nation. As the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, I am particularly watchful of the indispensable role that gender equality plays in this endeavor. Gender equality is not merely one among the many SDGs; it is the thread that binds them all together. It is a beacon that guides our way as we work toward economic prosperity, gender and social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. Therefore, our commitments today must be resolute in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Our country, Liberia, under the leadership of the President, His Excellency, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has achieved remarkable progress in this regard, but there is still much work ahead. While we are here to also provide guidance on the National Commitments preparation, we must consider taking deliberate steps to ensure that women and girls have equal access to education, healthcare, economic opportunities, and leadership roles. We must consider investing more financial resources to holistically address and/or eradicate gender-based violence and discrimination, and we must recommit to fostering an environment where every woman and girl can thrive.
Our commitments should be more than words; they must be able to translate into concrete actions that will protect women, girls, and children, empower them, and promote their rights. We must harness the potential of women as agents of change, recognizing that their contributions are essential to the achievement of all the SDGs.
Moreover, as we engage in these consultations, we must emphasize the importance of partnerships and collaboration. The SDGs are a shared responsibility, and we cannot achieve them in isolation. It is through collective action, involving government, civil society, the private sector, and international partners, that we can all accelerate our progress. On this note, we want to acknowledge the work and support from the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning for committing and providing the initial needed financial resources for the implementation of the government’s own initiative – “the Anti-SGBV Roadmap”, despite the tight financial situation relative to revenue generation. I would also like to acknowledge the roles of our development partners such as the United Nations, European Union, Sweden, and the World Bank for their financial and technical support in ensuring that we continue to advance gender equality through strategic programming to achieve the SDGs.
In conclusion, I would like to admonish us all to seize this opportunity by reaffirming our dedication to the SDGs and committing ourselves to transformative change. Liberia’s participation in the upcoming SDG Summit in New York must not be just an event; it should be a testament to our unwavering commitment to building a more sustainable and equitable future for all Liberians.
I look forward to the productive discussions and shared commitments that will emerge from these consultations. I believe that with intentional approaches, together we can accelerate Liberia’s progress towards achieving the SDGs and create a brighter future for our nation.
Thank you, and let us work together with renewed determination and vigor toward our shared goals!