BY BLAIR MHONE
Malawi government has reaffirmed its commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 through the launch of the 2022 Voluntary National Review (VNR) process of the SDGs.
The VNR aims at reviewing progress the country has made in the implementation of SDGs.
Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe launched the VNR in Lilongwe, and in his remarks, he said the implementation of the SDGs is being affected by a huge debt burden and the government is currently pursuing measures to reduce public debt in order to channel resources to the implementation of the SDGs.
The minister called on different stakeholders to focus on SDGs that will help in laying solid foundations for achieving an inclusively wealthy and self-reliant industrialized nation.
“Malawi should focus more on SDGs that will promote the building of a strong and sustainable productive base to increase the country’s fiscal space and retire huge debt and manage the environment given the recurring natural disasters due to climate change.
“Despite the United Nations advising countries doing VNRs to largely focus on five SDGs, namely: SDGs 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17, Malawi has chosen to review all the SDGs in order to appreciate the level of progress and effort required to achieve each SDG as a country,” said Gwengwe.
Taking part in the launch was UN Resident Coordinator Shigeki Komatsubara who commended Malawi government commitment to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achievement of the SDGs.
“VNR is a main mechanism for tracking progress on the SDGs at the national level and reporting on them at the global level annually, specifically at the High-Level Political Forum under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council.
“It is, therefore, an important tool for accountability for the SDGs. Within this context, the VNR provides an important opportunity for Malawi to be answerable to its citizens in relation to the implementation of the SDGs, especially for members of the society who have limited space to participate in SDG accountability processes at national level,” he said.
This is a second Voluntary National Review (VNR) in Malawi with the last being held in 2020.
This year’s launch was held under the theme ‘Reviewing Malawi’s readiness to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).