Paulina Quintao – The government of Timor-Leste and its partners including the United Nations and its agencies in Timor-Leste, Diplomatic Corps, and representatives of the private sector and civil society organizations will revise the implementation of the commitments, policies and the programs of government to achieve the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Minister for Legislative Reforms and Parliamentary Affairs, Fidelis Magalhaes, said this is very important to review the policies and programs made by the government of Timor-Leste to achieve the SDGs goals by 2030.
He said, the revision will look at the general implementations, the involvement of the stakeholders in the process, the challenges (related to data, policy, and programs) and the joint actions for the future.
He said as a new country, Timor-Leste will face major challenges, but we continue to have a commitment and will make efforts to achieve the SDGs by the set date of 2030.
"We are a new and developing country with limitations on financial and human resources to achieve these objectives. It is clear that we will continue to face the challenges, but we need to revise the SDGs implementation continually to see our performance and efforts," he said while opening a Workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals "Voluntary National Review (VNR)" at Timor Plaza, in Dili.
He informed that the VNR will note progress during the revision, but generally the human growth and physical development progress has been significant, which is also receiving appreciation from other countries, and the government will continue to try to strengthen and be ambitious to be able to create more positive results.
"The challenge for the government is to choose the priorities, because as a new country everything is our priority," he said.
He added the source of this government program is the National Strategic Development Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals, therefore the government, especially the line ministries need to work hard to realize the commitments that have been put in the priorities, and that have been mentioned in the SDGs to guarantee their implementation.
He informed, the workshop is a step for the government of Timor-Leste to prepare and elaborate its voluntary national review report on the SDGs implementation in Timor-Leste to be presented at the UN Headquarters in July 2019.
There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 3. Good Health and Well-being, 4. Quality Education, 5. Gender Equality, 6. Clean Water and Sanitation, 7 Affordable and Clean Energy, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 10.Reduced Inequality, 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production, 13. Climate Action, 14. Life Below Water, 15. Life on Land, 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, and 17. Partnerships For the Goals.
The government of Timor-Leste was the first country in the world to adopt the goals through a government resolution no. 34/2015 on September 2015 and instrumental in ensuring Goal 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions was included in the list of global goals.On the other hand, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Timor-Leste, Roy Trivedy said the UN has a key role in supporting Timor-Leste's government to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
He said the UN and its agencies have provided technical, financial and professional support, especially to bring experts from different countries to Timor-Leste to share ideas and experiences on how to respond to the challenges to achieve the 17 goals.
"These global goals are ambitious, but when there is no ambition we will not achieve these goals; therefore, we need to have ambition," he said.
He said that there are global funds for development, but these are limited, therefore opportunities need to be opened for support from the private sector and the government needs to fund the programs.
He added, if there are no concrete achievements by 2030, the world will face difficult situations, including hunger, conflict, climate change and other challenges.