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Thursday, 3 March 2016

Civil society hands memorandum on SDGs to EPU Minister

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 A memorandum on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was presented to Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, by an alliance of civil society organisations (CSO) at the Symposium Operationalising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development jointly organised by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today.

The memorandum was handed over to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department by the representative of the CSO alliance, Datuk Denison Jayasooria, after the opening ceremony of the symposium that was held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

The memorandum, highlighting concerns and recommendations of the CSO alliance, had a total of 14 endorsements, which include civil society coalitions, organisations and an individual. The alliance said that they stood “ready and willing to contribute towards the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs.” Further, seeking a meaningful partnership with the government, they said that they “believe the SDGs is a critical and timely opportunity to initiate a goals-based partnership that can drive a concerted effort towards achieving Malaysia’s own development goals as a shared responsibility.”
The SDGs agenda draws some parallels with the 11th Malaysia Plan, as both share common policy and programme focuses. However, the CSO alliance noticed some gaps in the 11th Malaysia Plan’s delivery framework and consultation of different sectors. While it was acknowledged that the Malaysian government plan aims to benefit socio-economic well-being and the environment, the CSO alliance also proposed their recommendations on Malaysian development priorities with regards to sustainable development goals.

In particular, the recommendations include engagement of civil society organisations at the planning, delivery, implementation, monitoring and evaluation stages of the SDGs, a strong institutional framework to support the implementation of SDGs in Malaysia over the next 15 years, establishment of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation mechanism to ensure inclusive development across the various dimensions so as to ensure that no one is left behind, and a collaborative communications campaign to address the need to create wider awareness and understanding on the SDGs not only with the stakeholders, but also with the general public.

The 2030 Global Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals was adopted on 25 September 2015 at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly. This was achieved through a collaborative process among governments, civil society and the private sector. Formed on the basis of no one being left behind, the SDGs aim to end poverty, protect the planet and increase prosperity for all.

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