As the government starts to develop the National Development Plan (NDP) III to replace the current NDP II, it has been reminded to incorporate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the new plan if it is to attain growth.
According to economic social and cultural rights activists, incorporating SDGs will play a key role in supporting the government in attaining the country’s development agenda set in Vision 2014 and fulfilment of social and economic rights.
Addressing the media ahead of the 5th Annual Conference on the Economic Social Rights to be hosted by Uganda Human Rights Commission alongside other organization advocating for the respect of Economic rights in the country at Makerere University on Tuesday, the advocates said the national development plan II has not supported government in attaining SDGs which are part of economic and social rights.
“By incorporating the SDGs will help the government to allocate enough resources in key sectors that are crucial in attaining the National Development Goals,” Arnold Kwesiga, the Coordinator of Uganda Consortium on Corporate Accountability, said.
He added that the current NDP II focused mainly on attracting investors into the country, and has seen government spending huge amounts of money towards the development of infrastructure such as roads, power dams, thus leaving little to other sectors such as Water, Education and Health yet they play a big role towards attaining the SDGs.
The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint of the United Nations which focuses on achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.
They address global challenges most countries face such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
The goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that all countries achieve each goal and target by 2030.
Speaking at the same event, the chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Med Kaggwa, said investing more resources in Water, Education and Health sectors will support the government in addressing poverty and other gender-related inequalities across the country.
Additionally, for Ugandan to benefit from the private sector, the activists advised the government to strengthen labour laws to ensure that Ugandans are not exploited by investors by being subjected to poor payment, working in inhumane conditions which in many cases have exposed workers to health risks.
The Conference will also examine the country’s capacity in terms of administrative, legislative and fiscal measures available to facilitate the achievement of the SDGs which are key in the attainment of the country’s development agendas.
The theme for this conference is: “Leveraging the Sustainable Development Goals to realize Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Uganda.
The outcome from the conference will include setting the agenda on localizing of SDGs in Uganda by raising awareness about their importance in realizing Social and Economic Rights.
This is on top of examining the capacity of the state in the implementation of SDGs in terms of available policy institutional framework and resources to finance education, health and education sectors, as well as social protection programs that are key in addressing inequality among Ugandans.
The Sustainable Development Goals address the global challenges most countries face such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO