Every October 24, the United Republic of Tanzania and the rest of the world celebrate the establishment of the United Nations. Seventy-seven years ago, a small group of 51 sovereign states came out of the horrors of the Second World War and joined together to promote peace and development. Since then, that number has grown to 193 members. October 24 has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948 which marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter.
In 2015, 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were unanimously adopted by all 193 UN member states providing a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. The SDGs build on decades of multilateral cooperation and are a universal call to action for Governments and people around the world to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere by 2030.
Seven years since they were launched, the truth is that the world is not on track to deliver on the promise of the SDGs, and I believe this is a reality we must acknowledge and look to correct together.
Unfortunately, people all over the world are still feeling the impacts of Covid 19 pandemic. Also; supply chain issues, price inflation of oil, wheat and other commodities have been disrupted due to the war in Ukraine. This is not even to mention the impacts of Climate Change – an existential threat that we can all admit are not responding to at the required scale.
It is very concerning that according to the 2022 SDGs report, these interlinked crises have reversed years of progress in eradicating poverty and hunger, improving health and education, providing basic services, and much more. Tanzania’s economy has remained relatively stable in line with projections but still facing global challenges of high commodity prices, high inflation, tight financial conditions and recurrence of Covid-19.
The poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized are the ones who are most affected by these negative impacts, especially in developing countries whose economies are more fragile. As we mark this UN Day, I believe we should all be thinking about the actions that we can take to ensure that the development and economic growth are felt more by the ordinary woman, man, girl or boy at the grassroots level. I think these challenging times should make us re-focus our collective efforts to work towards more inclusive development that truly prioritizes those left furthest behind.
As the UN in Tanzania, we understand that the Government, development community, partners and general public look to us to lead by example. I am proud to say that our recently launched Cooperation Framework (2022-27) which will guide our work for the next five years, strives for inclusive development. The Cooperation Framework provides a blueprint for how the UN in Tanzania supports the country to achieve its development priorities and the SDGs. Before we had started thinking about what activities to include, we first looked at the development areas that, if invested in, could best accelerate the SDGs and improve the lives of those left furthest behind.
The UN family in Tanzania may not have the resources to invest in all of these areas, but we have identified and prioritised parts that we do have the capacity to invest in and since this development analysis was conducted with partners, we hope that it will be a useful resource that allows others to cover those areas we may have missed. This process of identifying SDGs accelerators is a good example of how the Cooperation Framework will make an even more concerted effort to bring on board different partners and stakeholders to work towards common goals.
I believe that if we all work with this principle of inclusive development in mind we can get Tanzania, Africa and the world back on track to achieving the SDGs. I ask everyone from the Government, development partners, private sector and all other stakeholders to think of how they can reach those who have been left further behind.
Zlatan Milisic is UN Resident Coordinator in Tanzania