Delta traditional rulers will work with civil society organizations to expand MDG gains.

The Delta Traditional Rulers Council has pledged its support to Civil Society Organizations in the state to help them achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

HRM, Retired Maj.-Gen. Felix Mujakperuo, Chairman of the Council and Orodje of Okpe, expressed this in a goodwill message during the third National Conference on the SDGs and the inaugural SDGs Tournament in Nigeria, held on Thursday in Asaba.
The Civil Society Advance Forum of Sustainable Development (CAS2030) collaborated with the National Conference on Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria to host the three-day conference.
The conference’s theme is “Localizing the SDGs; Harnessing the Impacts of COVID-19 on SDG Implementation in Africa,” with a sub-theme of “Building Forward Better.”

In the Decade of Action, the Prospects and Strategies for Achieving the SDGs.”
Mujakperuo, who was represented by Agbogidi Henry Kikachukwu, the Second Vice Chairman and Obi of Ubulu Unor, said the conference topic was appropriate, and that the royal fathers have crucial roles to play because rural populations remain the most targeted.
According to him, what CSOs are doing to achieve the SDGs’ set goals is in line with traditional rulers’ concerns about improving the situation of rural inhabitants.
“We have to do all within our power to collaborate with you to achieve the SDGs goals in the state,” Mujakperuo stated, praising the CSOs.
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Mrs Clare Henshaw, who spoke on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in a Zoom, praised the organizers, noting that the UNDP in Nigeria has remained committed to eradicating extreme poverty.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, Henshaw stated that the CSOs and partners have remained dedicated to meeting the 2023 target.
Dr. Adejoke Orelokpe-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, also in focus, gave a keynote address, assuring the conference of the government’s commitment to achieving the established goals.
Orelokpe-Adefulire urged the players to remain focused while also pushing all hands to be on deck, as achieving stated goals would require collaborative determination.

Earlier, Dr Andy Ilabor, the State Director-General of the SDGs Directorate, stated that despite the devastating effects of COVID-19, the state has made significant progress in the health sector, education, water resources, and gender balancing, among other areas.
According to Ilabor, the state government allocated a funding line and established relevant structures across the state to push the program based on the stated agenda.
Her Royal Majesty, Obi Mather Dunkwu, the Omu of Okpanam, challenged the organizers to deepen the sensitization to educate the people more on their rights and privileges.
She advised that if people are to achieve targeted change and impact the people in rural places, they must have fear of God rather than self-importance.

While praising CSOs, she advocated for women to be given more leadership roles in society, claiming that women have the ability to bring about change and development where men have failed.
In her remarks, the convenor of CAS2030, Amb. Caroline Usikpedo-Oliseowe, said the conference was the third gathering of an alliance of civil society organizations, grassroots organizations, business sector Ministries, Agencies, and Departments working on SDGs in Nigeria.
“This journey began in July 2007 with the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals in New York, which exposed the need for a more engaged and inclusive venue for civil society organizations in Nigeria to engage in the sustainable development agenda.

“This third national conference builds on the first and second national conferences on SDGs for civil society and other actors, which were held in 2018 and 2019 and focused on localizing the SDGs in the country,” she said.
The COVID-19 epidemic, according to Usikpedo-Oliseowe, has impeded the program’s progress and the global economy, as well as worsened inequality and domestic violence around the world.
“In recognition of this worldwide fundamental problem, the third national conference on the Sustainable Development Goals will focus on addressing global inequities, which are pertinent to all of the goals in order to build a new route for sustainable development after the crisis.”
She expressed hope that the conference’s outcome will assist the government in accelerating the implementation of the SDGs.

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