Voluntary National Review takes stock of 2030 Agenda implementation

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The Voluntary National Review is to take stock of the 2030 Agenda implementation progress by Zimbabwe and come up with means of sustainable development goals (SDGs) acceleration.

The Secretary for Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare, Mr. Simon Masanga, speaking at the private sector consultation engagement for the 2024 Voluntary National Review at the Royal Sports Club in Harare yesterday, said Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The VNR also helps to increase awareness of SDGs and national development plans among the citizens in line with the overarching principle of leaving no one behind.

“This time, unlike the previous VNRs, this 3rd VNR is being conducted by the Government together with stakeholders to ensure buy-in and ownership of the process by the people of Zimbabwe,” Mr. Masanga said.

The Ministry of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare, as the lead coordinator in the VNR development process, has spearheaded the constitution of the VNR Drafting team. A diverse team was constituted from across the diversity of stakeholders including Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies; the private sector; civil society organisations; and academia among others to assist in conducting the VNR. The government is using the multi-stakeholder approach to undertake the 2024 VNR development process.

In line we the country’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind, the Government has conducted consultations in all the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe, which were concluded on the 29th of February 2024. This was done to ensure the voices of people in all areas of the country are reflected in the VNR Report and the exercise valued input of all Zimbabweans.

Mr. Masanga said priority on consultations and engagements was given to special groups such as Persons with Disabilities, youth, women, and the elderly. The consultations will be complemented by contributions from the SDGs clusters, SDGs Progress Reports, Voluntary Local Reviews, and other National Reports to come up with a detailed VNR report.

“However, during the consultations, it was noted with concern that the participation of the private sector was limited, despite the important role you play in socio-economic development. This engagement meeting will enable us to gather a wide range of information important in the implementation and attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.

“I encourage you to take this exercise seriously and contribute to the national report that will enable us to highlight and give a true reflection of our current status on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Upon completion of the draft report, we will convene workshops to validate our contributions. The final VNR will then be presented to the Cabinet and parliament before submission for Presidential assent,” he added.

Mr. Masanga called on the need to include cross-cutting issues such as climate change, environmental issues, gender mainstreaming, youth inclusion, disability, and partnerships, among other issues. These cross-cutting issues are a part of everyday life, hence their importance cannot be overemphasized.

Dr. Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo, the author of  “The Growth Transformative Strategy” book, said the VNR helps the country in coming up with a structured vision that outlines the desired future for Zimbabwe.

“It is important for stakeholders to come together as one and provide a roadmap for aligning national goals and aspirations, ensuring that every effort is aimed towards a common objective,” Dr. Muzamhindo said.