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UN Uganda celebrates 71st UN and 1st SDGs Anniversary

Kampala- Every 24th of October, the United Nations (UN) celebrates it’s birthday and 2016 was not any different.

United Nations in Uganda celebrated the day in style at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala where various representatives from Government, the diplomatic corps, civil society, private sector and other UN partners were hosted at a breakfast event.

The theme was ‘The UN for You – The SDGs one year on – What’s the progress? focusing on concrete actions that needed to be taken by different stakeholders in Uganda to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

While addressing the guests, the Right Honourable. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister of Uganda who was Chief Guest said, ‘Uganda has made tremendous progress in integrating and implementing SDGs in the long- term Government planning framework.’

“As Government, we have taken ownership and established national frameworks for the implementation and achievement of the ambitious and yet very relevant Goals and targets”, said the Prime Minister.

The keynote address was delivered by Honourable Sam Kutesa, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon and Former President of the UN General Assembly, who is also known as Father of SDGs.

“The real test of our commitment to this new Agenda will be in its implementation. We must therefore as a global community muster the determination to ensure that we make progress on addressing the pressing issues of our time,” said Honourable Kutesa.

He added that more focus should be put on accelerating the adoption of SDGs target from the current 76 percent to 100 percent into national and regional development plans, mobilizing necessary resources, both domestic and external, changing of mindset so that SDGs are viewed as a holistic agenda and ensuring multi-stakeholder engagement and participation among others if we are to fully achieve the SDGs by 2030.

In her remarks to welcome guests to the UN Day Celebrations, Ms. Rosa Malango, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda expressed her happiness about the many simultaneous efforts partners were doing for SDGs, which indicated that Uganda was making progress in implementing the Agenda 2030.

She cited as an example the citizen’s campaign Tondeka Mabega (Leave No One Behind) that was being undertaken by NGO forum as a good example, which is contributing to further localizing the SDG in Uganda.

“As the UN, we will continue to work with our SDG Ambassadors, support the translation of SDG materials into local languages, and work with Government to ensure that the SDGs have an impact, a relevance, a meaning for everyone in Uganda,” said Ms. Malango.

As part of UN Day celebrations, the Prime Minister presented prizes to the winners of the UN Uganda Social Media Competition that ran throughout the UN Awareness Month of October on the theme; “UN for You – what the UN means to you in Uganda”. The competition that used the hashtag UN4U was aimed at raising awareness about the work the UN is doing in Uganda in partnership with the Government, development partners, civil society, private sector and other stakeholders on the SDGs. The winner of the competition in the one- minute film category was George William Tinka a second year student of Medicine at Makerere University. The runner up in the one-minute film category was SOS Villages Uganda, while the winner in the poster category was LIC Magazine.

The UN Day celebration ended with a panel debate on the question, Is Uganda prepared to accelerate progress on SDGs implementation? The panel comprised of representatives from Government, civil society, youth, the private sector and the United Nations. The consensus from the panel members and plenary was that Uganda was ready to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs, but there were still some challenges that needed to be overcome, which required improvements in the collection and use of data for measuring progress on implementation of the SDGs, improvement in coordination of partnerships, improvement citizen participation, and improvement in participation of the youth and the private sector.

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UN Agencies in Uganda