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UN Select Nigeria To Represent Africa At Global Forum

OSSAP-MDGS To Represent Africa At UN Forum
By Israel Goodway
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The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, OSSAP-MDGs has been invited to make a National Voluntary Presentation on behalf of Africa at the High Level during the Annual Ministerial Review, (AMR) of Substantive Session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) coming up between the 2nd and 29th of July, 2013 in Switzerland.

Mrs. Kene Offie, Deputy Director, OSSAP MDGs revealed this in a statement issued by her office, saying Nigeria will make presentation of behalf of Africa on the theme of this year AMR which is “Science, Technology and Innovation and the potential of culture for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals”.

As part of the requirements, the OSSAP-MDGS will between 4 to 5 April hold a national workshop at the Chida International Hotel in Abuja for the preparation of a national report that will be presented by the Nigerian Country team led by Dr. Precious Gbeneol, Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs as Nigeria's National Voluntary Presentation, NVP.

According to Offie, critical inputs from stakeholders from cross-cutting sectors locally and from the relevant United Nations entities will form the core contents of the NVP to be delivered at the ECOSOC forum.

The workshop, which is being organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will have a keynote address delivered by the Minister of National Planning, Dr Shamsuddeen Usman. It will also have in attendance representatives from the 36 states and FCT, stakeholders in the related sectors and members of the public to ensure inclusive deliberations.

Nigeria, the only country invited to the forum from Africa has in line with the theme of the international event, already indicated that it will highlight its use of science and technology, especially, the Nigerian MDGs Information System it developed in conjunction with the Earth Institute of Columbia University and United Nations Country Team as a guide for the investment of the annual USD1bn negotiated as Debt Relief from the Paris Club for pro-poor activities in the report it will present to the forum.

Nigeria, according to Mrs. Offie, will use the occasion to highlight its deployment of innovative science and technology tools in the conduct of a nation-wide Baseline Facility Inventory and Needs Assessment throughout all the 774 Local Government Areas of the Country to accurately determine the level of investments needed to accelerate achievements of MDGs at different levels of government.

“While emphasis will be placed on the accomplishments and challenges encountered in the implementation of National Development Strategies and Policies as stated in the guidelines for the preparation of the National Report, we intend to highlight the utility of the Nigerian MDGs Information System in both the Report and the National Voluntary Presentation as a crucial tool that has had impact on the implementation of IADGs), including the MDGs in Nigeria,” Dr. Precious Gbeneol, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals was quoted as saying in the statement.

NVP was initiated by ECOSOC in 2007 as a mechanism for the international community to assess and advance progress towards the Internationally Agreed Development Goals (IADGs), including the MDGs, at the national level. About 44 developed and developing countries have shared their best practices and lessons and have served as an important tool for knowledge and experience sharing among countries through the platform.