The United Nations (UN) has called for a stronger partnership with the media in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), towards achieving the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development in Nigeria.
Penpushing reports that, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, made the call at the closing of a 2-day training of journalists on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and developing a Nigeria Network of Sustainable Development Journalists, organized by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, in collaboration with Media Awareness and Information For All Network (MAIN), held on 24 – 25 March at the United Nations (UN) House, Abuja.
The Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator stressed that the media play major roles in achieving agenda 2023, and in ensuring that citizens are well-informed to enable them to form opinions based on facts
“Media play a critical role in achieving Agenda 2030, which includes ensuring citizens are well-informed to enable them to form opinions based on facts. Factual and evidence-based reporting is critical at this period of fake news”, he said
Penpushing further reports that, Schmale noted that the media, need to help spread factual information about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to hold government and institutions accountable for what is being done and the progress being achieved.
“UN is supporting the government of Nigeria to address its challenges and to realise its development aspirations and the transformative change. They cannot do it alone. The United Nations also cannot do it alone. We need stronger partnerships, and the media fit well into this partnership”, Schmale said
The Resident Coordinator, on gender equality called on the media to intensify profiling successful Nigerian women to motivate other women and girls to break the gender barriers, noting that Nigeria has the first African woman to lead World Trade Organisation(WTO)
“Nigeria has the first African woman to lead the WTO; my boss, the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Amina Mohammed is also a Nigerian woman. A third of CEOs of Banks are women and Nigeria has the highest number of female representatives on Boards of private sector organisations in Africa. Media need to do more in profiling many successful Nigerian women for the purpose of learning and motivating other women’, he said.
Penpushing also reports that, Schmale added that the United Nations (UN) was in the middle of developing, with the government of Nigeria, a Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for the next five years.
The Deputy Country Representative of United Nations(UN) Women to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Lansana Wonneh, in his presentation titled, ’Gender Equality and SDG’s: The role of journalists in ensuring progress’, emphasized that unless progress on gender equality was accelerated, the global community would fail to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Penpushing reports that, Wonneh pointed out that, Gender equality is a right and at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adding that fulfilling this right is the best chance to address economic crisis; lack of health care; climate change; violence against women; and escalating conflicts.
The Deputy Country Representative called on journalists to amplify the voice of vulnerable women in their reportage, while ensuring accountability in the commitments made to women through appropriate budget allocations and delivery of services,
“Acknowledge women’s voice so that other women get motivation and support. Make the society aware of women’s right to equal access to opportunities and provide information and interpretations to policy makers for formulating policies on local gender issues”, he added.
Penpushing further reports that, the Senior Technical Adviser in the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr. BalaYunusa, noted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could not be achieved with stand-alone programmes and projects.
The Senior Technical Adviser in the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) said, they must be carefully integrated into national and sub-national policies and development plans.
Penpushing also reports that, an Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) Minister of State, Hajiya Hiba Ahmed, in her remarks commended United Nations Information Centre(UNIC) and Media Awareness and Information For All Network (MAIN) for organising the media training.
The Chairman of Media Awareness and Information For All Network (MAIN) Prof. Lai Oso, in his overview of the training, noted that none of the 17 goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be achieved without active cultivation and cooperation of the media.
Penpushing reports the renowned media guru emphasized that, the media, have become central to the initiation, execution and public support of any policy and programme of development, stressing that it is in realization of the importance of communication and the media that the need to train, equip and deploy an informed media to achieve SDG goals has become imperative.
The participants were decorated with the ‘SDGs-Wheel’ pins by the Resident Coordinator who designated them as ‘Champions of SDGs’, to further strengthen their commitment to promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and sustainability journalism.
Penpushing further reports that, the project, “Training of journalists on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and developing a Nigeria Network of Sustainable Development Journalists”, was aimed at deepening journalists’ knowledge of sustainable development, to engender high-quality journalistic practice that holds government accountable to Agenda 2030.
The programmed is also aimed to strengthen the capacity of participants in sustainability reporting with emphasis on economic, social and environmental dimensions; to improve participants’ knowledge of the role of women in sustainable development; and to establish a Nigeria Network of Sustainable Development Journalists that will engage regularly to report and view development initiatives in Nigeria from the prism of sustainability.
Penpushing also reports that, the training of journalists on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria will move to Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State on 6 – 7 April; Enugu, Enugu State on 28 – 29 April and end at Lagos on 10 – 11 May 2022.
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