A t o p e c o n o m i s t r e c e n t l y recommended four key areas the developing nations should look at when implementing S u s t a i n a b l e Development Goals (SDG) under the 2030 Agenda. T h e f o u r crucial areas identified by Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) Executive Director Dr. Saman Kelegama were; the need for effective coordination mechanism between all ministries and local agencies, the need to develop effective awareness programmes as SDGs are relative new and complex to understand, the need to develop an effective monitoring, evaluation mechanism and plan for implementation, and the allocation of additional funds to implement the SGD.
The senior economist justified the latter stating the domestic financial resources may not be adequate in most Asian countries to implement the SGD, thus international funds are required to mobilize the said goals that were ratified in September 2015 and came into effect on 1 January 2016. Unlike the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that had only 8 goals and 18 targets to be achieved in 15 years, the SGDs have 17 goals and 169 targets to be achieved within the same time frame, which is by 2030. While the goals are to be monitored and reviewed using a set of global indicators which are to be developed by inter-agency and expert groups, Dr. Kelegama stressed that unless proper mechanisms are in place it will not be an easy task to implement and monitor. “Each Asian country has its own initial conditions, and taking into account such conditions, each country will have to develop a strategy or a national policy framework to implement them,” said Dr. Kelegama at the recently held sixth Asian Development Forum. With regard to the global partnership for SDGs, he stressed there was a need to reaffirm the target of 0.7 percent of GDP for Official Development Assistance (ODA) of developing countries, as it alone would not be sufficient to top-up domestic financial resources to meet the ambition goals. The Financial Transaction Tax scheme to be implemented by the eleven EU members is expected to deliver Euro 30 – 35 billion per annum. Dr. Kelegama pointed out the scheme is designated to ensure the financial sector makes fair and substantial revenue to the public income, and to encourage it to engage in more responsible activities. He suggested a portion of taxes collected could be channelled to SDGs. Expressing confidence in the SGD framework having the potential to eradicate poverty, prevent environmental degradation, and bringing prosperity to all segments, Dr. Kelegama opined the existing national strategies must be fine-tuned with the SDGs. (SAA)