By Serah Aupong – EM TV News, Port Moresby
A former parliamentarian and member of a high level lobby group, International Conference on Population and Development, is optimistic that Papua New Guinea is better positioned to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speaking to EMTV upon her return from New York where the SDGs were endorsed last month, Dame Carol Kidu says this time PNG has a lot more in its favour to achieve these global goals.
Like the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the Sustainable Development Goals have a time frame of 15 years.
However, unlike the MDGs, Dame Carol says the degree of consultation involved in setting up the SDGs was phenomenal because there was national, regional and thematic consultation.
“MDGs were something that was designed by the developed world and the UN for developing world where as the SDGs are designed to hold the developed world to account as well,” she said.
Due to the level of consultation, Dame Carol believes countries are better placed in achieving these goals because they are more aware and have a better understanding of the goals.
“I am cautiously optimistic that we (PNG) will make good progress. I mean we have a strong economy and there is also private, public partnership where NGOs and private companies are providing services as well.”
Dame Carol believes the level of understanding of these issues has informed country policies and is impressed with PNG’s national planning’s population policy which she believes “mirrors” what is in the SDGs.
“So we kind of have these goals and things already there in our population policy before the SDGs were endorsed.”
However, while there is optimism, challenges remain in terms of achieving targets around maternal health care. A likely indicator around this is the level of referral of women needing specialist maternal care and treatment.
“Presently we are well behind that but with better road systems and things like that we could start to get towards the target.”