THE Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, (SSAP-SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire has advocated for a general stakeholders’ commitment in the quest to ensure zero discrimination across all strata of the society.
The aide, speaking with some journalists in Abuja on Thursday afternoon, noted that the provision of Goal 16 Target (b) in the SDGs framework enjoins nations to promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development.
She said: “As we join the United Nations and other International Organisations to mark the Zero Discrimination Day, it is my honour to encourage everyone to continue to contribute and support the efforts aimed at eradicating all forms of discrimination.”
She also called for the adoption of policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies, among other efforts to progressively achieve greater equality.
While maintaining that the Nigerian government is doing its utmost to tackle the challenges of inequality and discrimination, just as it has made significant strides towards lifting people out of poverty, she further noted that the government will continue to address all forms of inequality, disparities noticed in access to health and education services and other assets.
She opined that there is growing consensus that economic growth is not sufﬁcient to reduce poverty if it is not inclusive and if it does not involve the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.
To reduce discrimination and inequality therefore, she stated that policies should be universal in principle paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.
The Presidential aide however called for support of all stakeholders, including the Private Sector, Civil Society Organisations, (CSOs), Development Partners etc in the entrenchment of mechanisms that will help empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, economic and other status.
According to her: “The celebration of the Zero discrimination Day is also premised on the various provisions of the goals and targets. For example, target 2 of Goal 10 states that: by 2030, nations should empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status. In target 3, the goal enjoins governments to ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.”
She is as well of the view that with proper implementation of the non-discriminatory laws and policies, the SDGs will be attained with no one left behind.