LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND CAMPAIGN: Implementing SDGs with Citizens at the Center

Launching the ‘Leave No One Behind’ Citizen Dialogues #TondekaMabega

Today, the Agenda 2030 CSO Core Reference Group[1] launches a local campaign dubbed ‘Tondeka Mabega’ – Leave No One Behind Citizen Dialogues. The Citizen Dialogues are a campaign aimed at amplifying the voices of marginalized groups and demand for a fundamental shift in national and global policy commitments to ensure that we end inequality and poverty which perpetuate human suffering. The dialogues will build momentum for all citizens across Uganda to participate in the implementation and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at all levels using local, national and global resources.

We all recall that September 2015 was the official launch of the bold and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) that was adopted by the world leaders at the United Nations. It is now one year since the launch. The world has 15 years to achieve this ambitious program. With 17 SDGs and 165 targets, this is a daunting task for the global community, but there is no looking back.

‘Leave No One Behind’ is a key phrase that captures this global commitment. It is a nice sounding phrase but one that can turn into rhetoric very quickly. As world leaders prepare for the UN Summit in September 2016 to review the first year of implementation of the SDGs, we think they need to pay more attention to the idea of ‘leaving no one behind’.

In order for the world leaders to pay attention, we have decided to ensure that we amplify the voices of the poor and marginalized to our policy makers here in Kampala and to the world leaders in New York in September 2016.

‘Tondeka Mabega’ – Leave No One Behind Citizen Dialogues will take place in remote communities across Uganda among people whose voices are not always heard. We shall record these voices and ensure that these voices reach our leaders in different parts of the country. ‘Tondeka Mabega’ – Leave No One Behind Citizen Dialogues are not just an exercise in making meek demands to government, but are also a process of documenting the different ways in which people who are ‘left behind’ are doing something to catch up with the world and how those who are not behind can support.

Today, as citizens of Uganda we are saddened that while poverty levels have reduced the number of ‘backsliders’ has risen. Of those households that escaped poverty between 2005 and 2009, around 40% were again living in poverty by 2011. This is an unacceptable. We have to find out from them what is happening and what as a country we can do, so we do not take two steps forward and four steps backward.

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