Staff Reporter Windhoek-Minister of Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission, Tom Alweendo, who accompanied President Hage Geingob to New York, as part of the official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and other high-level events on the side-lines of the General Assembly, is back home. The theme of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly, “Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet” was chosen by the President of the 72nd session of the UNGA, Miroslav Lajčák, and was accompanied by six overarching priorities for his tenure, namely: making a difference in the lives of ordinary people; prevention and mediation for sustaining peace; migration; political momentum for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate; human rights and equality, including equal opportunities for gender; and quality of events organised by the Presidency. In addition to the General Assembly, Alweendo also participated in several high-level meetings including a panel discussion moderated by the UNDP Assistant Administrator and included the President of Estonia on how e-Government can help achieve SDGs. The session looked at ways of encouraging the integration of innovative approaches and digital technologies in the implementation of inclusive development outcomes. In his remarks during the discussions, Alweendo noted that “e-Governance has the potential to be a powerful tool for social welfare and economic growth. It can reduce corruption, alleviate poverty and strengthen democracy. But for e-Governance to be truly realised as a tool for social welfare, we must promote inclusion. We must ensure that the poorest and the most vulnerable in society have equal access and opportunity in development outcomes.” Delivering a statement on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister at the Fourth Round of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Forum on Africa-China Cooperation, Alweendo urged China to consider fully supporting the Common African Position on the reform of the UN Security Council, as outlined in the Ezulwini Consensus and Sirte Decelerations. Stressing that this was important to address the historical injustices that Africa continues to suffer by not being represented in the Security Council, while representing nearly 30 percent of member states. Alweendo also participated at a high-level event on innovation and technology, convened by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General’s Global Pulse and the SDG Action Campaign, which looked at how emerging technologies could transform efforts aimed at the successful implementation of SDGs, through increasing awareness of the opportunities of new technologies and the exponential change they can bring. In addition to the high-level discussions, Alweendo also held a meeting with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs/ Division for Social for Social Policy and Development (UNDESA/DSPD). The meeting discussed Namibia’s current efforts at addressing issues pertaining to marginalised communities, as well as Namibia’s commitment to ensuring progressive policy approaches around marginalised and indigenous communities. The meeting also touched on other areas of possible cooperation, including initiatives and programmes aimed at the youth, the elderly and people living with disabilities. Alweendo reaffirmed the Namibian Government’s commitment to service delivery and ensuring that all communities receive good quality education and skills development.
2017-09-28 10:50:13 11 months ago