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The United Nations system in Sierra Leone has launched a nationwide campaign to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted last September by world leaders, including H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma. The SDGs are a set of 17 development goals to be achieved by 2030. They replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) this year. UNFPA is championing Goal 3.

Activities to popularise the SDGs include Town Hall Meetings, Photographic Exhibitions and Media Training in each of the cities, being coordinated by the UN Communications Group, including the UNFPA Communications team.

On 30 January 2016 the UN in Sierra Leone, in collaboration with Makeni City Council organized a one day regional photographic exhibition on the SDGs, the third in a series in Bo, Kenema and Makeni. It highlights the 17 Goals and relevant photographs that represent the human and environmental situation with regards to development in Sierra Leone.

Earlier on 29 January 2016, the UN team organized a town hall meeting at the University of Makeni, following a one day training for journalists. The objective of the media training is to familiarize journalists with the SDGs, and enable them to report and monitor objectively the progress and challenges in the implementation of the development agenda.

Gabriel Rugalema, the Resident Coordinator (ad interim) in Sierra Leone, said the ongoing SDGs promotion provides citizens the right information about the SDGs and what they promise for the country. Mr Rugalema calls on the Government to implement the SDGs according to the local context. “The SDGs should be tailored to country level and informed by context–based evidence. Governments should take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and national policies and priorities in implementing the SDGs.”

The SDGs represent the shared global goals and targets, and they are highly relevant to the socio-economic reality of Sierra Leone, and in line with the government’s Agenda for Prosperity.