Meeting UN development goals a challenge, but traditional values will help, says Hon. Sika

    Oku hoko atu pe tu’unga fakatu’utāmaki ‘oku ‘i ai ‘a e ngaahi mahaki ‘ikai pipihi’ ki he ‘ātakai’ mo e mo’ui ‘a e kakai’ pea ‘oku ngāue lahi ki ai ‘a Tonga ke a’usia ‘a e faka’amu ‘a e Pule’anga Fakatahataha’ ki ha Taumu’a Fakalakalaka ‘Oku Tolonga ‘i he 2030. Na’e kau atu ‘a e Tokoni Palēmia’ ki hono līpooti e tu’unga ‘oku ‘i ai ‘a Tonga ki ha fakataha lahi mo e kau taki ma’olunga mei he ngaahi pule’anga muli’ ‘i he pule’anga fakatahataha’.

    Climate change and the spread of non-communicable diseases continue to pose serious threats to the environment and livelihood of the people of Tonga, a high ranking delegation has told the United Nations.

    Delivering the kingdom’s Voluntary National Review in New York this week, Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika, said the kingdom faced challenges as it worked to reach the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.

    Hon. Sika reported on progress made on Sustainable Development Goal 34, Quality Education; SDG 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG 10 on Reduced Inequalities; SDG 13 Climate Action; and SDG 16 on Peace and Justice, Strong Institutions and SDG 17 on Partnerships to achieve the goals.

    Hon. Sika cautioned that while Tonga was committed to the goals,  the country’s capacity and resource constraints would provide challenges.

    He said that Tonga’s cultural and traditional values on sustainable development would help meet the goals.

    The Deputy Prime Minister said Tonga had given priority to social protection and human rights with a focus on vulnerable groups.

    He said Tonga  was working hard to provide universal health coverage and access to quality healthcare services. He said non-communicable diseases were widespread and there werte concern about the spread o sexually transmitted disease caused by low condom usage.

    A National Climate Change Policy and Joint National Action Plan 2018-2028 had been set up to provide strategies for climate actions and a Climate Change Trust Fund has been established to help  vulnerable communities cope.

    “Tonga recognises the need for equal opportunities for all, in particular vulnerable and marginalized groups including access to employment, political leadership and social services,” Hon Sika told the UN meeting.

    “This is underpinned by our commitment for all men, women and children to live in an environment free from all forms of violence and exploitation.”

    Hon. Sika said Tonga’s had met its target of reducing electricity network losses to 11% of total electricity generation in 2017. A total of 10 percent of electricity was produced from renewable sources, with a goal of 50% by 2020.

    He said the government was working to make education available to disabled and other vulnerable students and to increase   vocational training.

    The main points

    • Climate change and the spread of non-communicable diseases continues to pose serious threats to the environment and livelihood of the people of Tonga, a high ranking delegation has told the United Nation.
    • Delivering the kingdom’ Voluntary National Review in New York this week, Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika, said the kingdom faced challenge as it worked to reach the sustainable development goals for 2030.

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