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Gates, Modi, others seek attainment of SDGs, end to poverty, inequalities


2019 Fourth Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards

Global leaders have charged governments around the world to urgently prioritise the attainment of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the countries.

Besides, they also decried the widening global inequality gaps and rising level of poverty among nations and advocated vigorous and strategic efforts to bridge the gaps.

The leaders are, Co-founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, Chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez and New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, among others.


Speaking at the opening session of the 2019 Fourth Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards organised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in conjunction with the European Journalism Centre at the Lincoln Jass Centre, New York, USA, yesterday, Gates specifically charged world leaders to take emulate the Indian government and priotise the SDG Goal 6, which deals with water and sanitation.

“Sanitation is something that governments do not like to talk about because the solutions are not that easy. We feel a lot about malaria because it is devastating but sanitation-related illnesses kill more kids every year than malaria yet progress in achieving the SDGs 6 on water and sanitation is lagging far behind,” he said.

He noted that inequalities among districts in countries are massive, sating in Nigeria, data shows world-class achievement juxtaposed with serious deprivations.

“For example, the average person in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, has more than 12 years of education, whereas the average person in Garki, Jigawa State has five, which shows that some regions of the world are not catching up fast enough,” he stated.

Speaking, Mohammed leaders would need the courage to address global inequalities and achieve the SDGs by the year 2030, adding: “It will take courage to achieve the SDGs. I mean tons and tons of courage to stand up for human rights and against those who oppose gender equality.

On his part, Modi, leaders need the courage to push some developments through, while stressing the importance of collaboration among institutions in the match towards SDGs attainment.

Responding, Sanchez said the global response to SDGs must respect peoples’ backgrounds, insisting that there were huge challenges confronting the globe and that leaders should be patriotic in the match towards meeting the 2030 agenda.

Ardern noted that people should not be left behind and that that inequalities globally have progressed more than ever, saying there must be a value-driven approach to economic policies, trade must be liberalised with focus on human rights development, woman empowerment, political stability, and efficiency.”

On his part Dangote lamented that malnutrition remains a big problem in Nigeria, “but we are working to overcome the challenge.”

Dangote, who disclosed that rice was a staple food in Nigeria, said due to his influence, the government was ensuring that some staple foods like wheat, sugar, and rice were supplemented with some vitamins to guard against malnutrition.

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