Expanding opportunities for sustainable development
Sir: The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has since its inception in 1965 continued to make concrete contributions to developing the capacities of tens of thousands of people around the world. The agency’s unique expertise and knowledge has enabled it to respond to the growing demand from UN Member States for training and capacity development in various thematic fields such as Governance; Economic Development, Environment; Peace & Security, and Monitoring and Evaluation.
Following the achievements made in some areas through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), world leaders have resolved to continue the fight to end poverty and address other pressing global development challenges by agreeing on a new set of goals to be pursued under the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, which emphasizes 17 key areas to be addressed to attain economic development, environmental sustainability, and enduring peace.
The SDGs offer a new opportunity for Nigeria to align its development goals with the agenda, prioritize development in the country, focus attention on addressing extreme poverty and environmental challenges, and form new partnerships for development.
UNITAR will continue to pursue in collaboration with its partners and all stakeholders’ activities that help resolve some of the longstanding and emerging challenges bedeviling development in Nigeria, and the Niger Delta region in particular. In this regard, crucial as a starting point is the need to develop a new blueprint that charts a new direction for the country and places attention on development that is beneficial to majority of the people through participative actions capable of moving the country from economic doldrums and instability to economic prosperity and sustainability.
The result of this has been the development of capacities in areas such as conflict management, health training for officials in the health sector, flood disaster risk management and climate change, governance, monitoring and evaluation, and specialised technical training in oil and gas in fields such as automation, drilling, welding, and instrumentation, among others.
While the various capacity building programmes organised by UNITAR in collaboration with its various partners have led to improved performance by the beneficiaries, it is interesting to note that some of the graduates of the technical training programme have been gainfully employed in the oil and gas industry, earning source of livelihood and contributing to economic development in the Niger Delta region.
As stakeholders in Nigeria takes new steps toward rejuvenating the economy and implementing activities that help propel development at all levels, the issue of sustainability should be at the core of considerations.
With its strategy of training and capacity building centred on the conviction that training should be linked more closely to international, national and local efforts to initiate change, UNITAR is well prepared for the crucial roles it can play in facilitating this effort, most especially as governments engage with other stakeholders in the execution of goal-oriented activities that responds to the people’s needs and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs 2030 in Nigeria.
UNITAR is the training arm of the United Nations. Its Nigeria office is based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.