Seychelles Finalising Report to Help It Track - and Attain - Sustainable Development Goals

Seychelles is finalising a baseline report that will help the country establish its current status when it comes to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said a top official.

SDGs, also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

The principal secretary at the Economic Planning Department, Elizabeth Agathine, explained that among the targets and indicators in the 17 goals, there are areas that are aimed at developed or landlocked countries, and hence do not apply to Seychelles.

"Seychelles is a small country and not all the 169 targets and 244 indicators apply to us. This is the reason why we need to do the baseline report and look at what is relevant for Seychelles, and where we have data," Agathine told SNA on Monday.

She added that "if there are areas that are relevant for Seychelles but at the moment we do not have any data, we will know and do the necessary."

Data collected shows that 23 targets do not apply to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. The data collection that is possible for 81 targets and 65 indicators could not necessarily be reported on because of the way it is collected or lack of such.

The report, compiled by a consultant, is currently being finalised and expected to come out before the end of October.

Agathine told SNA that among the indicators, Seychelles will be able to report on about 50 percent of which are applicable for the island nation.

Among the 17 goals, Seychelles has achieved four. Goal 1 -- No Poverty; Goal 3 -- Good Health and Well-being; Goal 4 -- Quality Education; and Goal 13 -- Climate Change. Seychelles is on track for the remaining goals.

"Considering the size of Seychelles, none of the 17 goals should be difficult to attain as we are a small country and hence is much more manageable. Policies that we have put in place already include the concept of sustainable development where we think about the environment and the economy. We might achieve some of the goals a little bit later than others within the 15-year time frame left," said Agathine.

The baseline report will help Seychelles put together a Voluntary National Review (VNR) which is intended to be submitted to the United Nation (UN) in 2020. The national review gives the status of the SDGs in a particular country.

"Countries have the opportunity to submit a voluntary report to the UN prior to 2030 and each year there are countries that announce their intention to submit such a report. This will be the first time that Seychelles submits its report" said Agathine.

Achieving the SDGs requires the partnership of governments, private sector, civil society and citizens to make sure that a better planet is left for future generations.

While at the UN General Assembly late last month, President Danny Faure attended the Sustainable Development Goals Summit: UN High-Level Leaders Forum Dialogue 5 themed 'Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals.'

Delivering his remarks at the forum, Faure stressed on the importance of building partnerships for the successful implementation of SDGs.

"Governance is the key means of implementation of the SDGs but no country stands alone. Partnerships are required, especially taking into account the inherent challenges experienced by Small Island Developing States," said Faure.

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