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By King’s Office Correspondent - SWAZI TIMES-28-Sep-2015

NEW YORK, USA – Swaziland has made significant progress in five of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The goals set in the year 2000, had a 2015 target date.

The country could have done more but was limited by the lack of financial resources, His Majesty the King told world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals summit in New York on Saturday afternoon.
“In pursuit of this internationally aligned vision, the Kingdom of e-Swatini is happy to report recognisable progress in five of the eight mdg’s set out in the year 2000.
“Significant progress has been realised in achieving universal primary education where the enrolment rate has increased from 72.1 per cent in 2000 to 97 per cent in 2014,” he reported. The King listed the introduction of free access to art to those who need such services as significant progress. “We have also provided a quality new TB Centre to cater for patients and developed an effective malaria programme. Child mortality has also been drastically reduced.”
The King said the country had also developed a robust policy to guide gender issues which have been integrated into developmental planning. Career guidance officers have also been placed at the regional offices to help improve sensitisation.
“We wish to applaud the au for recently honouring the country for her efforts in women empowerment.” In ensuring environmental sustainability, His Majesty said programmes to this target are in place in order to support the needs of the present and future generations. The UN has launched agenda 2030 which contains 17 new sustainable development goals.
The King said Swaziland has remained committed to the implementation of the MDGs since they were embraced in the year 2000, and he pledged further commitment to the new 2030 agenda. He highlighted the need for greater financial support, particularly for developing countries to achieve the desired transformation.
“While we have made significant strides in some areas, there is no doubt that the biggest challenge has been the inadequate financial resources to carry out the implementation of a number of the short and medium to long term goals.”
“Donor funding and support from international financial institutions are vital to the realisation of the new goals, which serve as a renewal to the effort of changing the lives of the people across the globe for the better,” he said.
This view was shared by a number of leaders who spoke at the summit that was also addressed by Pope Francis, who called for more commitment towards addressing the plight of the underprivileged members of society as well as victims of conflict.
His Majesty said greater success could be achieved with closer cooperation among nations. “It is evidently clear that forming a global partnership for development is the key to the successful transformation desired by the UN family of nations, as no country can succeed in isolation. “For Africa, what makes such partnerships more viable, is that the new global agenda resonates very well with the African Union agenda 2063, as they both seek to create better living conditions for our people on the continent,” he said.
The King described the national Vision 2022 as well aligned to the continental vision, in her efforts to transform from a middle income to developed country.
“May I reiterate that strong global solidarity and effective partnerships, peace and stability should be at the forefront of our new global agenda.
“We are confident that together we will transform our world and achieve sustainable development that leaves nobody behind. “These new goals require that our commitment must not be just to accept a change of name, but must be one with results that change the lives of our people for the better,” he emphasised. His Majesty is expected to address the UN General Assembly again tomorrow.

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