By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The Prime Minister (PM) Rt Hon Ntsokoane Matekane is set to join world leaders during the 78th United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America.

The 2023 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit is slated to take place on September 18 and 19.

The PM and his entourage will be there from September 18 to 26.

High on the Agenda will be the reports that the world leaders will give on the progress their countries have registered in as far as the Agenda 2030 is concerned that speaks of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UN has stated that urgent measures are required to ensure that the SDGs targets are met especially that it is halfway to 2030 since these ambitious targets by the Heads of State and Government were proposed for a healthier, peaceful and prosperous planet among others.

The 2023 Special Edition of the SDG Progress Report, a preliminary assessment had shown that about 140 targets with data shows that only about 12 per cent are on track; close to half, though showing progress, are moderately or severely off track: and some 30 per cent have either seen no movement or regressed below the 2015 baseline.

“… The Summit will mark half-way point of the dateline set for achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. It will be the centerpiece of the High-level Week of the General Assembly.

“It will respond to the impact of multiple and interlocking crises facing the world and is expected to reignite a sense of hope, optimism, and enthusiasm for the 2030 Agenda,” the UN has said in its website.

It continues: “The SDG Summit is the central UN platform for Heads of State and Government to provide political leadership on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. It will provide high-level political guidance on the 2030 Agenda and its implementation, identify progress and emerging challenges, and mobilize further actions to accelerate implementation. The Summit will be the centerpiece of the UN’s work in 2023 and of the General Assembly’s High-level week this September.”

Six Leaders’ Dialogues will see the commitments by the Heads of State and Government on how they set out concrete national commitments to SDG transformation in their respective countries.

The PM is also expected to deliver his maiden speech at this high-level Summit. 

The PM will lead more than 20 delegation comprising of Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Hon Lejone Mpotjoana, Minister of Health Hon Selibe Mochoboboroane, Minister of Finance and Development Planning Dr Retšelisitsoe Matlanyane, Acting Government Secretary Motlatsi Ramafole, Senior Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Moleboheng Mokobocho, Principal Secretary (PS) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Thabang Lekhela, PS at the Ministry of Health Moliehi Ntene, Acting PS at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning Rethabile Maluke, Director-General Health Services Dr ‘Nyane Letsie, Chief of Protocol Advocate Mafiroane Motanyane, L.Masilo-Motsamai, Itumeleng Rafutho, Thabiso Kompi, Motai Ramokoinihi, Thapelo Mabote, Major Bereng Moletsane, Tšepang Hatase, Tlali Nchai, ‘Malichaba Koetlisi, Rethabile ‘Nai, and Neo Matsoso among others.

This publication could not independently verify what the role each delegate is expected to play at the Summit by the time of going to print last night.