Action 2015 is here: Leave No One Behind!!!

Published By UNNGOF |  January 21, 2015

“As we draw closer to the 2015 global Millennium Development Goals (MDG) deadline, the post-2015 development discussion is the single most important debate of our time because any global framework agreed upon by world leaders this year will guide future government policies and spending on social and economic development, not only in developing countries, but everywhere around the world too!”

This was just one of the key messages that came through from Open House in Kampala as hundreds of Ugandans gathered there on Thursday 15thJanuary 2015 to witness the launch of the #action2015 campaign in Uganda. Participants were united in the belief that the decisions taken in 2015 are critical for our future, and we need to raise our voices today for the generations of tomorrow.

Action 2015 is a growing global movement made up of thousands of organisations, coalitions and partnerships calling for concrete actions and ambitious agreements for people and the planet by the end of 2015. Emphasis is placed on the fact that 2015 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set the agenda until 2030; because the world needs the new global sustainable development goals to be ambitious, while the voters to hold their government accountable to their commitments. The idea is to keep people informed about and engaged in the Post-2015 process in a fun way too through social media among other avenues. This perhaps explains why skaters played a prominent role in advancing the awareness creation component of this campaign.

The launch in Kampala was organised by a consortium of NGOs led by the Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF) under the theme: Leave No one Behind! The overall goal of the campaign in Uganda is to mobilize citizens and stakeholders in Uganda through awareness to engage meaningfully with the post2015 agenda processes by voicing their concerns and aspirations. The event was characterized by several uniquely crafted activities including engagements with the media; panel presentations by renowned CSO and public figures; as well as a public solidarity march which began from Open House via Buganda Road towards the National Library, and then turning left via Queen’s Lane to Bombo Road where the procession turned left towards Kampala Road up to City Square where they turned left and joined Buganda Road again at Central Police Station and marched back to Open House along Buganda Road. Placards were brandished by participants with customised messages using the following criteria:

I am (individual’s name, e.g. Jolly Nandudu)

I am (a development issue they feel strongly about, e.g. Quality Education)

I am 15 #action2015

Several scores of 15 year old children were consciously mobilised and supported to hand over their aspirations for the post2015 agenda in a petition to the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the current presidency of the UN General Assembly), both of whom pledged to take the issues contained within the petition to the highest decision making arenas possible. School children, women groups, farmers groups, persons with disabilities, boda boda, and people living with HIV/AIDS, among others were all in attendance.

Speeches and presentations from Mr Ssewakiryanga Richard (Executive Director, UNNGOF), Dr Ntwatwa Jeremiah Mutwalante (the MP for Ikiiki County in Budaka district, who represented the Deputy Speaker of Parliament), and a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were punctuated by musical interludes from a dance troupe comprising mainly of 15 year old children. They were all unanimous in calling for concerted effort from all stakeholders across fields to ensure the success of the campaign, and ultimately the post2015 agenda. Set of over 50 black balloons marked with post2015 advocacy messages were released into the air to cap off the events of the day and thereby mark the official launch of the campaign in Uganda.

It is safe to say that the launch and the events preceding it have effectively generated a powerful and unified citizens’ voice at the national level. However, to ensure that our voices continue to be heard in the process of designing a new development framework, we now need to get more specific with our asks and more active in the decision-making spaces right from the local to the national, regional and global levels! The civil society fraternity has a huge role to play here, and this is only the beginning. So many more events and activities are lined up in the near future which am sure you do not want to miss being a part of. We will definitely leave no one behind!