Citizens Show How They Would Prioritise Cambodia’s Sustainable Development

Phnom Penh – More than 12,000 Cambodian citizens have voted for “No Poverty”, “Peace and Justice”, and “Quality Education” to be the top priorities for Cambodia. In a recent voluntary survey, from May to July 2016, World Vision sought out the opinions of citizens in 9 provinces and Phnom Penh to find out which of the 17 goals included in new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the global community in September 2015, they would prioritise for inclusion into Cambodia’s development plans and strategies. 

The survey, which had respondents from Banteay Mean Chey, Battambang, Siem Reap, Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kandal, and Phnom Penh, had 12,613 respondents ranging from students and farmers to teachers, aged from 6 to 87. Following a brief introduction to the SDGs, participants were asked to voluntarily vote for 3 of the 17 possible Sustainable Development Goals based on what areas they felt were most important for prioritising in national policies and strategies, such as the National Strategic Development Plan. SDG1 on No Poverty, SDG16 on Peace and Justice, and SDG4 on Quality Education received the majority of the votes, with SDG3 on Good Health and Well-being and SDG6 on Clean Water and Sanitation coming in fourth and fifth.

“We were encouraged by the positive response to the survey, which shows how passionate Cambodian’s are about engaging in plans and contributions to the sustainable development of the nation. The voices and views of citizens are incredibly important and should be listened to in all planning that affects them, including the localisation of these new global Sustainable Development Goals” said Steve Cooke, Advocacy Manager of World Vision.

World Vision believes that the SDGs starts and ends with healthy, nourished and well-educated children free from all forms of violence – and the SDGs represent an unprecedented opportunity to get us there within this generation. Eradicating poverty is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone everywhere can take action to promote equality and become global citizens of a better world for children.

Mr. Cooke continued “The three SDGs voted for most often are not simple goals – ending poverty, quality education, and peace and justice, which includes critically important progress such as ending all forms of violence against children. These tasks require a great deal of commitment and coordination between Ministries and departments of the Royal Government of Cambodia, and will also require coordination with civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, citizen groups, and also international institutions. But we believe that with increased prioritsation and coordination, these ambitious goals can be achieved for all Cambodians. The first step is good planning.”

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