The Sustainable Development Goals in Lesotho
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Lesotho:
19 October 2021
The Joint UN Team on AIDS convenes its annual planning meeting …
This meeting gathered against the background of the newly adopted Global AIDs Strategy on HIV and AIDS 2021-2026 and the 2021 UNGA Political Declaration of AIDS which provides a renewed impetus for countries to accelerate progress to end AIDS as a Public Health threat by 2030. The retreat was officially opened by the Resident Coordinator a.i, Ms Betty Wabunoha. Paying her respects to the Government of Lesotho for its efforts in reducing HIV, Ms Wabunoha noted that the country is on track to achieve the 2025 Global targets towards ending AIDS. She however highlighted that whilst this is commendable progress, the country must continue in its collective efforts to end AIDS, adding that the UN family remains committed to the partnership with the government and communities to achieve this goal. She observed that Covid-19 had negatively affected gains to the HIV response and much more effort will be required to mitigate the continued effects of the pandemic in the more vulnerable geographic areas and populations. Speaking at the event, the HIV & AIDS Programme Manager in the Ministry of Health Dr Tapiwa Tarumbiswa conveyed appreciation to the UN family for the support extended to the Ministry of health towards the National HIV response. “The Ministry of Health has developed key HIV policies and guidelines that have provided an enabling environment for the health sector HIV response to more robust, client centered and resilient even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” remarked Dr Tapiwa. He noted that despite the country’s commendable progress in surpassing the global 90-90-90 targets, there are critical gaps that may hinder attainment of Lesotho’s attainment of the political declaration to end AIDS by 2030. These include inequalities that drive the disproportionate HIV burden among young girls and women, LGBTQI, people living with disability, inmates, sex workers and migrants. He called on the Joint UN Team to support leadership and governance of the response; monitor trends and ensure that appropriate and effective policies and strategies are implemented and strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of health to develop comprehensive national strategies so as to implement effective HIV/AIDS activities through out the country, advocatingfor greater political commitment in responding to the epidemic including the mobilization and allocation of adequate resources for HIV/AIDS-related activities. In her remarks, the Acting Chief Executive of the National AIDS Commission Ms. Mamello Letsie emphasized the statutory role that the NAC plays in coordinating the multisectoral HIV and AIDS. She commended the remarkable progress Lesotho has made but noted that reducing new HIV infections remains a priority that requires the concerted efforts of all stakeholders. Acknowledging the NAC’s role is complex, Ms Mamello reiterated the Commissions commitment to reinvigorating and accelerating the HIV response to ensure the country achieves the even more ambitious targets in the newly released global AIDS Strategy End inequalities End AIDS. She highlighted the mid-term review of the national HIV strategic plan to be undertaken in the period leading up to the World AIDS Day on 1st of December 2020. She called on the UN’s continued support towards sustainable financing for the HIV response. Civil society participants present at the meeting emphasized that whilst the new global strategy addresses gender inequalities, it is important that to end AIDS, gender is addressed in all its diversities leaving no one behind. Further, they called upon the UN Joint Team to be more deliberate in its meaningful engagement and inclusion of young people in the HIV response globally and locally. By the end of the meeting, the participants had revised the 2019 Joint United National Programme of Support on AIDS, aligned to new global commitments in the 2021 Political Declaration to end AIDS, the new Global Strategy: End Inequalities End AIDS Global strategy to End AIDS by 2030, and the national HIV Strategic Plan. The UNAIDS Country Director noted that stakeholders will continue to provide input into the plan that will guide the implementation by the Joint UN Team on AIDS for the next two years, focusing on priority high impact interventions for Lesotho.
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03 August 2021
UN convenes human rights training for Lesotho Correctional Service officers
Through the National Dialogue process of 2018 and 2019, recommendations were made which included reforms to the security sector in Lesotho, to ensure that security sector agencies conduct their operations in line with international human rights standards. The reforms call for capacity building of officers working in the security sector on human rights. As a party to several international and regional human rights conventions and treaties, Lesotho is under obligation to comply with the human rights commitments that the country has made including the rights of persons deprived of liberty. The Bill of Rights in the Lesotho Constitution provides for rights that are supposed to be protected, promoted and enjoyed by all. There are rights that relate to the treatment of persons deprived of liberty including inmates held in correctional facilities. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today convened the start of a three-day training for Correctional Service officers in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Resident Coordinator’s Office. The Senior Human Rights Adviser to the UN in Lesotho who spoke on behalf of the acting UN Resident Coordinator quoted a popular saying by one human rights defender who once said: “A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals”. Among other topics such as “Human Rights Principles of Good Prison Management”, the training will further sensitize correctional service officers on the rights of inmates, other correctional service employees and the community at large. “I hope this training will remind you all of your duty to respect and ensure that the rights of inmates are respected, because they also have rights” remarked Assistant Commissioner of the Lesotho Correctional Services, Mr Sekila Joel Majara. This training of trainers (ToT) is a part of a training programme which will identify trainers who will be equipped with knowledge, skills and tools for conducting human rights training to fellow correctional officers throughout the country.
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04 May 2021
2020 UN Country Annual Results Report
COVID-19 destabilised the Kingdom of Lesotho’s development agenda in 2020, reducing economic growth and destroying people’s livelihoods. Businesses and farms were forced to close under lockdowns, some of which may never reopen, causing massive increases in unemployment; vulnerability increased, both in terms of absolute poverty, but also gender based violence and psychosocial stress; whilst the health and education sectors faced insurmountable pressure. At the start of 2020, UN programming in Lesotho shifted from its long-term development focus to responding to the immediate humanitarian threat posed by COVID-19.
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13 October 2021
13 October 2021
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