NDPC launches Ghana’s SDGs Voluntary National Review process
The National Development Planning Commission has launched the Ghana Voluntary Review Process (VNR) of the SDGs to the media on 23rd January 2019.
The Voluntary National Review (VNR) Process is a review mechanism and an important platform for countries to share knowledge and best practices across the globe.
The VNR allows countries to make use of the national data, circumstances, capabilities and priorities to gather reports which are implemented to influence policy mobilization. This also allows the countries to take account of progress, identify good practices and challenges encountered by them in the strive to achieve the SDGs.
Ghana will partake in the review along with 50 other countries and the VNR process will take place in New York in July 2019.
A total of about 102 countries have conducted the VNR since 2016.
Minister for Planning, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, indicated that the low level of awareness of the SDGs among Ghanaians is worrying and therefore needs to be tackled.
He however urged the media to continue the collaboration exercise with the public so that a successful coverage of the SDGs will be accomplished.
“We have to work together to address the worrying low level of awareness and knowledge of the SDGs among the general public from government offices to businesses to schools, towns and villages, not many people are conversant with the SDGs.
A large proportion of the population remain unaware of the SDGs let alone own them or contribute to their achievement to support the implementation of the SDGs, media houses can play a key role in creating public awareness…and should hold public officers accountable.
There should be continuous collaboration between the media houses, public, private and civil society organizations to ensure adequate coverage of the SDGs.”
Speaking at the National Development Planning Commission premises of the NDPC, Dr Felix Addo-Yobo Deputy Director of the NDPC, mentioned that the report which will be presented in New York will comprise of data collection and case study.
He stated that the NDPC will work closely with the civil society organizations to achieve a desirable goal towards agenda 2030, with the focus of the VNR on the policy and regulatory environment for SDGs and Agenda 2063.
Eugene Owusu, the president’s special advisor on the SDGs noted that much backing is needed to support President Nana Akufo-Addo’s eminent role as the co-chair of the eminent group of advocate alongside the president of Norway.
He added the VNR is important and citizens should use the SDGs to demand accountability from its leaders.
“The VNR is very important and we have to do it with distinction and clearly with the global leadership role our president is playing, it beholds all of us to ensure that our VNR turns out to be an example or best practice.”
“Through the process we will help create awareness of the SDGs in this country and also help strengthen domestic accountability of the SDGs agenda… also to help citizens get a better understanding with the support of the media of the SDGs agenda so that ultimately citizens in this country can use the SDGs to demand accountability from their leaders.”
Acting Director of the National Development Planning Commission Dr Grace Bediako, on her part, called on the media to participate actively in the VNR review process of the SDGs.
“The media has a big role to play…we still have a lot to do in terms of outreach … on the work that we are doing on the SDGs reaching all corners of the countries. It’s a great feat that the media is well pleased to undertake. Working hand in hand we can package the information to reach the various targets”, she noted.
Sylvia Lopez-Ekrah Acting UN Resident Coordinator, also applauded government and the media for their participation in the VNR review on the SDGs. She however confirmed the UN’s support toward this process.
“I will like to commend Ghana for this media lounge because it is showing very clearly the commitment of the country to do this process in the whole of society. And for us it is extremely important that the media, the civil society, all the various ministries, department and ministries as well as the private sector and the academia are part of this process. This is the inclusiveness that we envisaged when we adopted the SDGs and this is a demonstration of that commitment.”