'Achieving SDGs by 2030 is a collective responsibility'
Mrs Gladys Ghartey, Chief Economic Officer and Head of UN System Unit at the Ministry of Finance has called for collective and coherent efforts by all stakeholders to be marshalled to facilitate achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
All the 17 goals and 232 targets are interconnected and demand the unflinching support, experience, expertise and multifaceted approach to achieve the goals by 2030.
Ms Ghartey made the call at a day's workshop on, "increasing awareness and knowledge on SDGs as well as to generate input for the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR)" in Cape Coast on Tuesday.
The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) organised the programme, which targeted media personnel, and representatives from the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Information Services Department (ISD), Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), and security agencies.
The forum was geared towards deepening the understanding of the participants on the SDGs to enable them to report accurately on issues relating to the goals.
In September 2015, world leaders, adopted the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development framework to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the basic survival trait of mankind.
Ms Ghartey acknowledged that achieving the SDGs was bedevilled by myriads of challenges and added that poverty reduction was hindered by the lack of economic growth and progress in and further complicated by the high levels of income inequalities among others.
To address that challenge, she noted that Government had embarked on a number of strategic initiatives and engagements with CSOs and the private sector to step-up the effective implementation of the SDGs.
The stakeholders actively participated in the process to develop the national SDGs monitoring framework, leading to agreeing on indicators to be monitored, selection of consultants to conduct the baseline survey, review proposals and terms of reference and the final selection of the qualified consultant for the assignment.
The report, according to her, was one of the few national documents that was jointly developed by government, CSOs and other relevant stakeholders with key strategies and procedures to achieving the goals.
The SDGs had been consistent with Ghana's development aspirations and about 70 percent of its targets and reflected in policies and strategies of the just ended Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework (2014-2017), which preceded the 2030 Agenda.
That notwithstanding, they would also actively engage in public sensitisation and dissemination of the report; stating that, "this is indeed the dividend of the multi-stakeholder platform put in place to implement and monitor the implementation of the SDGs".
Mrs Hellen Ayitevie, Head of SDGs Secretariat at the Ghana Statistical Service urged the media to update themselves with timely and accurate information on national strategy Development Goals to serve as the guide to monitor, contribute and report effectively to ease the process of achieving the targets by 2030.
She said the media was a strategic partner in creating public awareness on the progress and challenges and called on the participants to work hard to promote the targets under the SDGs for the benefit of the nation.
Ms Sylvia Senu, an Economic Analyst with the UNDP who gave an overview of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) described Ghana's achievement as remarkable and rallied the support of all towards its success.
Amidst challenges, such as effective government leadership, policy gaps, inclusive participation, budgeting constraints among others, the achievement of the SDGs was the surest way to bring development and peace to the world, she added.