The launch brought together members of the diplomatic corps, officials of the UN system in Ghana, ministers of state and traditional authorities. A video promoting the 17 goals of the SDGs was shown at the ceremony.
On September 25, 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of new SDGs.
Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years under the collaboration of governments, the private sector and individuals.
The UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, in January this year appointed President Mahama and the Norwegian Prime Minister, Ms Erna Solberg, as co-chairs of a group of SDG advocates.
The group has been tasked to promote the universal SDGs, raise awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs and foster the engagement of stakeholders for their implementation.
Dedicating the honour done him to the people of Ghana and the African continent at large in view of the diverse backgrounds of the other advocates of the SDGs, President Mahama pledged to use his experience in public service for the past 20 years to work diligently as a co-chair of the Goals.
Ghana’s role in the UN
The President stated that Ghana’s involvement with the UN had been longstanding and mentioned the country’s role in UN peacekeeping operations and said “Ghana would continue to avail itself to the UN in pursuit of global peace".
The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, described President Mahama’s appointment as a reflection of Ghana’s leading role in Africa towards achieving the SDGs.
She explained that the country had made sustainable advancement in reducing HIV and AIDS infection.
She said the UN had been working with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and other organisations to craft an action plan consistent with the objectives of the SDGs.
SDGs in development framework
Speaking on the SDGs as an enabler for Ghana’s medium and long-term development plan, the Director General of the NDPC, Dr Nii Moi Thompson, said the implementation of the SDGs was being incorporated in the national development framework which would help transform Ghana’s economy.
He indicated that the NDPC was putting in place a spatial development framework to bring sanity into the built environment, adding that a national infrastructure plan was being put in place to attain energy efficiency in the country.
Dr Thompson intimated that the commission was making the effort to align five out of the 17 goals of the SDGs into Ghana’s long-term development plan.
The Majority Leader in Parliament, Mr Alban S.K. Bagbin, and his Minority counterpart, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, pledged the support of Parliament to the successful implementation of the SDGs.
The leaders in separate addresses congratulated President Mahama on his appointment as a co-chairman of the group of SDG advocates.
Mr Bagbin said Parliament was restructuring its standing order to make it more responsive to SDGs, adding that Ghana ought to emulate parliaments of Pakistan and Zambia which had set up a taskforce on SDGs and formed SDGs caucus.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Hege Hertzberg, who delivered the Prime Minister’s message, called for synergies among stakeholders for the SDGs to succeed.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this news report do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)