UN nominates Ghana to develop sustainable development goals
Accra, March 22, GNA – The United Nations’ Organisation (UNO) has nominated Ghana to play a led role among 30 member-states from five regional blocks, to develop Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be universally applicable, through the Open Working Group (OWG) initiative.
The Rio+20 Conference agreed to launch a process to develop a set of SDGs, which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to converge with the post 2015 development agenda.
It was decided that an “inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process open to all stakeholders, with a view to developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly,” which Ghana is now playing a led role among the 30 member-states representatives, would be established.
Mr. Ken Kanda, Ghana’s Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the UNO , noted that Ghana considers the role as a duty to humanity and the UNO to develop goals to enhance the assets of the poor and address current global crises.
‘The real impact of these goals will be felt if the issues that hinder the development of developing countries, particularly Africa are addressed’, Mr Kanda stated.
He made the remarks at the first Session of the OWG on SDGs at the UNO Headquarters in New York, which was monitored by Ghana News Agency through the Ghana’s UN Permanent Mission.
Mr kanda noted climate change, energy, trade, industrial development, full employment, global governance technology transfer, agricultural subsidies and land degradation, would serve as key thematic areas that the group will look at.
To achieve the SDGs, he suggested that the goals should be measurable and easy to implement within a reasonable time frame, and must have a period for review.
Mr. Kanda urged OWG to be guided by openness, transparency, inclusiveness and consensus as well as the principles set out in the Rio + 20 outcome document.
To expedite action on the work, he urged the OWG to consider inviting academia, international organizations, as well as experts to make presentations to the Group and for it to engage them thoroughly, pointing out that an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the sustainable development was very vital to their work.
To enrich discussions within the OWG and facilitate the development of the SDGs, Mr Kanda called on the inter-agency group set up by the Secretary-General of the UN to compile current goals from international conventions, resolutions and conferences and make them available to the working group.
Ghana, therefore, called for the crafting of SDG that would build upon the Millennium Development Goals.
The MDGs are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, after the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.
All 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to eradicate hunger, achieve education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality rates, improve health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develope a global partnership for development by the year 2015.
Ambassador J. N. Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of South Africa, supported calls for SDGs to be anchored on outcomes of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Action of Implementation as well as outcomes of UN major summits in the economic, social and environmental fields.
Meanwhile a documents obtained from Ghana’s Permanent Mission at the UN , by the Ghana News Agency revealed that the SDGs must be based on Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Developed based on the Rio Principles, must be consistent with international law, build upon commitments already made, contribute to the full implementation of the outcomes of all major summits in the economic, social and environmental fields and focus on priority areas for the achievement of sustainable development, being guided by the outcome document.
The SDGs must also address and incorporate in a balanced way all three dimensions of sustainable development and their inter linkages; be coherent with and integrated into the UN development agenda beyond 2015.
The group is also tasked not to divert focus or effort from the achievement of the MDGs and must include active involvement of all relevant stakeholders, as appropriate, in the process.
The SDGs must also be universally applicable to all countries while taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policies and priorities.
It must also be useful for pursuing focused and coherent action on sustainable development; contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, and serve as a driver for implementation and mainstreaming of sustainable development in the UN system as a whole.
The document mandated the creation of an inter-governmental open working group that will submit a report to the 68th session of the General Assembly containing a proposal for sustainable development goals for consideration and appropriate action.
It specified that the process leading to the SDGs needed to be coordinated and coherent with the processes considering the post 2015 development agenda.