The necessary structures for implementing the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs), a global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future, have been set, Acting Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Grace Bediako, has said.
She explained that because implementation of the SDGs involves all segments of society, it is important for the country to first have in place a proper foundation and coordination mechanism to ensure successful implementation of the global goals.
She said: “The first thing is to set up the structures that will make sure we are not only implementing but there is also proper oversight and coordination of activities, which we have done. So, the foundation has been laid and implementation of the goals has started”.
Dr. Bediako said this at the launch of Ghana’s Voluntary National Review (VNR), which forms part of the processes in implementing the SDGs.
The primary objective of the VNR is to facilitate the sharing of experiences and mutual learning, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to hastening implementation of the goals.
As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member-states to conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven.
These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF).
While implementation of the 17 goals has been ongoing since 2016, Dr. Bediako said another thing the country has been able to achieve was to translate the SDGs commitments into programmes. “This starts from the president’s coordinated policies – social and economic; and then we have the medium-term policy framework that covers various sectors and all districts.”
The review will assess the institutional arrangements and enabling environment for implementing the SDGs, and the progress of implementation across all 17 SDGs including innovations and successful initiatives.
The rest are cross-cutting themes of ‘Leaving no one behind’, ‘Youth engagement in the SDGs’ and ‘synergies across the goals’.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of Planning, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, said government intends using the process to increase public awareness, deepen citizen and private sector engagement, and promote national ownership of the SDGs.
More importantly, to also highlight their linkages with government’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies.
“I would like to call on all development actors, as well as the public, to take a keen interest in the VNR process and also contribute to achieving the SDGs in Ghana,” he said.
He added: “The SDGs are everyone’s business. It is about the well-being and welfare of every citizen and organisation. Let us all work together to eradicate poverty, promote peace, tackle the critical environmental challenges, and create a better world for ourselves and future generations”.
The SDGs introduced in 2015 by the United Nations and seek to, among other things, address global challenges: including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
World leaders adopted the 17 SDGs of the Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, at a United Nations Summit in New York.