Ghana’s Voluntary National Review process on SDGs implementation launched

Accra Professor George Gyan-Baffour, the Minister of Planning, has launched Ghana’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) process on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (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 accelerating the implementation of the SDGs.

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 the regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF).

From July 9-18, 51 countries including Ghana would present their VNRs at the 2019 HLPF.

Since 2016, 102 countries have conducted VNRs; however, the first Heads of Government-Level Review of the SDGs is slated for September this year.

The review will assess the institutional arrangement 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 of Ghana’s VNR process on the implementation of the SDGs in Accra, Prof Gyan-Baffour said the Government intended to use the process to increase public awareness, deepen citizen’s engagement and promote national ownership of the SDGs.

More importantly highlight their linkages with the Government’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies.

He said Ghana’s VNR process would adopt a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach with the active participation of a wide range of stakeholders at national and sub-national levels.

He noted that the review was being led by the SDGs Implementation Coordinating Committee (ICC) under the auspices of the High-Level Ministerial Committee on SDGs.

I will 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.

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.

Prof. Gyan-Baffuor recollected that in February 2016, the Government formally launched the implementation of the SDGs in Ghana.

He said prior to that, Ghana had played a key role in the global discussions and inter-governmental negotiations that culminated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

He said since the launch of the SDGs in Ghana, a number of initiatives had been undertaken by both government and civil society organisations (CSOs) to localise and popularise the SDGs, including the commemoration of the appointment of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as co-chair of the Eminent Advocates for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Prof. Gyan-Baffuor said the SDGs had been successfully incorporated in the Government’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies and the Medium-Term National Development Policy Framework.

Dr Grace Bediako, the Acting Director-General, National Development Planning Commission, appealed to the media to champion the dissemination of information on the SDGs.

Dr Eugene Owusu, Presidential Advisor on SDGs, said the 17 Goals that constituted the SDGs were a global Blue Print to help end poverty, protect the planet and to grant prosperity to all mankind.

Madam Sylva Lopez-Ekrah, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, lauded Ghana for joining other 50 nations for the VNR process on the implementation of the SDGs.

She said the UN would continue to support Ghana in its efforts to attain the targets of the SDGs by 2030.

Mr George Osei-Bimpeh, Co-Convener, CSOs Platform on SDGs, said CSOs would be presenting a shadow VNR process on the implementation of the SDGs.

He said as CSOs they were obliged to ensure that the implementation of the SDGs brought transformation to the people of Ghana with the responsibility of ensuring that Ghana became a success story.

Source; Ghana News Agency