ISODEC holds dialogue with political parties on SDGs
The Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) has urged political parties to commit to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to fight poverty, inequality and climate change when elected into office.
A forum organised by ISODEC with support from STAR-Ghana in Accra brought together stakeholders, Civil Society Organisations and the media to interrogate the extent to which political party manifestoes, policies and messages are linked to the SDGs towards issue-based 2016 election.
The SDGs are 17 inter-governmental aspirations and goals set after the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They focus on the people, the planet, peace, prosperity and partnership.
As a result of these, governments all over the world have pledged their support and commitment by putting in place the necessary measures to ensure the development of the people and by 2030, it is envisaged that people would be living in a better world that is more prosperous and equal, greener and cleaner.
Political Parties present reiterated their commitment towards the attainment of the goals incorporated into their manifestos ahead of the general election.
Dr William Ahadzi, the Director of Research of the National Democratic Congress, reiterated government’s commitment to developing the nation, saying “primarily, our own developmental challenges are incorporated in our programme for the next 10 years, so yes; the sustainable development goals are consistent with the things we ourselves think are the developmental challenges we have to resolve. But we also have priorities as a political party and as a government’’.
Mr Kofi Afari, a member of the New Patriotic Party, said opportunities must be given to people to develop their skills and incentives to create wealth for themselves.
He said taxes on products, raw materials, and machineries were disincentives to the development of the people but the reduction of taxes would go a long way to help the progress of the people which is the NPPs focus embedded in the 10-point plan by Dr Bawumia.
Mr Bernard Mornah, the National Chairman of the PNC, said the country needed to ‘own’ the SDGs by localising them in order to get the people involved in addressing the problems.
“It is good to have global goals but it is also good to localise these goals so that we can own them. So out of the 17 SDGs we should develop the Ghana development goals. You can see that nowhere in the goals is job creation an issue and yet in Ghana we have unemployment as a major obstacle,” he said.
Participants urged the parties to engage the people in decision making so as to draft policies to address their challenges.