The President of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Madam María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, Thursday lauded Ghana for the worthy efforts it is making towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Madam Espinosa, who arrived in Accra on Wednesday a four-day visit, gave the commendation at a meeting with the High-Level Ministerial Committee (HLMC) on SDGs, under the Chairmanship of Professor George Gyan-Baffour, the Minister of Planning, at the Castle Osu, Accra.
The Global Goals call for a universal action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity across the world.
Madam Espinosa hailed the exemplary leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the co-Chair of the Eminent Group of Advocates of the 2030 SDGs.
“I really would like to commend the Government of Ghana for what it is doing because after the adoption of the SDGs four years ago, I think that when we check the “what to do list”, I think you have done well so far”.
It was, therefore, not a coincidence that the UN Secretary-General wisely decided to reappoint President Akufo-Addo as co-Chair of the Eminent Group of Advocates of the SDGs, she said, adding that it was, of course , well deserved.
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance; Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education and Madam Gloria Akuffo, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice were at the meeting
Madam Cynthia Morrison, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, and Madam Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and Dr Eugene Owusu, Special Adviser to the President on SDGs were also at the 15-member Committee meeting.
Madam Espinosa said from her observation, the SDGs were at the heart and soul of the national development planning of Ghana, which was the very purpose of the SDGs.
The SDGs represent the collective architecture that the Member States of the UN agreed upon; explaining that they were the reflection of the political commitment of the International Community.
“The SDGs are like a survival kit. It is the minimum standard that we need to build a fair and more sustainable society.”
The ingredients for a successful story on the SDGs were the high-level political will, strong institutions in governance, holistic approaches and inclusiveness.
The President of the 73rd General Assembly said she would be hosting a three-day high-level ministerial committee meeting on macro-economic issues from May 14 to 16 May, in New York.
Prof Gyan-Baffour, for his part, said the HLMC was established by the President in 2017, to among others, mobilise strong political commitment for the implementation of the SDGs.
The Committee provides strategic direction for the effective coordination of the implementation of the SDGs and also promotes accountability to ensure synergy and to avoid duplication and gaps in the works of individual ministries and other government entities.
Over the past couple of years, Prof Gyan-Baffour said, the Committee had focused on laying the foundation for the successful implementation of the SDGs.
They have been incorporated into the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development policies of the Government, which aims at job creation, prosperity and equal opportunity for all.
Dr Owusu said the priority areas of the President include the microeconomics stabilization and the building of strong institutions, which were critical for the attainment of the Goals.
The UN Secretary-General was expected, on Thursday, May 9, to announce the extension of the tenure of President Akufo-Addo as the co-Chair of the Eminent Group of Advocates of the 2030 SDGs, he said.
He said Ghana is grateful to the UN Secretary-General for that honour.