Speaking in Parliament where he presented government’s budget for 2016, Mr Terkper said the government agrees with United Nations’ position that each country has the primary responsibility for its own economic and social development and that the role of national policies and development strategies in the achievements of these goals cannot be over emphasised.
“We will continue to make national development efforts that are mutually consistent and coherent with world trade, monetary and financial systems, and global economic governance which are the prerequisites of the collective commitment to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030,”he stated.
He noted that Ghana has made significant strides in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are set to end in 2015, by mainstreaming them into the National Medium Term Development Plans, with monitoring reflecting all major national documents such as the Annual Progress Reports of both phases of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda and in the Annual Budget and Economic Policy statement of Government.
He said there still remains areas where the targets has not been achieved.
“In this last year of implementation, assessment of Ghana’s performance in the attainment of the MDGs remains reassuring although some goals were marginally missed.”
He said Ghana, over the 15 years of implementation of the MDGs, had experienced immense progress on poverty reduction, eradication of inequalities and infrastructural development, although the progress was uneven, especially in rural areas and the three northern regions.
Some of the MDGs which were not fully achieved include targets under the goals for Gender Equality; Maternal Health; combating HIV and AIDS, Malaria and other diseases; and Sustainability of the Environment.
He said as at 2013, extreme and overall poverty had both been reduced to more than half of their 1992 levels with indications that the goals for Universal Primary Education; under-five mortality; and the safe water supply component of the environmental sustainability goal would be attained by end-2015.
He noted however that it may not be likely for the country to attain the goal for maternal mortality; the target for sanitation under the environmental sustainability goal; the goal for global partnerships; and that of gender equality and women empowerment by close of 2015.
He said while taking stock, drawing lessons and celebrating the achievements of the MDGs, there is the need to acknowledge that there exists many areas of unfinished business with the MDGs, thus Ghana had joined the world in coming up with the SDGs, which would be implemented by countries from 2016 to 2030.
The SDGs, which was endorsed by the United Nations at its 70th Session on September 18, seeks to build on the MDGs and to complete what it did not achieve, particularly in reaching the most vulnerable as well as to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.
The new Agenda, which has 17 broad goals, with 169 targets, is guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including full respect for International Law and is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Human Rights Treaties, the Millennium Declaration, the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document as well as instruments such as the Declaration on the Right to Development.