The Ghana Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Platform on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS), has called on leaders to set a more ambitious roadmap, identifying clear practical actions to be taken in the coming ten (10) years to deliver on the promise of the world we want by 2030.
The Platform, made the call during the media launch of 2019 Global Week of Action on SDGs dubbed, “We Stand Together for a Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World,” on September 25th, 2019, at the Ghana International Press Centre.
As the vision of the CSOs platform is to be the coordinating platform for CSOs in Ghana, in pursuit of achieving the SDGs by 2030, their mission is also to bring civil society organisations across Ghana together to foster joint efforts, partnerships with key stakeholders and effective advocacy for achieving the SDGs at the national, regional and international levels.
In line with this, the Global Week of Action on the SDGs, was launched with the aimed to rally public support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), connecting actions taking place in thousands of cities and communities across the globe, while world-leaders gather in New York for the five UN Summits – Climate Action, Universal Health Coverage, The 2030 Agenda, Financing for Development and Supporting Small Island Developing States.
Briefing the media at the launch, the Convener for SDG 8 and General Secretary for the General Agricultural Workers’ Union of Ghana (GAWU) of the Trades Union Congress Ghana (TUC), Mr. Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe, disclosed that, the UN Sustainable Development Goals Report, 2019, shows that, poverty, hunger and disease continue to be concentrated in the poorest and most vulnerable groups of people and countries. And Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest prevalence of hunger, with the rate increasing from 20.7 per cent in 2014 to 23.2 per cent in 2017.
According to him, the world is not fully on track to achieve the SDGs, because people are still suffering from the overlapping impacts of inequalities, loss of rights, gender injustice, conflict, militarisation, environmental degradation and climate change. Adding that, “The global economic, financial and political systems are concentrating power and wealth in the hands of a few people, favouring a limited number of individuals.”
Mr. Tagoe, further noted that, “The Youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Gaps in our legal frameworks are failing to protect women’s rights; and women and girls continue to be subjected to harmful practices that profoundly affect their lives. Too many schools in sub-Saharan Africa lack the basic elements of a good quality education, trained teachers and adequate facilities.”
He explained that, even though it’s a little over eleven years to the full realization of the 17 goals, yet about sixty percent of Ghanaians are still not privy to the SDGs, which is an indication that most Ghanaians have low level of awareness of the SDGs.
“These agenda comes with a promise to transform our world, end poverty and hunger, reduce inequality, ensure peace and combat climate change; more importantly, to set us on a path of peace and prosperity in a healthy environment. Four years on, we are yet to live up to this bold ambition,” He reemphasized.
He also said, “This is why we are standing together today in Ghana alongside many other advocates across the globe calling on our leaders to accelerate action on the bold commitment to create a Peaceful, Just and Sustainable world.”
He again noted that, there are several gaps in the country’s legal frameworks failing to protect women’s rights, resulting in women and children being subjected to harmful practices affecting their lives.
Mr. Andrews therefore, urged governments to help promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, tackle the multiple dimensions of inequality, deliver on their promise of ‘Leaving No One Behind’ by tackling issues of inequality at its roots in order to end discrimination against marginalized and vulnerable groups.
He further called on governments to take concrete steps to protect humanity and human rights, show stronger commitments to move the economy away from fossil fuels, and towards clean, renewable energy sources, and as well as to halve carbon emissions by 2030. This, they say will eliminate it altogether by 2050 at the latest, in order to ensure that the global temperature rise is limited to 1.5C degrees.
The Deputy Country Director of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Ghana, Ms. Jeong Yi Choi, indicated that, the organization has incorporated the SDGs into their aid programs by taking into account the development goals and needs of their partner countries and tailored the interventions to address the prevailing challenges.
She added that, “As a premier development Agency of the Republic of Korea, we have mainstreamed the SDGs into our international development cooperation through our global Mid-Term Sectoral Strategy 2016-2020 with the vision of contributing to the global co-prosperity of humanity and global peace and the SDGs realization.”
Ms. Jeong Yi Choi, enumerated some of the flagship projects currently being undertaken in Ghana, which include SDGs 1 and 2, to ensure no poverty and zero hunger.
She also disclosed that, KOICA Ghana office in partnership with the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations and Department of Cooperative is supporting capacity building of Farmer based cooperative and organizations in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions with a budget of $6.18 million.
The organization is also assisting in the improvement of Community-Based Health and Planning Services (CHPS+) in all the 13 districts in the Upper East Region with a budget of $9 million. Whereas the Republic of Korea through KOICA and the US Government through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to combat infectious disease in Ghana jointly pledged a fund of $7.5 million for the Global Health Security Agenda.
In her submission, the National Coordinator of the Civil Society Platform on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Madam Ugonna Ukaigwe, called on media practitioners to up their advocacy on the importance of the SDGs and its impact on society, for the citizenry to better understand it.