2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
At the Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, UN Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
The SDGs, otherwise known as the Global Goals, build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015. The MDGs aimed at an array of issues that included reducing poverty, hunger, disease, gender inequality, and improving access to water and sanitation. Enormous progress has been made on the MDGs, but the indignity of poverty has not been ended for all. The new Global Goals, and the broader sustainability agenda, go much further than the MDGs, addressing the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people. The Global Goals will ensure that no one is left behind.
“The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere. It is a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world. It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms. An agenda for the planet, our common home. An agenda for shared prosperity, peace and partnership. It conveys the urgency of climate action. It is rooted in gender equality and respect for the rights of all. Above all, it pledges to leave no one behind,” said Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General United Nations.
The first SDG report launched by then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in July 2016 at the 2016 High-level Political Forum on sustainable development provides statistics with regards to where we stand as a people. An overview of the 17 Goals using data currently available highlights the most significant gaps and challenges regarding issues of poverty, education, human rights, gender inequality, health, climate change, sustainable environment and energy. The potential for dire consequences of mismanaging our natural resources and the effects of climate change cannot be overstated.
This first report is a starting point. With collective global action, we can seize the opportunities before us, and, together, fulfill the pledge of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind.
SDGs in Ghana
Being one of 50 countries in which the post-2015 agenda consultations were held from 2012-2013, Ghana was directly involved in the development of the SDGs and as such the goals reflect the aspirations and needs of the people of Ghana.
National governments have the primary responsibility for the implementation of the SDGs and must take the lead by establishing national plans. This effort was already visible in the development of the Shared Growth and Development Agenda II. The UN will continue to provide the needed technical support to its development partners including public sector institutions for the realisation of the goals.
The official launch of the SDGs in Ghana in February 2016 by then-President John Dramani Mahama demonstrates Ghana’s commitment to enable public understanding of and support for the SDGs in the country. In 2016, Mahama acted as Co-chair of a group of 16 Eminent Advocates for the SDGs, appointed by then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In 2017, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed President Nana Akufo-Addo to co-chair the group of SDG Advocates. The group's aim is to raise awareness and spur momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs. The appointments highlight the significant role Ghana plays as a leader, especially in Africa, for the attainment of the SDGs on the continent.
The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) is the lead national public sector institution for integrating the SDGs in national development plans, as well as regional development agendas such as Agenda 2063. This requires the support of development partners, the United Nations and the citizenry to foster growth and development.
Now that Ghana has achieved lower middle income status, the imperative is mounting to improve domestic revenue mobilisation in order to be able to finance the policies and programmes needed to complete the unfinished agenda and address the new commitments embodied in the SDGs.
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Ms Christine Evans-Klock, notes: "If we thought the eight MDGs were ambitious, the 17 SDGs are transformative. Determinedly, purposefully, unrelentingly transformative, to improve lives now and for generations to come, and to leave no one behind."
The SDGs in Ghana: Why they matter & How we can help
The UN Communications Group (UNCG) together with the CSOs Platform on the SDGs launched a booklet of SDG advocacy messages. The publication suggests why each of the goals should matter to us and what we can do, as individuals, to contribute to their successful implementation in Ghana and to ensure that no one is left behind.