Ghana has expressed worry about the world falling short of its targets in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 due to what it described as the current slow pace of implementation.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, raised the concern in a speech read on her behalf by the Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and MP for Mampong, Kwaku Ampratwum Sarpong, at the high-level meeting of the G-77 and China, at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA.
G-77 is a group of developing nations demanding fair international economic environment for the growth of their economies.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey stated “whilst we applaud global efforts to translate these commitments into action, it is clear that at the current pace of implementation, we will fall short of our targets.”
Ghana, she noted, “therefore, welcomes the opportunity provided in the course of this high-level week to re-commit to accelerated actions for the implementation of these landmark agreements.”
“There is no doubt that the current global environment, characterized by geo-political tensions, unilateral approaches and inward-looking policies on the part of some countries, as well as the new and emerging risks, all militate against progress in the implementation of the SDGs,” according to her.
The vast majority of Member States, she said, were constrained to operate within a tight macro-economic and fiscal space, low commodity prices, volatile capital flows, debt vulnerabilities, and susceptibility to natural disasters, climate change and environmental degradation.
According to her, the global quest for sustainable development and the mission to carry everyone along will, therefore, remain only a wish unless the world make conscious and sustained efforts to advance inclusive solutions to these issues.
It is against this background that the Global South needs to remain united in the pursuit of a just, equitable and fair international order within which developing countries particularly, the poorest and most vulnerable, can make effective progress in attaining the targets of the SDGs, she said.
The Minister therefore stressed the need for renewed political commitment and appropriate international partnerships that will help mitigate the adverse impact of these challenges and create the enabling global environment for progress.
On the operations of the G-77, she indicated that Ghana was encouraged by the unrivalled efforts and achievements of this Group over the years.
The extraordinary legacy of the G77 in shaping international discourse and in defining international agreements and instruments, in her view, was a source of pride.
She disclosed that “as we prepare to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, it is Ghana’s hope that the same fervor and commitment will be demonstrated in the years ahead in dealing with the urgent issues of our world today.”
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change are all initiatives that speak to the ideals for which the G-77 was founded.
She urged member states of G-77 not to relent in their advocacy for the transfer of technology, capacity-building and requisite financing for sustainable development and climate action.
According to her, “that is why the convening of the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development yesterday was in the right direction, as it provided an opportunity for policy makers to engage with regulators for the creation of an enabling investment environment in sustainable development.”
She urged that “collective efforts and partnerships are required of Governments, business leaders and the financial sector to meet the annual investment requirement of USD$5 to 7 trillion for the SDGs.”
“We must scale up long-term sustainable financing from both public and private as well as domestic and international sources if we must achieve the SDGs by 2030,” she stressed.
“In this regard, Ghana urges all Member States to join in the fight against illicit financial flows from developing countries as they undermine effective resource mobilization and divert resources from critical social interventions and national development,” according to Madam Ayorkor Botchwey.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, speaking at the G-77 ministerial meeting, called for more financial support from the global community to aid the attainment of the SDGs by 2030.
According to Mr. Guterres, an amount of about $1.5 trillion was needed yearly to help in the achievement of the SDGs.
In his view, the world may not be able to attain the SDGs if global funding was not scaled up.