The 76th United Nations Day was yesterday marked in Accra with a pledge to accelerate sustainable development for all amidst striving to recover from the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Held under the theme: “United Nations and Ghana: Working together for a sustainable society towards recovery in a post COVID-19 era,” the day was marked to amplify the agenda and reaffirm the purposes and principles of the UN Charter that has guided us for the past 76 years.
It was also to intensify efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and address the challenges of COVID-19.
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr Kwaku Ampratum-Sarpong in an address at the ceremony noted that though there have been setbacks in the execution of the SDGs due to COVID-19, the country’s resolve to see to the attainments of the SDGs remained intact.
“Due to the pandemic, the minimal progress made in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has been reversed and the socio-economic situation of many people across the world has worsened,” he said.
“Despite the temporary setback, Ghana’s resolve for socio-economic advancement remains undiminished, and several interventions had been rolled out by government in response to the pandemic,” he added.
Mr Ampratum-Sarpong stressed that the support of development partners for government-oriented programmes like the ‘Obaatanpa’ programme was to create conditions that would enhance development to serve the interest of all members of the Ghanaian society.
The Deputy Minister further stated that in achieving the goal of “leaving no one behind,” there was the need to incorporate the needs of young people.
“The youth bulge could either represent the promise of innovative cultural and social change and economic renewal or serve as a source of social instability,” he said.
“It is clear that unless the issues related to education, health, skills, decent employment, participation, and rights of young people become central to policies, we fail to achieve the goal of leaving no one behind,” he added.
Mr Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator who reiterated that the pandemic had derailed the country of its gains in several instances, called for “a redoubling of efforts towards the decade of action.”
For this reason, he underscored that there was the need to unite in the fight against the pandemic and enhance the execution of the SDGs.
“Ghana is working together for a sustainable and inclusive society towards recovery and in a post-COVID-19 era, this is hope,” he stated.
“It underscores the need for greater urgency and ambition to end the pandemic and accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals with renewed hope by working together to drive the change and achieve the future we want,” he added.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR AND CECILIA LAGBA