Speaking at 2022 VNR Lab Session in New York, the UN RC, Charles Abani says Ghana's 2022 VNR represents an important progressive milestone for the country.
On behalf of the UN, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the Government of Ghana for their commitment and dedication to producing the 2022 VNR, in spite of significant challenges experienced in Ghana and globally since Ghana’s 2019 VNR report. Particular acknowledgement should go to NDPC who have coordinated the process and led an inclusive and participatory engagement with national stakeholders to produce a comprehensive VNR report for Ghana in 2022, actively involving Civil Society, Private Sector, UN and Development Partners.
The purpose of this HLPF side event, a VNR Lab sharing the experience of Ghana preparing the 2022 VNR report, is to discuss and highlight the challenges, good practice, innovations, stakeholder engagement and lessons learned. The VNR lab provides a platform for open conversation and dialogue among countries, stakeholders and partners.
Additionally, this VNR lab session aims to identify implementation challenges and potential solutions for SDGs 4 (education); 5 (gender equality); 14 (life below water); 15 (life on land), and 17 (partnerships for the Goals), as the in-depth focus SDGs for HLPF 2022.
There will also be an opportunity to brainstorm on the overarching resource requirements to achieve the SDGs, estimated at circa $45 billion annually by Ghana’s 2021 Country Financing Roadmap for the SDGs.
Ghana’s second VNR, following on from the first in 2019, represents an important progressive milestone for the country. The VNR report is the result of a consultative and participatory process led by NDPC, involving Government of Ghana Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Civil Society Organizations (including representation of youth, women, children and persons living with disabilities), the private sector, UN Agencies and a host of development partners.
Developing the 2022 VNR in Ghana involved a whole of government and whole of society approach, leveraging the existing institutional arrangements for the SDGs in Ghana (as detailed in the 2019 VNR with the SDG Advisory Unit and High-Level Ministerial Committee playing a supervisory role and reporting to the President (Co-Chair of the Eminent SDGs Advocates) and the Implementation Coordinating Committee (ICC) and Technical Committee playing a coordination role).
NDPC ably lead the ICC, which includes representatives from the UN, Development Partners, CSOs Platform for the SDGs, SDGs Philanthropy Platform, Private Sector, CHRAJ and relevant Government Ministries and Departments). The ICC developed a comprehensive VNR roadmap that included reinvigorating the SDGs implementation arrangements which had suffered from the impact of COVID-19. The VNR roadmap was based on leaving no one behind principles and underlined by strong partnership building throughout the process.
The UN in Ghana, as an ICC member, actively supported the 2022 VNR process through technical, coordination and financial assistance. We are committed to supporting the Government of Ghana and other stakeholders in taking forward the recommendations and embedding the key learnings and opportunities arising from the 2022 VNR in our next United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF). The UNSDCF will reflect the Government’s expectations of the UN and drive the UN Country Team’s joint response and contributions to national development priorities and SDGs, as well as strengthen and expand multistakeholder partnerships critical to achieving the SDGs.
The VNR 2022 will provide an invaluable snapshot of major SDGs progress, challenges, lessons learned, and help identify catalytic and transformative priorities and ways forward to enable and accelerate SDGs achievement, especially in the context of resource constraints occasioned by serial shocks such as COVID-19 and current ongoing conflicts.
On behalf of the UN Country Team in Ghana, we congratulate again the Government of Ghana for its open support and continuous collaboration and engagement with the SDGs, including embedding SDGs within national systems and structures. These positives steps have supported resilience in the face of unexpected challenges and fostered a spirit of ambition and partnership that must be nurtured and empowered if Ghana is to achieve the Global Goals by 2030.
The main messages emerging from the VNR 2022, highlight Ghana’s need to restore and transform the economy to create opportunities for all, especially young people; broaden social protection for vulnerable groups, including persons with disability, to enhance social inclusion; strengthen innovative financing and resource mobilization through expanded multi-stakeholder partnerships, especially with the private sector; build an integrated national financing framework and harness emerging opportunities such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. Ghana will need to address infrastructure deficits in key sectors (health, education, and sanitation services); support the national digitalization drive; and mitigate the impacts of climate change and variability for green growth.
We welcome this bold and positive contribution to Ghana building forward better through a peaceful, resilient and transformative march towards achieving self-reliance and the SDGs. We reiterate the importance of Ghana ‘leading from the front’ through commitment and resources to achieve the emerging recommendations from this process. The entire United Nations system in Ghana reaffirms its commitment to continue to support efforts towards achieving the SDGs, leaving no one behind and a Ghana Beyond Aid. Thank you.