Addressing the 77th UN Day Lifelink Model UN in Accra
24 October 2022
Today, the Head of UNOPS opened the 2022 Life-link Friendship schools MUN, an annual conference for Junior High and Senior High school students.
In my capacity today representing the UN Resident Coordinator, I am privileged to be in the same room as our future leaders, clad in their beautiful multicultural attire to commemorate the 77th United Nations Day. It is on this day that the UN Charter first came into force with like-minded people in hopes of achieving our shared goals and objectives.
Today, the world has gradually turned into a global village and as such the role of science cannot be denied. Having been brought closer to each other through technology is an indication that we cannot do without science hence we need to adjust our settings to accept the wind of change blowing our way.
We need to find practical and innovative solutions to the challenges the world is facing today, and we can do that through solidarity, sustainability, and science.
To give you a perfect example, we saw how during the COVID-19 global pandemic the world came together to find ways of curbing the pandemic. Even though the world is still recovering from the pandemic, we cannot deny the role of science especially at the peak of the crisis and event today. That showed how world leaders, experts and policy makers used solidarity to demonstrate the power of working together.
My dear students, the world agreed some seven years ago to work together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This can only be achieved when we join forces to work together. I am sure that you are aware of some of the conflicts occurring in different parts of the world which might seem far away from here but the impact of these conflicts are already affecting all parts of the world. Thus, today we cannot talk about global sustainability without relying on global solidarity.
From the interconnectedness of COVID-19, Climate Change and Conflict, what I call the 3Cs, we see the power of science through innovation, invention to adapt and the prospects to rebuild. We need to capture the moment and join the rest of the world in embracing science as the future we are seeing today. We need to accept the fact that we need each other to grow and develop as a nation. Science is not alien to us and should not be treated as such. The Akosombo Dam built by the first president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is still in operation and a clear indication that science evolves but does not stop or cease. As a Nation, Ghana needs to embrace these changes and invest more in the sciences for a brighter future.
In line with this thought, the United Nations here in Ghana has pledged a sum of circa $500 million plus towards achieving the outcomes of its new Cooperation Framework. The UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/72/279 elevated the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSCDF), as the most important instrument for the planning and implementation of UN development activities in each country, to be prepared and finalized in consultation and agreement with national Governments. The UNSDCF further guides the entire UN programme planning, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of collective UN support on country level for achieving the 2030 Agenda. The UNSDCF further reflects and articulates the contemporary relationship between the Government of Ghana and the UN system collective support in collaborating to achieve the SDGs priorities and gaps. The UNSDCF focuses on three pillars; (i)Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Economic Growth and Transformation; (ii) Inclusive, Accessible, Sustainable and Resilient Quality Basic Social Services; and (iii) Durable Peace and Security in Ghana and the subregion. The UNSDCF is built on an integrated approach in line with the interconnected and interdependent Sustainable Development Goals. The three Ss of Sustainability, Solidarity, and Science are integral to the UNSDCF and identified in the theory of change, SDGs accelerators (e.g. enhancing social inclusion, harnessing digital transformation; enabling climate transformation; defining and expanding the role of partnerships) and cross cutting UNSDCF programming principles (Human Rights, Gender Equality, Leave No One Behind, Sustainability, Accountability, Resilience).
Seeing you all young ones in one room in a simulation exercise is very refreshing and an indication that the future is bright. Knowing that you understand the happenings around you both nationally and globally gives us hope for a better future. As you discuss and debate your points today, I urge you all to bear in mind that you are the future that we are waiting for, you are the future the world is waiting for. Therefore, as you leave for your homes, remember to carry the spirit of solidarity and multilateralism with you because as we saw with COVID 19, until everyone is safe in every part of the globe, no one is safe. We should therefore put up a united front as we tackle COVID 19, Climate change and conflict starting from our homes, workplaces, schools and everywhere while ensuring that we leave no one behind. The world is counting on you all.