It is my greatest pleasure to be here with you this afternoon for this brief ceremony to reaffirm our strong partnership and support to the Government and people of Ghana – the signing of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.
This ceremony, which we have been looking forward to for some time now, clearly reasserts the strong cooperation between the United Nations and the Government of Ghana to continue to work together for the good of the people of Ghana.
First, let me express the deepest appreciation of the United Nations family in Ghana to the Government of Ghana, through this Ministry for clearing the pathway and walking with us to arrive at this moment. We also thank our partners, including key government partners, the private sector, civil society and non-governmental organisations, development partners, youth groups and other key stakeholders for their contributions, cooperation and support during the period of the preparation, review and validation of the new Cooperation Framework.
This Cooperation Framework, the most important instrument for planning and implementation of UN development activities in Ghana, outlines our integrated contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to Ghana’s development priorities. For three years, starting 2023 to 2025, the United Nations will deploy an estimated US$500 million, to empower institutions and people through capacity development and other provisions, supporting mainly three key areas – inclusive economic transformation, equitable access to basic social services, and durable peace and security in Ghana and across the subregion, especially to those most left behind.
To achieve the objective of the Cooperation Framework, we have made a great effort to mainstream the concept of ‘Leaving No One behind’, human rights and gender equality considerations throughout the framework, from its vision and theory of change, through outcomes and indicators, to commitments to track and report on progress.
We have also integrated the significant challenges of leveraging financing to achieve the SDGs, climate and environment, digitalization, urbanization, data, and the regional dynamics impacting migration and other human movement (including refugees), among other things at the core of the work across the board. These will help promote resilience, improve disaster preparedness and response and strengthen accountability.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
The priorities of the Cooperation Framework are informed by an evaluation of the previous strategic framework and the UN’s Common Country Analysis which analyses lessons, Ghana’s needs, priorities and development opportunities. The document is aligned with Ghana’s Medium Term National Development Policy Framework 2022-2025, sectoral strategies and national planning instruments. It also signals our desire to move to stronger and broader partnerships, a focus on the catalytic and transformative elements that can help to propel Ghana on its pathway to self-reliance, a focus on increased capacity in (and accountability to) Ghanaians, and a more joined-up, efficient UN operations in Ghana.
The signing of the Cooperation Framework today, demonstrates the UN’s commitment to stand with Ghana on its forward-looking ambition to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs and Agenda 2063.
With this new Cooperation Framework, the UN in Ghana makes a firm commitment to support Ghana achieve its ambition of self-reliant. The UN in Ghana stands in solidarity with Ghana as the country strives to recover from the massive impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the triple planetary crisis (pollution, climate change and biodiversity loss) and the impact of global crises (including the war in Ukraine that triggered a global tri-dimensional threat to food, energy and finance, among other factors.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
The Cooperation Framework is not solely focused on outlining our programmatic contributions. It also represents a new way of working, reflecting a shift from siloed approaches to a more integrated approach towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. The framework embodies the spirit of partnership amongst agencies, as well as between the UN and our partners in Ghana – with Government, the private sector and civil society. Using the UN development system’s strengths, we shall also support the Government of Ghana in developing and implementing sustainable financing strategies to leverage all sources of sustainable financing and investments towards attaining the 2030 Agenda. We will ensure that the UN is more agile, responsive, adaptive and catalytic in its inputs and focus.
The implementation of this Cooperation Framework will be guided by, and accountable to, a UN-Government Joint Steering Committee, co-chaired by the Minister for Finance and the UN Resident Coordinator. The Steering Committee will ensure national ownership and will monitor progress, challenges and opportunities. It will also review the results achieved on an annual basis and make recommendations and strategic adjustments to accelerate the achievement of the targets set forth in the Cooperation Framework.
Let me express our congratulations to Ghana for its leadership – nationally, sub-regionally, continentally, and globally on a number of initiatives. Ghana continues to be a ‘first among equals’ in several key areas – on peace and security, democracy, and many more initiatives that are the core of achieving sustainable development. This exemplary leadership must be applauded. Let me also recognize Ghana’s acknowledgement of the challenges it faces and its leadership from the front in addressing these, and to drive Ghana towards its ambitious agenda of transformation.
As we move forward, we call on all partners to renew our commitment to the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063. Over the next two years, two events (the SDG review later this year and the Summit of the Future in 2024) will keep us aligned and focused.
On behalf of the UNDS in Ghana, I re-affirm, through this Cooperation Framework, our commitment to work together to support the Government and people of Ghana to build resilient and inclusive communities, promote equality, and foster partnerships that are based on mutual respect and understanding.
Honorable Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen
Let us embrace the challenges that lie ahead of us with a commitment and determination knowing that, together, we can make a real difference in the lives of people in Ghana.