The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration yesterday held a press briefing, giving an overview on the activities scheduled for the 69th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
The annual event, which opened today at the UN’s Headquarters in New York, focuses on the theme: “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative post-2015 Development Agenda”.
The session will consider Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and a transformative development agenda that builds on the Millennium Declaration and focuses on eradicating poverty and hunger and promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth as its overarching objectives.
Ms Hannah SerwaaTetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said Ghana’s delegation would be led by President John Dramani Mahama, who would deliver papers on the current state of the country, and also on West Africa, in his capacity as the ECOWAS Chairman.
She said there had been extensive stakeholder consultation in the country with regard to inputs into the SDG and this would allow for a smooth integration of the two, to ensure total realisation of the set goals after 2015.
Ms Tetteh said the opening session would be followed by a number of high-level events such as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples, which would allow participants to share their perspectives and best practices in the realisation of the objectives of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Ghana will again participate in a special follow-up session to assess progress made over the past 20 years in implementing the Programme of Action for social and economic advancement agreed at the Watershed International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo and to renew political support towards achieving those goals beyond 2014.
There will also be a Climate Summit, to be convened by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to mobilise political will for greater action and ambition on climate change and sustainable development ahead of 2015.
Key themes of the Summit include Climate Science; the co-benefits of climate action with a focus on health and jobs; the economic case for climate action and voices front, the climate front lines, including the views of women, youth, indigenous and other vulnerable populations.
Ms Tetteh said there would be the Assembly’s annual general debate, when Heads of State and Government and other high national officials gather to present their views about pressing world issues.
There will also be a Presidential side event, which will allow Ghana to present her policy on South-South Cooperation to assist member countries to build their capacities on critical areas such as oil.
Other issues to be considered include social development, maintenance of African Security, combating drugs and trafficking and global governance among other things.
Ms Susan NamondoNgongi, UN Resident Coordinator, commended Ghana for the constant engagement with her people through different channels to enable them to express their expectations of the world beyond 2015, thereby being an active and vocal contributor to these global discussions.
Recognised as the most successful global anti-poverty push, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has made a huge impact in the lives of millions of people by cutting half the world’s extreme poverty rate, increasing girl’s school enrolment and reducing the rate of child deaths.
The remaining gaps on poverty, hunger, maternal health, gender equality, water, sanitation and other MDG targets meant to make the world a better place was not over, she said.
“People around the world will continue to demand for a tomorrow that can satisfy their basic needs and fulfil their human rights”.
Ms Ngongi said the theme for the session “underscores the need to focus, not only on delivering or agreeing on the post-2015 development agenda, but also, and most importantly, to ensure its effective implementation”.