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Press Statement: WHY WE ARE #STANDTOGETHERNOW

In 2015 world leaders signed historic agreements – the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and the broader 2030 Agenda to push for a peaceful, just and sustainable world by 2030. These agenda come with a promise to transform our world, end poverty and hunger, reduce inequality, ensure peace and combat climate change; more importantly, to set us on a path of peace and prosperity in a healthy environment.

Four years on, we are yet to live up to this bold ambition. The world is not fully on track to achieve the SDGs; people are suffering from the overlapping impacts of inequalities, loss of rights, gender injustice, conflict, militarisation, environmental degradation and climate change. The global economic, financial and political systems are concentrating power and wealth in the hands of a few people, favouring a limited number of individuals.

According to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Report, 2019[1], poverty, hunger and disease continue to be concentrated in the poorest and most vulnerable groups of people and countries. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the highest prevalence of hunger, with the rate increasing from 20.7 per cent in 2014 to 23.2 per cent in 2017. The Youth are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Gaps in our legal frameworks are failing to protect women’s rights; and women and girls continue to be subjected to harmful practices that profoundly affect their lives. Too many schools in sub-Saharan Africa lack the basic elements of a good quality education, trained teachers and adequate facilities. Industrialization in least developed countries is still too slow to meet SDGs 9 which requires countries to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Nature is our life support system – when it is degraded and polluted, it has strong impacts on our food security, water supply, air quality and economy as a whole.  Without tackling climate change and loss of biodiversity by protecting and restoring our natural world, we will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

This is why we are standing together today in Ghana alongside many other advocates across the globe calling on our leaders to accelerate action on the bold commitment to create a Peaceful, Just and Sustainable world. The Global Week of Action on the SDGs rallies public support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) connecting actions taking place in thousands of cities and communities across the globe while world-leaders gather in New York for the five UN Summits – Climate Action, Universal Health Coverage, The 2030 Agenda, Financing for Development and Supporting Small Island Developing States 

As we mark the 2019 Global Week of Action on SDGs, we urge our leaders to set a more ambitious roadmap, identifying clear practical actions to be taken in the coming ten (10) years to deliver on the promise of the world we want by 2030.

We call on governments to:

  1. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels and promote policies that fundamentally protect the general public interest
  2. Address the multiple dimensions of inequality, deliver on their promise to ‘Leaving No One Behind’; and tackle the root causes of inequality through tax justice and social protection and END discrimination against women and girls and the most marginalized communities in every country.
  3. Finally we call on all governments to take concrete steps to protect humanity and human rights; show stronger commitments to move the economy away from fossil fuels, and towards clean, renewable energy sources so as to halve carbon emissions by 2030 and to eliminate them altogether by 2050 at the latest; so that we ensure that we limit the global temperature rise to 1.5C degrees.

ISSUED BY THE GHANA CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS (CSOs) PLATFORM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS) SEPTEMBER 25TH 2019

[1] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/progress-report/

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GOODWILL MESSAGE BY MS. JEONGYI CHOI, DEPUTY COUNTRY DIRECTOR OF KOICA GHANA OFFICE AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE FOR GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION

The Co-Founder of Ghana Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)- Mr. George Osei-Bimpeh, The National Coordinator- Madam  Ugonna Ukaigwe, Distinguished Partners, Dear Members of the CSOs Platform, Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen, A very good morning to you!

I bring you all warm greetings from Korea International Cooperation Agency. It is indeed an honour and a privilege to join the Ghana Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other equally important stakeholders at this press conference to set the pace and  attention to the Week of Action.

As the premier development agency of the Republic of Korea, we have mainstreamed the SDGs into our international development cooperation through our global Mid-Term Sectoral Strategy 2016-2020 with the vision of contributing to the global co-prosperity of humanity and global peace and the SDGs realization.

The SDGs epitomize overarching global challenges and ambitious solutions into 17 global goals and 169 targets in sync with our common values, universality, inclusiveness and equality. Our “Mid-Term Sectoral Strategy 2016-2020” outlines  five priority sectors  namely; Education, Health, Governance, Agriculture & Rural Development and Technology, Environment and  Energy as well as in three cross-cutting areas; Gender equality, Climate change response and Science, Technology and Innovation. The SDGs are also reflected in our new slogan which is; People, Peace, Prosperity and Planet.

KOICA incorporates the SDGs into our aid programs by taking into account the development goals and needs of our partner countries and tailor the interventions to address the prevailing challenges. At this point, I would like to highlight some of our flagship projects presently being implemented in Ghana.

In line with the SDGs 1 and 2 of ensuring no poverty and zero hunger, KOICA Ghana Office in partnership with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and Department of Cooperatives is supporting capacity building of Farmer Based Cooperatives and Organizations in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions with a budget of $6.18million. The programme is strengthening the organizations of FBO/FBCs as well as developing training programs that are geared towards enhancing entrepreneurship, processing and marketing skills for increased incomes and improved livelihoods of beneficiaries.

In contributing our ration to SDG 3 in guaranteeing good health and well-being, KOICA is also providing assistance in improving Community-Based Health and Planning Services (CHPS+) in all the 13 districts in the Upper East Region with a budget of 9 million USD. CHPS+ is helping to improve service delivery from the community level all the way to the final referral point through capacity building of community health officers as well as empowering community health volunteers through training and provision of incentives and supervision to augment the health service delivery.

The Global Health Security Agenda is 7.5 million USD funded joint pledge collaboration between Republic of Korea through KOICA and the US Government through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to combat infectious disease in Ghana.

Additionally, “Better Life for Girls in Ghana” is KOICA’s inter-sectoral social intervention investment in collaboration with UNICEF. The 5.5 million USD funded project is being implemented in the Northern and Oti Regions and it seeks to address issues of gender stereotypes and social norms which impact negatively on girls between the ages of 10 and 19.

It also provides facilities and information for dignified menstrual hygiene management and also addresses nutrition services for prevention and control of anaemia in adolescent girls. The program further empowers them to stay in school and amplifies their voices through the use of technology such as the U-Report platform.

Through this programme, KOICA is playing its part in ensuring the achievement of the SDG Goal 3 – Ensuring good health and promoting well-being of women and girls and reducing ill-health such as reproductive tract infections (RTIs) due to poor hygienic practices. SDG Goal 4 – Ensuring inclusive and quality education of girls and SDG Goal 5 – Ensuring the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

And not only in Ghana, through all our 44 KOICA country offices around the world. We  try our  very best to achieve the goals and work for people, peace, prosperity and planet.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Global Week of Action summons us together as multiple actors, stakeholders and global citizens to create awareness, be accountable and deliver our promises to create a future of peace and prosperity on a thriving planet, with no-one left behind. We have to continue to synergize our efforts, engagements and partnerships in addressing these goals that affect all of us here.

I would like to end my message with this quote by the former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

“Sustainable development is the pathway to the future we want for all. It offers a framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strengthen governance.

Once again, KOICA pledges to stand in solidarity with all stakeholders and play its part in ensuring the achievement of the SDGs. I wish you all a fruitful and engaging Week of Action commemoration and deliberations.

Medaase! Thank you all.

 

Pictures from the Press Conference:

 

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