The United Nations has lauded Ghana’s decision to commit to the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process, which seeks to review the level of progress in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Madam Anne Claire Dufay, UNICEF Country Representative in Ghana on Thursday congratulated the Ministry of Planning, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and civil society organisations (CSOs) for their efforts in carrying out the VNR process.
Speaking at a validation workshop on Ghana’s VNR report, Madam Dufay said the VNR was an excellent opportunity to review progress so far made in the implementation of the SDGs; not only looking at the positive sides but also the challenges every country face in the implementation of the global agenda.
She noted that in July this year, 51 countries including Ghana would present their VNR report to the UN in New York.
The VNR is part of the formal intergovernmental follow-up and review process on the Agenda 2030 and will be presented at the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July in New York.
It represents a country’s progress report to its peers and other stakeholders at the global level on in the implementation of the Agenda 2030.
Madam Dufay, who said in Ghana there was rich data available to contribute to the VNR review process, also commended the Ghana Statistical Service for playing a critical role in data collection.
She noted that UNICEF had successfully carried out the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) in Ghana – a household surveys to provide internationally comparable, statistically rigorous data on the situation of children and women.
She said they had also consulted young people; and that the report had enable UNICEF to now have very interesting information on young people in Ghana.
She said the UN had also supported the consultations that the NDPC and the Ministry of Planning had been organising throughout the country; adding that “we are pleased to see that this is a participatory process”.
She said young people had a critical role to play in attaining the SDGs; stating that this year, the UN was marking the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Madam Dufay commended Ghana for being the first country to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“So, in July, when the Minister of Planning attends the UN High Level Panel Forum on SDGs, it is hoped that they will be discussing the linkages between the SDGs and young people and children, because these are critical,” she said.