On a special invitation from Dr. Eugene Owusu, Special Advisor to the President of Ghana on SDGs, COMSATS’ delegation comprising of Mr. Nisar Ahmad, Deputy Director (Systems) and Mr. Farhan Ansari, Senior Assistant Director (Programmes) participated in the launching ceremony of Global Sustainable Development Report 2019, entitled “The Future is Now: Science for Achieving Sustainable Development”, held at the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Accra, Ghana, on 31st October 2019.
The launching ceremony was attended by representatives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UNIC in Ghana; Office of the President of Ghana; Forestry Research Institute, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); University of Ghana, Accra; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana; and Ghanaian Ministry of Planning, among others.
The Report reviews the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with an emphasis on the developmental status in various areas. It emphasizes the need for scientific understanding of the systems that underlie the observed inter-linkages across the goals and targets so as to guide actors towards the required consolidated action. In particular, the report focuses on six entry points that could aid actions across multiple goals and targets that include human wellbeing, sustainable and just economies, food and nutrition, energy access and de-carbonization, sustainable urban and peri-urban development, and the environmental global commons.
In his statement on the occasion, Mr. Cletus Alengah, Office of the President of Ghana for SDGs, highlighted the efforts being made by the Government of Ghana towards achieving SDGs. He apprised the participants of the steps taken by H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, for the implementation of SDGs in Ghana including formulation of Ministerial-level, implementation and evaluation committees. It was informed that the Honourable President in his capacity as the Co-Chair of the United Nations SDGs Advocate Group is also facilitating the implementation of SDGs on a global scale.
Mr. Abdulrahamane Diallo, Head of Office and Representative of UNESCO in Ghana, while speaking on the occasion, informed that the subject Report is the first of its kind prepared by an independent group of fifteen scientists, belonging to various fields and countries, appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres.
Dr. Ernest G. Foli (Forestry Research Institute of CSIR), one of the key resource persons for the Report, gave a detailed briefing on the Report highlighting its background, findings and recommendations. He stated that the Report, for which approval was granted in 2016, considers science and technology the key instrument for knowledge-based transformation to sustainable development. The publication, he added, recommends enhancing mission-oriented research, incentives for Science Technology and Innovation, periodic evaluation of research efforts, and updating science policies. Further, he communicated that only a few targets of SDGs are on-track, while others are off-track such as hunger management, maternal health; and back-tracked including reducing CO2 emissions, preserving bio-diversity, and ending malnutrition.
Subsequent to the addresses, the Report was officially launched in Africa by the representatives of UNESCO and UNIC in Ghana, Government of Ghana, and COMSATS.