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Regional News of Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Source: GNA

MFWA engages media network on SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are objectives that are to ensure that no country is left behind in terms of promoting equity, partnership and quality of life of the people.

Ms Dennia Gayle, Deputy Country Representative of the UNFPA, who made this known said since the SDGs are a useful tool in focusing achievement of specific development gains as part of a broad development vision and framework, Ghana could take the opportunity to imbibe the SDGs into the development of its 40 year development plan currently being worked upon.

Addressing members of Media and Communications Advocacy Network (MCAN) in Accra on effective reporting of the SDGs in Ghana, Ms Gayle said the country should work to ensure that within the first 15 years of the 40 years plan, the goals are implemented for the overall good of the people.

“We can decide to prioritise making investment in ensuring that women deliver in safe healthy facilities,” Ms Gayle noted.

MCAN is a voluntary association of individual media practitioners and communications workers interested in promoting and advocating on population and development towards the promotion of reproductive health and rights as well as gender equality in Ghana.

It is currently supported by the United Nations Population Fund, Ghana (UNFPA–Ghana).

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) on behalf of UNFPA organised the forum for MCAN with the aim of increasing awareness and knowledge of network members on the national processes on the SDGs and the steps in implementing the goals in Ghana.

The meeting was also to help well define the role of the media in contributing to achieving sustainable development in Ghana.

Ms Gayle said while the SDGs are universally applicable to all countries, there is the need for them to take into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respect of national policies and priorities as leaders work to implement the goals.

She said Africa for instance, should find “African solutions to Africa development challenges by using innovation, creativity, and domestic resources” to implement the 17 goals and 160 targets of the SDGs within the 15 years agreed upon by global leaders, including Ghana, which played active role in the development of the SDGs.

Ms Gayle said as many countries (including Ghana) could not achieved all the eight MDGs, particularly, the health related ones, there is the need and the greater urgency and more ambitious plans to ensure the attainment of the SDGs.

She said the unfinished MDG goals left and even the cost of inaction could erode the gains in poverty reduction, primary education and the general quality of life and therefore there is the need to

Ms Gayle explained that two out of 17 SDGs, goals 3 and 5, (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages) and (Achieve gender equity and empower all women and girls), respectively, related directly to Reproduction Health and Maternal Care and so the media should interrogate the issues as they pursued health and development stories.

Mr Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director, MFWA said issues like population and reproductive health are “some of the areas that we need to get right for the nation to develop”.

He therefore urged the media, particularly members of MCAN to be committed to such issues and help promote the well being of women and young people who were needed to help build the country.

Ms Rikke Sig Hansen, Programme Officer, in charge of SDGs at MFWA said as various governments prepare to work on the SDGs, "Ghana need to invest in data development, while building stronger partnerships with civil society and other institutions in order to fulfill the SDGs".

She also charged the media to help create public awareness on the SDGs as well as help mobilise support for the implementation of the goals while monitoring government on how it progressed with the realisation of the SDGs.

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