Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Post 2015 Development Agenda

Poverty, disease, inadequate shelter, hunger, gender disparity, child mortality among others without doubt hamper development. Since the UN General Assembly began to set priorities to deal with these setbacks the Millennium Development Goals have proven to be worthwhile benchmarks for ensuring development.
They are said to be the most broadly supported, comprehensive, and specific poverty reduction targets the world has ever established. For the international political system, the millennium development goals are described as the fulcrum on which development policy is based.

For the billion-plus people living in extreme poverty, they represent the means to a productive life. The Goals point to targets of public investment, water, sanitation, slum upgrading, education, health, environmental issues among others. 2015 which is the target year for the achievement of the Millennium development goals is just around the corner. Ghana’s performance in striving towards these millennium goals have overtime been documented in series of reports. The reports show some significant success in the goals of halving poverty, ensuring universal basic education and ensuring gender parity at the primary school level among others.

Ahead of the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the UN Secretary General requested an inclusive national consultation process in selected countries including Ghana to stimulate the debate on the post-2015 development agenda. This initiative is based on the conviction that the post 2015 development framework will have the greatest development impact if it emerges from an open inclusive transparent process.

The national consultations for the Post 2015 Development allow for everybody's input into this basic decision-making process, rather than leaving decisions to government representatives or experts. The outcome of the consultations will inform the report of the UN High Level Panel on Post 2015 as well as the subsequent UN Secretary Generals official report to the 2013 UN General Assembly.

From a development perspective, having a post-2015 framework provides a positive signal that the international community is coming together as one to solve some of the global challenges. This could lead to a real partnership of nations and a new vision of the future of international cooperation. In Ghana the official launch of the national consultations on the post 2015 development agenda took place in Tamale last year and was followed by stakeholder workshop which targeted stakeholders principally from the three northern Regions. Task teams were thereafter sent to selected deprived and marginalized communities in Ghana to hold focus group discussion with people in slum , farming and other remote communities. A number of different outreach modalities such us social networks including face book text messaging, were also employed to facilitate this process throughout the Country.

As we get to the climax of the consultation process it is important for us to unite behind a common nationalistic development agenda that will ensure sustained nationalist development planning efforts even after 2015. To quote the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “We need everyone to work together to create the future we want, eradicate poverty and promote inclusive growth. The Post 2015 national consultative process is priceless since consensus building is a strong ingredient for national development.

It is important in today's interconnected society where many problems exist that affect diverse groups of people with different interests. Such an exercise promotes democratic principle enshrined in the constitution and enhances Ghana’s international commitments to good governance and accountability. As the current MDGs expires in 2015, it is important that the whole world has started looking ahead to imagine what the new development agenda could and should look like.

The decision as to the world we want after 2015 is indeed a shared one. For us in Ghana the post 2015 national consultations should be a reference point for a non partisan consensus building towards the preparation of a long term strategic framework which will carry the development vision of the entire nation from generation to generation. Indeed the only way to ensure a progressive nation that we will all cherish is for a strong partnership of ideas devoid of partisan consideration even after 2015.

 BY: DAVID OWUSU-AMOAH, NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING COMMISSION.

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