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.
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.