media
media

Professor George Gyan-Baffour, the Minister for Planning, has urged the media to give prominence to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The media is playing a major role in informing and educating the public, challenging the narrative about national development, giving a voice to marginalized and vulnerable groups and demanding accountability from duty bearers. I encourage you to continue this good work,” Prof Gyan-Baffour remarked at the launch of Ghana’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) process on the implementation of the SDGs.

“However, we have to work together to address the worryingly low level of awareness and knowledge on the SDGs among the general public. From government offices to businesses, schools, towns and villages, not many people are conversant with the SDGs,” he said.

“A large proportion of the population remain unaware of the SDGs, let alone own them and contribute to their achievement.”

Prof Gyan-Baffour said to support the implementation of the SDGs, media houses could play a lead role in creating public awareness, providing platforms for public discussion, helping to hold government and other development actors accountable, and generally serve as a catalyst for citizen’s empowerment.

He said there should be continuous collaboration between the media houses, public, private and civil society organisations to ensure adequate coverage on SDGs.

He noted that in an effort to advance awareness on the SDGs, the United Nations, in September 2018, launched the SDG Media Compact together with 30 media organisations.

Prof Gyan-Baffour said the Compact seeks to inspire media and entertainment companies around the world to leverage their resources and creative talent to advance the Goals.

“Members of the alliance have committed to work with the UN to foster public discourse and spur action on the SDGs, as well as generate and share high-value media content and newsworthy initiatives relating to the SDGs,” he said.

“I believe that we can have a Ghana version of such a Compact to champion the SDGs by increasing the media content on the principles and issues spelled out in the 2030 agenda. I therefore task Ghana Journalist Association to set-up a similar arrangement to help propagate the SDGs to all corners of the country to ensure that no one is truly left behind.”

He said the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), together with its partners would, in the coming months, engage the media and support them with training and update on the SDGs activities in Ghana.

“Government looks forward to forging a strong partnership with the media to promote national ownership, mobilise support for the SDGs and celebrate the contributions of individuals, organisations and communities towards achieving the SDGs,” he said.

The primary objective of the VNR is to facilitate the sharing of experiences and mutual learning, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the SDGs.

As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages member states to “conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels, which are country-led and country-driven”.

These national reviews are expected to serve as a basis for the regular reviews by the high-level political forum (HLPF).

From July 9-18, 51 countries including Ghana, would present their VNRs at the 2019 HLPF.

Since 2016, 102 countries have conducted VNRs; however, the first Heads of Government-Level Review of the SDGs is slated for September this year.

The review will assess the institutional arrangement and enabling environment for implementing the SDGs; and the progress of implementation across all 17 SDGs, including innovations and successful initiatives.

The rest are cross-cutting themes of “Leaving no one behind”, “Youth engagement in the SDGs” and “synergies across the goals”.

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