Global Progress on SDGs Slow, Urgent Action Needed- Dr Charles Abani

The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Charles Abani emphasized the need for urgent action and international collaboration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) amidst the surging global challenges.
A report released by the United Nations reveals that more than half of the world is falling behind in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with just 12 percent of the SDG targets deemed to be on track.
Also, progress on 50 percent of these targets is described as weak and insufficient, while over 30 percent have either stalled or regressed, painting a bleak picture of global efforts to address these critical objectives. 
The 2030 Agenda, aimed at eradicating poverty, promoting gender equality, and combating climate change, may become an unattainable dream unless immediate action is taken.
Charles Abani, in an interaction with the media at the SDGs Consultative Meeting on Ghana’s Circular Economy and Bridging the SDGs Financial Gap on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, in Accra underscored the importance of global solidarity and commitment to address the urgent issues highlighted in the SDG Progress Report.
“It's a tough story and there is a crisis, but it is not undoable. With the right kind of global commitment in resources around priorities and the right national identification of the priorities that apply in each country, achieving the SDGs is not beyond us," he stated.
He stressed that, by working together, the collective impact can surpass the sum of its parts. However, formidable challenges persist, exacerbated by the lingering socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, Global crises, including disruptions in trade, surges in food prices, and escalating inflation, are disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations and have far-reaching consequences.
“Despite the significant challenges highlighted in the recent United Nations report on the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there remains a glimmer of hope on the horizon.
“This hope is fueled by the recognition that the global community has the potential to overcome obstacles and work collectively toward a more sustainable and equitable future,” he stated.
At the national level, Dr. Abani emphasized the pivotal role of governments in enhancing resource efficiency, forging partnerships, particularly with the private sector, exploring innovative financial models, and adopting blended approaches to maximize available resources. 
He hinted that the report serves as a clarion call for immediate, concerted global action, stressing that “failure to act promptly could relegate these vital goals to the realm of missed opportunities.
In a presentation, the Chief Analyst on the Development, Policy, and Planning Division of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Richard Osei Bofah, stated that fulfilling those five SDGs would immediately lead to the achievement of 140 of the 169 global targets.
"As we strive to achieve the SDGs, we need to be efficient, minimise waste, be coordinated, and channel resources appropriately.
“And in doing that, we should keep an eye on these five areas because we observed that a trigger or one cedi spent in those areas will have multiple effects in other areas," he said.
Despite the fact that the 17 SDGs have 169 targets, the technical report of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) identified targets 16.6 - developing effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels; 8.5 - decent work and economic growth; 4.1 - equitable and quality primary and secondary education; 6.2 - clean water and sanitation; and 7.3 - affordable and clean energy as those that the government must focus on achieving.
He highlighted that meeting those five SDGs will immediately result in meeting 140 of the 169 global targets.
The consultative meeting on Ghana’s Circular Economy and Bridging the SDG financial gap which was organised by the NDPC was themed "At the mid-point: a dialogue on sustainable development agenda stocktaking and accelerators. 
Civil society organizations (CSOs), academia, researchers, state agencies, and development partners were present to discuss the country's SDG situation.
It forms part of the preparations for a national technical paper to be delivered at the next SDG summit on September 18-19, as part of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Week.
Heads of State and Government will assemble in New York at the United Nations Headquarters to monitor and assess the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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