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 A forum to discuss and assess how far Ghana has come in its efforts towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has taken place in Accra.

 It was organized by the Centre for Health Systems and Policy Research (CHESPOR), a multi-disciplinary Centre with the mandate to undertake research, training, advocacy, community and multi-sectoral engagements, with support from the Gender Development and Research Unit, all of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

The Forum, which was on the topic: ‘Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Ghana—How far is Ghana in the 1st   1000 days of the SGDs?’ provided the platform and afforded panelists the opportunity to examine Ghana’s progress towards the achievement of the SDGs and the challenges facing implementation.

 Panel members were Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, Member, National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Samuel Kaba Akoriyea, Institutional Care Unit, Ghana Health Service, Capt. (Gn) Dr Ali Kamal-Deen, Director of Research and Innovation, Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Dr Evans Aggrey Darko, Senior Lecturer, Political Science Department, University of Ghana and Dr Patrick Tandoh-Offin, Senior Lecturer, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, School of Public Service and Governance.

 At the end of the discussions, the panel was of the view that there was the need for a change of the mindset of Ghanaians with regard to governance, health habits, sanitation, use of state resources and dependence on foreign aid, among others.

 The Panel was of the view that the country should assume ownership of implementation goals and eschew dependence on foreign aid.

 The Panel stressed the need to put health at the centre of national development and refrain from corrupt practices such as the misuse and diversion of national resources into private pockets, because such practices did not promote national development.

The Panel identified gender equality as a fundamental human right and that gender equality and women’s empowerment were critical to effective service delivery and sustainable development.

 The Panel also urged the country’s intellectuals to share ideas to support the national development agenda.

 In her remarks, Dr Gina Teddy, Director, CHESPOR, noted that Ghana could not achieve some of the critical goals of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MGDs).

 The failure to achieve some of the MDGs, Dr Teddy said, was, therefore, an unfinished business that translated into various assessments and deliberations on the way forward towards transforming the world without leaving anyone behind.

 She said there was, therefore, the need for a multi-sectoral engagement and partnership to strategically work towards transforming any society.

 The mandate to develop SDGs was one of the main outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio in June 2012 with the aim of replacing the MDGs.

 The SDGs, which has 17 goals, broadly aims at ending poverty and hunger, promoting health and well-being, quality education, gender equality water and sanitation and sustainable energy, decent work for all, technology to benefit all, reduce inequality, promote safe cities and communities, responsible consumption by all, and to stop climate change, protect the ocean, take care of the earth, live in peace and develop mechanisms and partnerships to reach the goals.