Speaker Directs House to Establish Seven-member Committee to Monitor SDGs


The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye has directed Parliament to establish a seven-member Ad Hoc Committee with the responsibility to monitor Ghana’s progress on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The Committee, in addition will consider progress reports from implementing Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and advise Parliament on budgetary allocations and other appropriate interventions to ensure that the Government is on track in the implementation of the SDG Goals.


The Committee is to also work closely with the Minister for Planning, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other relevant MDAs and stakeholders in pursuit of the SDG Goals.


The Rt. Honourable Speaker gave this directive on a statement read on the floor of the House by the Minority Leader Hon. Haruna Iddrisu on the topic, Sustainable Development Goals and a Call on Parliament to set up an Oversight Committee on the SDGs to Advocate Greater Action.


The Minority Leader in his statement noted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are part of United Nations Resolution 70/1, the 2030 Agenda, are a collection of seventeen (17) global goals designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, and was set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly intended to be achieved by the year 2030.


He revealed that former President John Mahama was appointed by then UN Secretary-General as co-chair of the Group of Eminent Associates for the 2030 Agenda and was succeeded by current President Nana Akufo Addo who co-chairs the Group with the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg reflecting the continued trust the UN has in Ghana to play a lead role in the attainment of the SDGs.


The Tamale South MP disclosed that the 2001 to 2015 Report of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the successor to the SDGs stated that Ghana’s progress on the MDGs has been mixed.


The Minority Leader further explained that the Report showed Ghana achieved some of the targets such as halving extreme poverty, halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, attaining universal education and gender parity in primary school but missed targets such as full and productive employment, women’s involvement in governance and reducing maternal mortality among others.


He however admitted that he was aware His Excellency the President Nan Akufo Addo has appointed a High-Level Ministerial Committee to oversee the progress of the SDGs implementation in Ghana with selected Ministries such as Planning, Trade and Industry, Education, Health, Sanitation and Water Resources, Local Government and Rural Development, Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs Science, Technology and Innovation, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender, Children and Social Protection.


Hon. Haruna disclosed that the SDGs are people centred and as representatives of the people MPs cannot afford to stand on the fence but must play a leading role in ensuring that Government delivers on the SGDs for the benefit of the citizenry and humanity and therefore urged the House to heed the call to establish a Committee on the SDGs.


The Rt. Hon. Speaker accordingly directed the House to establish the Seven-Member Ad Hoc Committee to work on the matter and suggested that preference in the choice of these Seven Members should not be Leaders but rather Members in the House who would be devoted to this onerous duty and submit their report to Leadership in good time.


He therefore urged the Committee in their choice to look at every thematic approach because there is overlapping in the number of ministerial areas and tasked them to invite the relevant persons at any particular time and liaise with the sector Minster and make available their report to the House so that Members can have a very co-operative approach to the matter. 


The Rt. Hon. Speaker in his conclusion articulated that it is important to consider how to complement the various structures that will eventually ensure that the Goals, being wishes, become actual realities.   He called on Government to play a positive role in the process of implementing the Committee’s Report and assist in the development of assessment factors that will enable the House measure the progress and deficit of the SDCs to make appropriate recommendations.