UN @ 77: Shaping global affairs with the 3s

With the world confronted with numerous challenges, from the post COVID-19 recovery towards restoring the battered global economy,to tackling climate change vulnerability, biodiversity loss, digital revolution, Russian-Ukraine war: Solidarity, Sustainability and Science are the key driving force that will continue to shape decision-making at the apex of the United Nations, as it marks 77 years of existence.

Indeed, the role of science in the decision–making of the UN cannot be overemphasized, given the fact that science played a pivotal role in getting solutions to contain the global COVID-19 pandemic and  evidence-based practice will continue to guide adoption of resolutions at  the UN.

The President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA),CsabaKőrösi has adopted “Solution through Solidarity, Sustainability and Science” as the motto of his presidency to guide the deliberations and resolutions of the UNGA (2022-2023).

He puts it succinctly: “My team and I will do our best to push for ‘Solutions through Solidarity, Sustainability and Science,’ the motto I’ve chosen for this presidency.We need to have more science by our side if we want to realise the goals by 2030.”

MrKőrösi, formerly at the Office of the Hungary, said this as he assumed the presidency of the of the UNGA, the principal forum for multilateral political, decision making and norm-setting of the United Nations, at the 77th the session held in September.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals agenda 2030, a build up of the successes of the MDGs, the brain child of the late former UN Secretary General, Ghana’s  Kofi Annan, is a global blueprint calling for action among the member states to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure humanity enjoys peace and prosperity, leaving no one behind!

Solutions through the 3s

Mr Kőrösiarticulated the solutions through the 3s at the deliberation of the UNGA as follow:

Solutions More than ever, in a time of widening geopolitical divides and complex, protracted crises, the world needs progress on the delivery of our shared goals. A decline in trust always makes it harder to tackle big challenges. Our mission is to support concrete solutions that have a direct impact on the lives of people and on the planet. Time is running out and the price we are paying for delays is on the rise. Deliberations at the General Assembly and the thematic conferences held under its umbrella should continue to focus on the desired impact and should share tangible results.

1. Solidarity We have committed to leaving no one behind. The pandemic has demonstrated how solidarity within societies and among countries has an impact on social and economic stability and security. In times of crisis, honouring commitments to jointly make our world a safer place is more important than ever.

2. Sustainability Member States have jointly decided to embark on a path towards satisfying the development needs of the present generation and preserving opportunities for future generations. That choice is based on the shared conviction that development must be sustainable. It is time to see how this vision is reflected in our daily decisions. Peace, economic development, environmental sustainability and social inclusion are inseparable aspects of our safe and sustainable existence on this planet.

3. Science: Our efforts to tackle global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the digital revolution have provided us with convincing proof of the role science can play in shaping decisions on complex issues. This transformative agenda must be based on scientific evidence and the political wisdom of negotiators.

Ghana marks UN Day: “Building on the 3s-Solidarity, Sustainability and Science-Towards a more resilient Ghana.”

October 24th is celebrated as the United Nations Day, to commemorate the landmark event of October 24, 1945 when the organisation’s charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United Stated, as an intergovernmental organization with the mandate to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nation.

Ghana has been in the frontline playing very effective role in the UN since joining the global organization two days after gaining Independence on March 6, 1957 and is among the 10 contributor of troops for UN Peacekeeping operations in trouble spots across the globe.

In order to localise the theme for the celebration of the UN Day “Solutions through Solidarity, Sustainability and Science” and re-empahsise the focus of the UN to give prominence to science and enhance the role of science in decision-making, Ghana through the Inter-Ministerial Ad-Hoc Committee set up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, to plan activities for the UN Day, adopted “Building on the 3s-Solidarity, Sustainability and Science-Towards a more resilient Ghana.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of our economy, and challenges us to strengthen our economic system, amid global cooperation, to be more resilient to withstand external shocks, and to realise the goals of the agenda 2030-to among others, end extreme poverty, hunger, ensure prosperity for all, protecting the planets and natural resources.

In doing so, science must be removed from the backburner to play a frontal role in decision making and policy adoption to stand the test of time!

In the literature, Africa is said to spend a negligible 0.4% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on science and research compared with Europe 27%, Asia 31% and North America 37%. Accordingly, Africa’s contribution to science research publication is equally negligible at 2.4 %.

The 2017 World Bank data on research and development puts Ghana expenditure on research and development at 0.38%.

Flag-raising ceremony

Ghana’s climaxes activities marking the UN Day tomorrow, October 25 with a solemn flag-raising ceremony at the forecourt of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration at which the sector minister,Shirley Ayorkor Botchweyand the UN Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani, will deliver speeches is expected to touch on the values of the UN that brought the peoples and nations of the world together to promote peace, human rights and social and economic development.

Significantly, it is an opportunity for Ghana to reaffirm its commitment, especially our progressing towards allocating two percent of GDP into research and development, andour partnership with the academia the private sector, researchers and practitioners to find veritable information grounded in scientific facts to inform policy direction towards a resilient Ghana.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

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