Accra, March 10, GNA -The ideals set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), with cut-off-date at 2015, would be elusive unless countries adopted more ambitious plans for their development, Prof Hans van Ginkel, Under-Secretary of the United Nations has said.
He therefore, urged governments of developing countries to adopt development strategies bold enough to meet the targets of the MDG, with new additional sources to finance development, university education and research.
Prof van Ginkel made the point on Wednesday, in second of this year's series Aggrey-Fraser- Guggisberg Memorial Lectures at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, Legon, near Accra.
The Lecture was instituted in 1957 by the University of Ghana, Legon in recognition of the contribution of the three personalities in either the establishment or administration of Achimota College and its role in advancing higher education in Ghana.
Prof van Ginkel, who is also the Rector of the United Nations University, spoke on the theme: "Higher Education and Sustainable Development, Our Common Future: the Role of Universities." The lecture examined the Millennium Report of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General from 2000,and made an attempt to relate the agenda of the MDG with practical of roles universities could play in the society that supported them.
Prof van Ginkel drew attention on the need to develop resources for all people to have better lives and fulfil their dreams, how to influence general work ethics and natural diversity for society's benefits. The world was confronted with limited resources with strong worldwide competition, and consequent economic blocs and integration framework with different players and conditions operating.
This has tended to a strengthening of geographical and economic unions, but an event at a place had ubiquitous repercussions, with all the people having a common future.
Prof van Ginkel observed that there have been an increase in havocs of both natural and unnatural disasters such as fire outbreaks, HIV/AIDS and violence over the years.
The UNU Rector recalled global efforts at environmental preservation in the 1992 Earth Summit, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 which had linked globalisation, trade poverty, environment and development.
Prof van Ginkel said it was necessary to reduce wars and conflicts, teeming number of displaced persons to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
He stated that as many as 113 million children were not attending school.
The Rector called for strengthening and co-operation of formal and non-formal education, educational strategies and plans. Also a Global Learning Space would create a world where everyone would have the opportunity to benefit from the quality education, values lifestyles required for sustainable future and positive societal transmission.
Prof van Ginkel reiterated the creation of a knowledge base for sustainability through research activities.
This, he said, required training and retraining of staff at all levels. Also Regional Centres of Experts could be considered as networks to strengthen collaboration of Education for Sustainable Development (EFSD) among regional and local (EFSD) institutes.
Professor Daniel Mireku Gyimah, Vice Chancellor of University of Mines and Technology chaired the lecture, which was attended by the Chancellor of the University of Ghana (UG), Oyeeman Wereko Ampem, the Vice Chancellor of the UG, as well as Dons, students and Members of the