President Nana Akufo Addo today (June 8, 2017) expressed gratitude to the United Nations for the confidence it has reposed in Ghana’s leaders.
This follows his appointment as a co-chair of the Sustainable Development Advocacy Group to mobilize political support for the UN’s Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. By this position President Akufo Addo succeeds his predecessor, Ex-President Mr. John Dramani Mahama, who was the previous occupant of that position.
“The Ghanaian people are honoured by this trust”, an elated President Akufo Addo said in his statement at the on-going High Level Oceans Conference at the UN headquarters in New York. Under the theme "Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14", the four-day event is finding ways to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Under the theme "Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14", the four-day event has attracted many heads of state and other top government officials to discuss effective ways to reverse the present decline in the health of the oceans for people, planet and prosperity.
The conference brought together hundreds of relevant stake holders, intergovernmental organizations, and academic institutions, the scientific community, private sector, civil society groups and youth to propel a game-change, by using the forum to galavanize action-oriented partnerships at all levels that will provide lasting solutions.
He expressed Ghana’s concern about the growing incidence of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing globally.
While advocating for an enhanced international cooperation for effective monitoring and severe sanctions regime to address the growing incidence of illegal, he noted that the matter was of significant concern to his country, as it contributes to over exploitation and the depletion of fish stocks in the country’s waters.
At this stage, he pointed out that the impact of climate change on the oceans is alarming, and likely to exacerbate the existing impacts of anthropogenic activities in the marine environment.
In his words “the gradual warming of our oceans and increasing acidification and their effects on the marine environment and resources, need to be addressed through the speedy implementation of the Paris agreement on Climate Change, which many Member States have signed and ratified, including Ghana, and which represents the blue print for global action to reverse this trend.
In this direction, the President said that the recent announcement of the withdrawal of the USA from the Paris agreement is a disturbing development, which Ghana believes, like the majority of the global community, requires urgent reconsideration by the new US administration, adding that “ we have to work together to protect our planet”.
The Ghanaian leader urged the international community to build on the various continental and regional programmes that have led to significant progress in the protection and preservation of the marine environment.
To achieve a successful implementation of SDG14, Ghana asked that it must also encompass continental approaches, and build on continental arrangements and initiatives, such as the AU’s 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy) and the declaration of the Decade of Africa’s Seas and Oceans.
President Akufo Addo, revealed that Ghana had with the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization in May 2014, worked on an elaborated Plan of Action to solve the problem, consisting of a 20-point action plan to address issues ranging from regional fisheries management and market mechanism, to the use of port and flag state controls.
Making a case for a successful SDG 14 implementation, President Akufo Addo argued that it will facilitate the emergence of the new African civilization that the African peoples are determined to build, where there is accountable governance in which respect for the rule of law, individual liberties and human rights, among others.