By Emmanuel Afonne
UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Thursday in New York announced the appointment of His Royal Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, as one of his new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocates for 2019-2020.
A statement by UN quoted Guterres as saying that the appointment was sequel to the UN Member States agreement to accomplish the SDGs by 2030.
The Advocates are 17 influential public figures from around the world who are tasked by the Secretary-General to promote the Goals, raise awareness with new audiences, maintain global commitment and call for greater ambition and scalable action to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
Sanusi is the only Nigerian on the 17- man list of SDG Advocates co-chaired by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway.
According to Guterres, the Advocates are tasked with driving the action, building the ambition, and solidifying global political will of the SDGs.
“We have the tools to answer the questions posed by climate change, environmental pressure, poverty and inequality.
“They lie in the great agreements of 2015 – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“But tools are no use if you don’t use them. So, today, and every day, my appeal is clear and simple; we need action, ambition, political will, more action, more ambition and more political will,” said Guterres.
He further said that the Advocates are to raise awareness, inspire greater ambition, and push for faster action on the SDGs, which were adopted by world leaders on Sept. 25 2015.
“They are expected to use their unique platforms and leadership to inspire cross-cutting mobilisation of the global community to build the momentum for transformative and inclusive development by 2030.”
The Advocates selected from Governments, entertainment, academia, sport, business and activist organisations around the world, are also expected to leverage and build bridges between their unique audiences, and work together to drive progress.
Co-Chair of the SDGs Advocates group Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway was also quoted in the statement as saying: “By joining forces to achieve our goals, we can turn hope into reality – leaving no one behind”.
On his part, President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is also the Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates, called for a united force to fight poverty globally.
He said: “This is a time of great hope for the world. If we work smartly together and stay on course, we can raise millions out of poverty and significantly expand basic social services for many more by the 2030 end date of the SDGs.”