“Let’s Unite Our ‘wills’ And Resources To Carry Everyone Along”

Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba

Ghanaians must open and contribute their ideas, expertise and resources to create a society that fully supports the vulnerable to enjoy a better standard of living and dignified life.

Madam Otiko Afisah Djaba, Ghana’s representative to the 55th United Nations Commission for Social Development, said: “As we approach 60 years, it is imperative for all of us to sit up and look at the issues of inclusion deliberately with a big heart, and empower the people who look different from the norm to also live the Ghanaian dream, as their birth right.

“We have reached a critical point in our development agenda as a global citizen, where we must expand our social protection framework to ensure that nobody lives below the breadline.

Madam Otiko Djaba who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, on the sidelines of the 10-day Session, mentioned persons with disabilities, orphans, marginalised widows, those living in witch camps or suffering from fistula, victims of troikosy , the aged poor, kayayei, and single women who head families, as some of the vulnerable.

The event is being held at the world body’s headquarters in New York on the theme: “Strategies for Eradicating Poverty to Achieve Sustainable Development For All.”

Madam Otiko Djaba said to bring every vulnerable person into the safety net, series of stakeholder events would be organised to especially bring on board the ideas of the victims to be able to understand their specific needs and potentials to achieve sustainable results.

Whether they need education, skill training, decent jobs, health care, assistive devices or any form of social and economic support, they must be able to readily access them without struggling, as a matter of human right, she explained.

“Our strategies are going to involve a cross-cutting approach for holistic results,” she said. “Therefore, we will harness the ideas, expertise and resources of all partners, including the district assemblies, community-based organisations, civil society organisations, religious bodies, the various ministries, our international donor partners, and indeed every Ghanaian.”
To be able to have better data to cover all the targeted individuals, Madam Otiko Djaba said the Ghana National Household Registry would be expanded to the district level with the active involvement of the assemblies and community-based organisations.

She said with the political will provided by President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo, who had dedicated his life to the cause of social justice and equity, no one should go to bed hungry because of marginalisation or poverty.

“We believe that we are all born equal and it is when there is equity, people can live in dignity with respect for all,” she said. “That is why we are determined to actualise or motto of: ‘Change, an Agenda for Jobs, Equal opportunities for Jobs.’”
Madam Otiko Djaba said the Affirmative Action Bill would, therefore, be pushed for promulgation to help create the necessary balances in gender and the inclusion of the marginalised.

The implementation of the One District- One Factory; One Village-One Dam; One Constituency-One million dollars, she said, were all geared at eradicating poverty for the benefit of all citizens.

The Social Development Session is providing various platforms for members of the Commission and other key stakeholders, including civil society organisations, to advance the dialogue towards the eradication of poverty, targeting issues related to Ageing; Indigenous People; the Family; the Youth; Disability and Cooperatives.

The achievements made at the 55th Session would build on the experiences gained in implementing the Copenhagen Programme of Action adopted at the World Summit for Social Development, in 1995.


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