Government will likely be looking for to get more buy-in from Barbadians on this country’s efforts to realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Minister of State within the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture, Senator Shantal Munro-Knight made the disclosure on Monday evening as she said that Barbados would soon be signing a Country Implementation Plan with the UN.
“We’ve committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and we’re working closely with the UN team here to implement them, however it has occurred to us that almost all of the discussions on them are on the policy level and never amongst those whom it should affect directly.
“So, to this end, we’ll soon be launching a public education and community outreach programme to make sure the SDGs turn out to be grounded within the on a regular basis reality of our people,” Munro-Knight said at a lighting ceremony at UN House, Marine Gardens to mark the UN’s 77th anniversary.
Munro-Knight added that Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s recent appointment because the UN’s SDGs Co-Chair meant Barbados was now in a stronger position to advocate for the needs of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
“Barbados is not going to let size turn out to be a barrier to advocating for change and for a new multilateral system that may provide greater assistance to smaller nations. And as we consider the SDGs, we must make a united effort to face all of the challenges that confront us to ensure that these goals to be completed,” she said.
UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Didier Trebucq reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to helping the Caribbean and other SIDS achieve the SDGs.
“The United Nations team for Barbados and the Caribbean will proceed to advocate at the very best level for the region to access the resources needed to effectively minimise vulnerabilities, reduce debt, and speed up progress towards the SDGs,” he said.
“To this end, we now have initiated a new cycle of cooperation for the Caribbean. We’ve spearheaded a partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank to extend access to financing for Small Island Developing States and to spice up climate motion. Beyond that, we now have also provide you with Country Implementation Plans, which can ensure tailored strategic support for every country in order that we will respond as One UN to their needs and key priorities.”
Trebucq noted that over the past yr, the UN opened two new regional offices in Antigua and Barbuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
He also commended the work of the UN’s regional Youth Advisory Groups.
“These groups have ensured that the concerns of the region’s youth are a part of the package in any policy or programme we implement,” he said.
The Resident Coordinator thanked Caribbean governments for his or her belief in, and commitment to, multilateralism and the values of peace and human rights.
Going forward, he said, “harnessing the wealth of natural resources, knowledge and human resource potential across the region must now be our single focus, and the impact of those efforts must resonate amongst people from all walks of life, especially those that are most in need”.
Trebucq added that “now isn’t the time for business as usual, because countries all around the world at the moment are facing three forms of crises – food, energy and finance – while at the identical time still battling the results of climate change and the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic”.