Jamaica to Benefit From UN Five-Year Initiative

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith (left) and United Nations Resident Coordinator, Bruno Pouezat sign an agreement for the UN Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (UNMSDF) in Jamaica, at the Spanish Court Hotel in St. Andrew, today (January 19). Others looking on are: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert Roberts and Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica, Dr. Wayne Henry.

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica is among 18 countries in the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean that will benefit from the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework for the Caribbean (UNMSDF).
  • The five-year initiative, which has a regional budget of US$197.9 million, will focus on four areas of priority – an inclusive, equitable and prosperous Caribbean; a healthy Caribbean; a safe, cohesive and just Caribbean; and a sustainable and resilient Caribbean.
  • Senator Johnson Smith said the agreement represents a more integrated and sustainable mechanism that will result in further development of the countries in the region and improve the lives of citizens.

Jamaica is among 18 countries in the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean that will benefit from the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework for the Caribbean (UNMSDF).

The five-year initiative, which has a regional budget of US$197.9 million, will focus on four areas of priority – an inclusive, equitable and prosperous Caribbean; a healthy Caribbean; a safe, cohesive and just Caribbean; and a sustainable and resilient Caribbean.

The other countries that will benefit are Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Curaçao, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

An agreement for the project was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith and United Nations Resident Coordinator, Bruno Pouezat, during a ceremony at the Spanish Court Hotel in St. Andrew today (January 19).

Senator Johnson Smith said the agreement represents a more integrated and sustainable mechanism that will result in further development of the countries in the region and improve the lives of citizens.

“Jamaica welcomes the fact that the MSDF provides a common platform for development cooperation, which is strongly rooted and linked to national priorities and our own national development plan, Vision 2030. Further, we are also pleased that the MSDF will be anchored in the CARICOM strategic plan for 2015-2019,” she said.

The Minister noted that the UNMSDF presents itself as the most suitable instrument to address common and interrelated development issues at both the regional and national levels over the next five years.

“I am mindful of concerns that national needs could be lost in a regional approach, but we are cognisant that the MSDF will be pursued through separate country implementation plans, which will capture country-specific priorities and outcomes of each beneficiary state,” she said.

The Minister explained that the country’s implementation plan is fully aligned to the country’s Vision 2030 and Agenda 2030, informing that the country’s implementation modality will be coordinated by a Joint National United Nations Steering Committee, and co-chaired by the Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the UN Resident Coordinator.

For his part, Mr. Pouezat said the benefits of the initiative in Jamaica will result in a decreased administrative burden on the Government; a more coherent UN response to national challenges, needs and priorities; and easier access to UN expertise and resources across the region.

He argued that the benefits for the Caribbean will result in sustained regional and national impact through synergies at the regional level, helping to meet the converging efforts of Caribbean countries and enhancing regional, while localising action on the sustainable development goals.

The priority areas of the UNMSDF include education, social protection and economic opportunity; universal access to equitable, quality health services and healthy nutrition; reform of security and justice institutions and a focus on corruption, citizen security and social cohesion.

It will also address institutional and community resilience in natural resources management; protection and sustainable use of terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems, renewable energy systems; and inclusive and sustainable societies.

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