- State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. is calling on the nation’s youth to become custodians for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- “Young Jamaicans… must understand the importance of not only planning but taking these goals to action and why they are doing so,” he said.
- The State Minister was speaking at a post-Voluntary National Review (VNR) and Human Development Indices Information and Dissemination Session at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Thursday (September 27).
State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. is calling on the nation’s youth to become custodians for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Young Jamaicans… must understand the importance of not only planning but taking these goals to action and why they are doing so,” he said.
The State Minister was speaking at a post-Voluntary National Review (VNR) and Human Development Indices Information and Dissemination Session at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on Thursday (September 27).
The SDGs are part of the United Nation’s (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by the General Assembly in September 2015. It emphasises a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all.
Senator Charles Jr. further noted that there is an opportunity to get the Jamaican diaspora involved in the process.
“(We need to) make sure that every Jamaican at home and abroad understands why these SDGs are important and that they do whatever they can to help that process along, building our capacity to ensure that this works,” he said.
During the session, Senator Charles provided an update on Jamaica’s VNR document that was delivered in July 2018 to the UN High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF) on the implementation of the SDGs.
The UN High-Level Political Forum is the platform for countries to review progress on implementation of the SDGs, and the VNRs provide the opportunity for countries to share experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned with a view to accelerating implementation of the SDGs.
The Foreign Affairs State Minister, who led a delegation comprising representatives from Government, civil society, private sector and academia, said the forum was “an awesome experience”.
“I left the UN feeling hopeful, and I continue to feel hope that we are going to achieve our goals, because if we can put together the kind of excellent, cross-cutting multi-sector, multi-agency presentation and preparation that we have with the VNR, it means that we lack nothing.
“We have everything. Every tool, every asset, every element that is required to move our country to exactly where we deserve it to be is right here, but we need to make sure that we do not stop the discussion at simply having a great plan,” he argued.
In his remarks, UN Resident Coordinator, Bruno Pouezat, said team Jamaica “stood out” at the UN High-Level Political Forum, where it was one of 47 countries and one of only two from the Caribbean.
Jamaica’s VNR Report highlighted, among other things, strong national ownership and commitment to the SDGs; a systematic and integrated framework for monitoring implementation of national development priorities; the key development achievements since 2015, and priorities for 2018-2021; and the inclusiveness and participation of stakeholders in the process.
The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals are focused on 1) no poverty; 2) zero hunger; 3) good health and well-being; 4) quality education; 5) gender equality; 6) clean water and sanitation; 7) affordable and clean energy; 8) decent work and economic growth; 9) industry, innovation and infrastructure; 10) reduced inequality; 11) sustainable cities and communities; 12) responsible consumption and production; 13) climate action; 14) life below water; 15) life on land; 16) peace and justice-strong institutions; 17) and partnership to achieve the goals.
The SDGs, to which Jamaica is a signatory, are consistent with the country’s Vision 2030 – National Development Plan, which seeks to reposition the island to achieve developed country status and, in the process, make it the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.
The information session was staged by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
It sought to share highlights from the High-Level Political Forum; Jamaica’s progress in implementing the SDGs; as well as the 2018 Human Development Indices for Jamaica.