The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean remains committed to providing assistance to Caribbean countries, as the region prepares a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be included in the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda, declared today its Director, Diane Quarless.
The head of the ECLAC Caribbean office opened the Symposium on Sustainable Development Goals for the Caribbean within the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, organized by the UN Commission, with the support of the Caribbean Development Bank. She noted that the timing was perfect for strategic action and regional introspection, ahead of the Conference on Financing for Sustainable Development set for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in mid-July.
Also at the opening, Arnaldo Brown, Jamaica Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, underscored that some of the important areas that need to be considered include vulnerability to natural hazards, the high indebtedness faced by many Caribbean countries, youth unemployment and high crime rate. In this regard, he called for Caribbean leaders to take action towards the development of their countries.
The Symposium (being held on 24-25 June) brings together Ministers and senior policy makers in the fields of planning and development, the environment, and social affairs, who will consider among the SDGs the goals that are central to the sustainable development needs of the Caribbean.
Specifically, the event aims to highlight and raise awareness of the challenges faced by Caribbean countries in pursuing sustainable development, and to provide a rationale for the selection of these priority goals.
Panel discussions will offer a forum for policy makers and experts to deliberate on the region’s development strategy as it transitions from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the SDGs. Discussions will take into consideration the immediate and medium term constraints facing the region and the resource gaps that need to be filled from both domestic and international sources.
Strategies and opportunities for Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to implement the SDGs including Financing for Development, as well as data and institutional capacity needs will also be taken into consideration.
Officials of the United Nations system, representatives of regional civil society organizations, academia, regional development institutions and international development partners will be actively involved, and will contribute to the discussions.