2016 Caribbean Human Development Report officially launched in Jamaica

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The UNDP 2016 Caribbean Human Development Report (CHDR) – Multidimensional Progress: Human Resilience Beyond Income, was officially launched in Jamaica on 27 October at the University of the West Indies, Regional Headquarters. The launch took place alongside the launch of the June 2017 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Conference and the unveiling of the SDG Flag.

Facilitators, Dr. Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, UNDP Jamaica Deputy Resident Representative and Ms. Lone Hvass, UNICEF Jamaica Deputy Representative, opened the session and shared messages on the SDGs and the CHDR, throughout the event.

Mr. Bruno Pouezat, UN Resident Coordinator / UNDP Resident Representative in Jamaica, Dr. Wayne Henry, Director General at the Planning Institute of Jamaica and the Honourable Floyd Green, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth & Information delivered remarks on the SDG goals and Jamaica’s long term development plan, Vision 2030.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, spoke about existing Caribbean inequalities and the region’s peculiar history of economic and social structures. He appealed for more research, entrepreneurship and innovation to drive regional economic development.

The CHDR lead authors were in attendance. Mr. Kenroy Roach, Lead Author and Regional Advisor from UNDP HQ and Dr. Warren Benfield, Economist and Lead Author, presented the key findings and shared relevant Caribbean indicators with the audience.

UNDP presented a three-minute CHDR animation which visually depicted that “people are the real wealth of nations”, rather than the money people make. Through the animation, the UNDP appealed for a re-definition of progress and a new generation of public policies to protect the most vulnerable such as Caribbean youth, women, the elderly and young men, who are simultaneously the main victims and perpetrators of crime.

The animated visualisation ended with a suggestion of four key factors that the Caribbean could pursue “to prevent sliding back into poverty”: social protection, access to care, assets and better job skills. It shared the holistic meaning of multi-dimensional progress, to include safety, closing historical gender and ethnic gaps, access to justice, environment protection using renewable energy and the need to boost resilience to natural disasters.

The American International School of Kingston (AISK) performed a cultural item and Mr. Richard Kelly, UNDP Programme Specialist, moderated the Q & A session, before delivering closing remarks.