Talking Points

UN Resident Coordinator Bruno Pouezat

2030 Workshop in Latin America and the Caribbean:

Co-creating Sustainable Solutions: Progress, Challenges and Emerging Lessons

1 – 2 November 2018

Acknowledgements

  • Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon Kamina Johnson Smith
  • Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Josep Bosch
  • Professor David Tennant, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI Mona
  • Government Representatives from 18 Caribbean nations
  • Permanent Secretaries and colleagues from Jamaican MDAs
  • Representatives of the UN Country Team, partners from academia, particularly the University of the West Indies, members of the media
  • Honoured guests, distinguished ladies and gentlemen

Good morning to all, and a warm Jamaican welcome to our Caribbean guests for this opening session of the 2030 Workshop in Latin America and the Caribbean entitled Co-creating Sustainable Solutions.

This workshop is the Caribbean Edition of three nearly-concurrent events across the LAC region, with the other two taking place in Guatemala and Uruguay for Central America and the Southern Cone respectively. Taken together, these three events constitute a technical follow-up to the Tenth Ministerial Forum on Development in Latin America and the Caribbean convened in Panama in September 2018.

Looking at the LAC region with a Caribbean eye, LAC all too often spells with a big L and a big A, followed by a little c. The Caribbean may be small within LAC, but regarding the SDGs, the Caribbean well deserves a capital C, as it forges its own path towards 2030.

The foundations for accelerated action on Agenda 2030 in the region were first laid in May 2015 in the Caribbean Future Forum of Port of Spain jointly organized by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the University of the West Indies and the United Nations.

In June 2017, with UN Caribbean support, the Government of Jamaica convened at UWI the Caribbean Action 2030 regional conference on the Sustainable Development Goals. Yes, Honourable Minister, there is more than a hint of déja-vu to this event – it was already under your personal, and very active leadership. Caribbean Action 2030 developed a Partnership Agreement for accelerated action in four key areas: (1) Resource Mobilization; (2) Capacity-building for Public Policy and Rule of Law Institutions; (3) Strengthening Civil Society Engagement; and (4) Building the Evidence Base for Policy. It also set the bases for a regional online SDG Platform for governments, and we hope the general public, to collect documents, exchange experiences and debate on priorities and ways to achieve them.

Today’s workshop may be only the Caribbean Edition of a LAC event, but it is also, in its own right, a proud follow-up to the 2017 Kingston conference.

What is the 2030 Workshop in Latin America and the Caribbean: Co-creating Sustainable Solutions designed to do? Three LAC objectives:

1.    To discuss achievements and challenges of the sub-regions of Latin America and the Caribbean and explore some of the emerging SDG tools that can help address them;

2.    To foster intersectoral coordination of public policies to advance the 2030 Agenda;

3.    To discuss key themes such as national planning and the SDGs; facing the ‘last-mile challenge’; incorporating the environmental dimension into social and economic action; financing the SDGs in the regional and global context; the role of the private sector in the 2030 Agenda; SDG-related data and statistics, as well as monitoring and reporting on SDG-related progress.

Where next? Calls to Action

1.    The 2030 Agenda is not only about 17 SDGs – it is primarily about leaving no one behind. The 2030 Agenda calls for a change of focus in national development efforts to ensure that those furthest behind benefit most.

2.    The ambition of the 2030 Agenda demands a whole-of-society, whole-of-government engagement. This calls for a profound change in how governments function internally, and in how they relate to society;

3.    Working at that scale requires a lot more money than development as usual – official development assistance will not suffice, government funds will not suffice, charitable donations will not suffice. Sure, all of these have a role to play, and they must be mobilized and targeted with ruthless efficiency, but only creative leveraging of private-sector financing will yield the volumes of funds required.

4.    Achieving the right results for the right people at the requisite scale requires a lot more information than we have used in the past – a lot more data in volume, and a lot more detailed, more granular data. We must find ways to collect that information at a reasonable cost.

 

Let me close with a recent quote from Secretary-General of the United Nations, António GUTERRES

With just 12 years left to the 2030 deadline, we must inject a sense of urgency. Achieving the 2030 Agenda requires immediate and accelerated actions by countries along with collaborative partnerships among governments and stakeholders at all levels. This ambitious Agenda necessitates profound change that goes beyond business as usual. In doing its part, the United Nations has launched reform initiatives to reposition the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. The objective is to be more effective, cohesive and accountable. We stand ready to work with all Member States to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for everyone, everywhere.”  

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