Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to fulfilling the targets under the United Nations (UN) 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework.
He says the Administration takes the SDGs “very seriously”, noting that they are aligned with priorities and projected outcomes under the long-term Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan.
Against this background, the Prime Minister has endorsed the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ’s) SDG public education campaign, which he officially launched at the University of the West Indies (UWI) regional headquarters in Mona, St. Andrew, on Tuesday, December 5.
Mr. Holness said SDGs represent a “very powerful and comprehensive” framework for capturing what governments globally should endeavour to achieve for their countries.
Among the key focus areas, which he said are aligned with Vision 2030 Jamaica, are eradicating hunger and poverty; affording access to quality education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, clean and affordable energy; reducing gender and other inequalities; facilitating climate change adaptation, economic growth and the creation of decent jobs as well as the development of industry and infrastructure.
The Prime Minister noted that an SDG implementation road map, jointly developed by the Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), articulates that the country’s principal planning documents, inclusive of Vision 2030 Jamaica and the Medium-term Socio-economic Policy Framework (MTF), be aligned with Agenda 2030.
“This means that by implementing the priorities set out in the MTF, we will be implementing the UN’s 2030 SDG Agenda. The preparation of the MTF for 2018-2021 will commence in January 2018 to, again, carefully prioritise all activities concerning resource constraints, so that the priorities identified represent the most important strategies and actions to address our country’s key issues and challenges in the medium term,” he said.
Mr. Holness emphasised that priorities must reflect the themes of people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership, “in our thrust to leave no one behind and transition Jamaica into a truly sustainable, just and equitable future, leading to prosperity for all”.
Against this background, the Prime Minister lauded the PIOJ for focusing on heightening public awareness about the SDGs through its 2017 Dialogue for Development lecture series, which concluded with the third instalment on Tuesday, coinciding with the launch of the wider sensitisation programme.
“I endorse these consultations and the dialogue that you are having. My presence here is meant to be a signal of support for the work that is being done in (publicising) the sustainable development goals. I commend the UN and PIOJ for ensuring that this information becomes mainstreamed in the society. Let us work together to achieve the Jamaica that we want,” Mr. Holness added.
For his part, PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, said the lecture series served to provide vital information on issues deemed relevant and important to the Jamaican economy and society.
These matters, he noted, have influenced public policy, in general, and helped to guide the policy initiatives undertaken by the Institute.
In this regard, Dr. Henry thanked the UNDP for providing “unwavering” support for the lectures.
“The implementation of the SDGs is a priority for (the country), as Vision 2030 Jamaica, the National Development Plan, is hinged on the principles of inclusive growth and sustainable development,” the Director General emphasised.
Dr. Henry said that as Jamaica transitions from the SDGs’ agenda setting and indicator framework phase to its full implementation, he is imploring everyone to be active participants as “we are all stakeholders and have a duty to ensure that Jamaica becomes the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.
The Dialogue for Development lecture series, which was also held in Montego Bay and Port Antonio, was staged under the theme ‘The Jamaica We Want: Vision 2030 Jamaica, advancing the SDGs…leaving no one behind’.