Sun | Apr 5, 2020

Championing Sustainable Development Goals

Published:Monday | October 28, 2019 | 12:16 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
For those readers who are unfamiliar with the SDGs, when schools have their own solar electricity-generation facilities, they will help the country achieve SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy).
For those readers who are unfamiliar with the SDGs, when schools have their own solar electricity-generation facilities, they will help the country achieve SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy).

United Nations (UN) Day 2019 was celebrated globally last Wednesday. Jamaica’s celebration was themed #iAmtheSDGs, meaning, ‘I am the sustainable development goals (SDGs)’.

The UN recognised the global challenges countries face and outlined 17 goals which, if achieved by 2030, will ensure a sustainable future. The goals were adopted by world leaders at a 2015 UN summit.

Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith said although 74th anniversaries are not significantly celebrated, the 74th UN Day was worth observing.

The United Nations Charter was ratified in 1945 and Jamaica became one of its 193 signatories in September 1962.

“For every year that the United Nations has stood tall in supporting the interests of women, of children, of lifting people from poverty, of ending trafficking, of ending hunger; for every year that the UN has done that, it has been a year to celebrate,” she said in a special address at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston.

The foreign affairs minister added that an enormous pool of capital must be mobilised for implementation of the SDGs. But international engagement will allow for diverse perspectives on solving Jamaica’s issues and also pulling resources, both human and financial, she said.

We have got to think creatively about how we can make a difference and make critical progress in this area. It’s important to use Jamaican music, Jamaican dance, to encourage young people to become SDGs champions and to inspire and educate the entire country about what more we can do,” Johnson Smith said.

Junior Education Minister Alando Terrelonge reminded students that they will be the major beneficiaries of a sustained future.

Referring to SDG 17, Terrelonge said that partnership is important if Jamaica is to achieve the goals. This partnership, he said, requires the integral participation of the youth.

“Yes, we state unequivocally that the pen is the most powerful weapon in the world. Let us never forget that your participation in the governance structure in the world, with this finger, is just as important,” he said.

Terrelonge charged students: “Getting involved in causes in politics is getting involved in your own life. Get more involved in your schools and in your communities. Get more involved as we achieve together the sustainable development goals of 2030.”

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com