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CaPRI to monitor more CARICOM states

Published:Wednesday | March 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Co-Executive Director of the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI), Dr Damien King, has engaged a number of CARICOM countries on the monitoring of their progress towards the Global Sustainable Development Goals.

King was able to initiate discussions with CARICOM member states during the 28th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, which concluded recently in Georgetown, Guyana.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), officially known as 'Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,' is a set of 17 aspirational 'global goals' with 169 targets between them, spearheaded by the United Nations.

In 2015, CaPRI published a brief defining an SDG agenda for the Caribbean, highlighting within selected goals the targets deemed crucial to the region's growth and development, most of which pertained to issues of climate change and marine resources. In partnership with the Caribbean Sustainable Development Institute (CSDI), CaPRI is currently seeking to add up to eight CARICOM countries (Barbados, The Bahamas, St Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, St Vincent & The Grenadines, and Grenada) to the SDG Dashboard, which classifies all participating countries according to the progress made towards SDG targets.

Meetings held over the course of the 28th Inter-Sessional Heads of Government revealed a

consensus towards the importance of this project. After discussion with representatives of the eight listed CARICOM countries, CaPRI has now begun to officially engage their respective governments on committing to facilitating SDG monitoring.

Prime Minister of St Vincent & The Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves was the first to officially pledge his full support, and commit to facilitatinge CaPRI's collaboration with the required agencies.

Moving forward, the exercise will involve CaPRI's researchers collaborating with various government agencies within the identified countries, in order to try to fill the data gaps highlighted for each. Where the additional collected data is sufficient, it will be submitted to the United Nations to be included on the UN SDG Dashboard, and begin a regular monitoring process.

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A UNDP-sponsored Sustainable Development Goals Conference will next June be hosted in Kingston, Jamaica, with Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network serving as the keynote speaker.

The conference will both provide an opportunity for both the Caribbean Policy Research Institute and the Caribbean Sustainable Development Institute to report on progress made by the different islands listed on the SDG dashboard, as well as to address and stress the importance of the SDGs to the growth of small island developing states.