On Tuesday, July 17, State Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Honourable Pearnel Junior delivered Jamaica’s Voluntary National Report on SDG implementation at the United Nations High Level Political Forum held in New York.
Jamaica presented its Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the progress made and challenges faced in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals on day two (July 17) of the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)in New York.
Jamaica’s team led by Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jr. Minister of State in the Foreign Ministry, shared that there was a 91% alignment between Jamaica’s National Development Planning framework and the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda.
“Like the 2030 Agenda, Vision 2030 Jamaica reflects the three dimensions of sustainable development, and is built on four goals: empowerment of Jamaicans to achieve their fullest potential; creation of a secure, cohesive and just Jamaican society; development of a prosperous Jamaican economy and promotion of a healthy, natural environment,” stated Senator Charles. The team which also included Dr. Wayne Henry, Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and Ms.Leesha Delaite-Budair, Deputy Director General, Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) spoke to the multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach of the Government. Dr Henry highlighted the transformational programmes and projects that Jamaica will implement over the next three years, all of which are components of Jamaica’s medium term framework. These include the development of a national spatial plan, strengthening our fiscal responsibility framework to secure gains already achieved, improving risk identification and reduction in vulnerability in coastal communities, the strengthening of the Fiscal Responsibility Framework and the establishment of science and technology parks as well as enhancing the capacity of communities to participate in creatinga safe and secure society
The Deputy Director-General noted Jamaica’s progress in the production of approximately 49% of baseline indicators and proxy indicators up from 30% in 2016.
A main challenge noted by the State Minister is the limited access to development financing, mainly due to the Middle Income Country designation. “We are burdened by a high debt to GDP ratio and our designation as an upper middle income country has precluded us from receiving certain types of aid and concessionary financing for development programmes. In particular, access to financial solutions for climate disaster risks is of critical importance, given our vulnerabilities as a Small Island Developing States (SIDS),” stated Senator Charles.
Before reaffirming Jamaica’s commitment to “advancing the shared global agenda” of SDG implementation, Senator Charles reiterated the call for,“the international community to create an enabling environment at all levels to support the sustainability agenda in the true spirit of global partnership.” He added, “These partnerships require appropriate technology transfer exchange of best practice, as well as access to adequate, affordable and appropriately designed financing.”
Senator Charles is also expected to deliver Jamaica’s National Statement tomorrow, the final day and day three of the UN HLPF.