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CARICOM reiterates its stance on the SDGs

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On Monday, the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) organization said it was still firmly committed to seeing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implemented, but it also expressed concern about some of the obstacles standing in the way of meeting the UN deadline of 2030.

Dominica’s President Charles Savarin said CARICOM’s position on the road to achieving the SDGs has been clearly outlined in numerous debates and intergovernmental negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations. He was speaking at a high-level political forum on the SDG Summit at the UN.

The statement was made by Savarin on behalf of the CARICOM grouping. “We firmly believe that greater commitment, solidarity, and transformative action are needed to achieve the said targets within a realistic time frame,” he said.

He said the summit here provides a unique opportunity to fundamentally adjust the trajectory of all member states to take positive action towards its implementation.

Savarin said CARICOM endorses the political declaration set out by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in a renewed call for all member states to re-commit towards this transformative process.

“The existential threats of COVID-19, over the last three years, exacerbated by the impact of climate change and war in Ukraine calls for even greater leadership at the multilateral level, therefore what is required is a surge in commitments from Governments and other stakeholders to take implementation of the SDGs to the next level.

“To this end, decisive action must be taken to better support developing countries, through long-term lending at lower interest rates, debt relief and the creation of a robust and effective sovereign debt resolution mechanism.”

He said the Multivulnerability Index and the Bridgetown Initiative are two structures that have found consensus among CARICOM and must be vigorously pursued.

The vulnerability index is a measure of the exposure of a population to some hazard. Typically, the index is a composite of multiple quantitative indicators that via some formula, delivers a single numerical result.

The Bridgetown Initiative being spearheaded by the Barbados Minister Mia Mottley, is aimed at reforming the way rich countries finance poor countries in a climate crisis.

Mottley notes for example that rich countries are able to borrow at interest rates of between one and four per cent, while it’s around 14 per cent for poorer countries.

Charles said, additionally CARICOM supports the call to outline national budgets with the SDG’s pathway.

He said gender equality, empowerment of women and girls, reduction in domestic poverty, access to clean water and sanitation, and food and energy security must be prioritized, noting also that the use of technology as a transformative tool must be harnessed and no citizen should be disadvantaged.

“The 2030 Agenda is achievable. There will always be challenges, however, the capacity to overcome the most severe challenges is not an anomaly for humankind. These are indeed unprecedented times, but we can draw confidence from the fact that we have access to a wealth of knowledge and resources to meet the demands of the times,” Savarin told the high-level meeting.









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