The Government of Antigua and Barbuda is seeking to scale up its advocacy, citizen engagement, and national progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2020 Agenda.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the United Nations Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, today launched an SDG Website as well as a Training Course for Civil Servants, aimed at promoting awareness and the laying the framework for Government action on the Global Goals.
The website introduces useful tools and resources to support awareness building, while the training is geared towards helping public servants and policy makers to consider their role in achieving the SDGs locally and globally. This dual initiative was made possible with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
In addressing the launch, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Anthony Liverpool gave assurances of Government’s commitment towards localizing the SDGs.
“The need to achieve the sustainable development goals has gained even more prominence and importance in a post covid era as they form the blueprint for recovery, resilience building and the achievement of sustainable economic development.”
Country Coordination Officer of the United Nations Resident Coordinator Officer, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Andrea Andrew also noted in her opening remarks that “The creativity, knowledge, technology, and financial resources from all of society is necessary to achieve the SDGs. She emphasized that the beauty of the sustainable goals is that everyone can contribute, and every contribution, small or big, will make an impact on our world.”
This citizen engagement initiative follows Antigua and Barbuda’s successful presentation of its first Voluntary National Report (VNR) to the UN membership at the 2021 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The VNR outlined Government’s progress on SDG-focused policies and programmes under the theme ‘Building Forward Stronger’.
Sustainable development remains the most urgent challenge of our time, particularly for Caribbean Small Island Developing States. While the global economy produces enormous wealth, there is also tremendous inequality, social exclusion, and environmental destruction. The 2030 Agenda, unanimously adopted by UN Member States in 2015, provides guidance for addressing these global challenges.
The Government of Antigua believes that a critical step towards overcoming these challenges and achieving the ambition embodied in the SDGs, to ensure prosperity for people and planet, is to build and nurture SDG capacity and knowledge for public servants.