Guyana, UN ink regional pact to advance SDGs, 2030 development Agenda
The Guyana Government on Friday signed a five-year regional framework agreement with the United Nations (UN) with the aim of accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Multi-Country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (MSDCF) 2022-2026 for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, focuses on four priority areas: Economic resilience and shared prosperity; Equality and well-being; Resilience to climate change and shocks, and sustainable natural resource management, and peace, safety, justice, and the rule of law.
According to the UN, the MSDCF 2022-2026 framework was developed to ensure that no one is left behind as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. The international body recognised that in the Caribbean, as elsewhere, the impact of the pandemic aggravated and revealed existing structural vulnerabilities.
To address such vulnerabilities and with the aim of building back better, the UN and the governments in the region are committing via this framework to contribute to significant structural changes in the economies and governance systems of the countries.
The pact was signed by Senior Minister with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, and the UN Resident Coordinator in Guyana, Ye?im Oruç, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Friday.
Speaking at the simple signing ceremony, Dr Singh posited that this medium-term framework reflects a collective regional effort towards the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
However, the Finance Minister pointed out that the priorities within the framework closely coincide with Guyana’s own national priorities
“One will find an extremely close and strongly alignment between the priorities that we have outlined as a Government and the priorities that are reflected in this framework; and that, of course, is not by accident,” he stated.
According to the Finance Minister, despite a positive momentum that Guyana is building, the country is not under any illusion about the challenges it faces – the foremost being climate change. To this end, he underscored the importance of global action and commitment towards tackling this scourge.
“Irrespective of what we do in Guyana, because as you know we have outlined a new and expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy… but Guyanese domestic actions alone will not suffice to contain the scourge of continued rising sea levels, and the fight against climate change is a good illustration of the importance of multilateralism… and the importance of global action,” he asserted.
To this end, Dr Singh said the Dr Irfaan Ali-led Government is strongly committed to advancing the global economic and social development agenda as well as to continuing to work on achieving all the SDGs including those that the country has fallen behind on such as achieving universal primary and secondary education.
Similarly, however, the Finance Minister pointed out that Guyana is committed to regionalism, as he underscored the importance of the MSDCF 2022-2026 framework being a regional pact.
“We remain strongly committed to regionalism as we are to multilateralism,” Dr Singh posited as he highlighted Guyana’s role in advancing agriculture and food security within the Caribbean region.
The Minister further stated that his Government looks forward to working with the UN agencies and other partners towards translating the framework into specific action plans.
“There is still a lot of very important work to be done if we are to achieve the goals we have set nationally and as a member of the global community,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the UN Resident Coordinator said that Guyana is a leading partner in this regional framework and that Friday’s signing, which coincided with World Human Rights Day, sends a vital signal about Guyana’s irrevocable tie to the international system of laws and value.
She spoke of Guyana’s “great momentum” in its development agenda but acknowledged that there is much more to be done for the country to achieve the many global targets it has signed on to as well as its own targets.
“This framework agreement… will guide us in our efforts to align to your national development priorities on the way to recover from COVID and to get back on track with the SDGs… Multilateralism matters. Today’s global problems require global solutions. With the capacities we have here in the country and also through our great organisation, we hope to be able to work with you in your national development objectives and leverage the capacities and the globality that multilateralism of our organisation [brings],” Oruç stated.
Additionally, both Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Minister Gail Teixeira and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd were at the signing and underscored the importance of multilateralism and global partnerships in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. (G8)