Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves speaking at the UN General Assembly on Friday, said that St Vincent had aggressively adopted the 2030 Agenda, with a focus on job creation, quality education, and renewable energy, among others, central to its national medium-term development plans.
Gonsalves said in 2016, SVG had launched a “Zero Hunger Trust Fund” inspired by Goals 1 and 2, and employing multifaceted tools to ensure that no citizen would go to bed hungry by 2020. He expressed hope that the programme would be supported by partners and become a best-practice template to be adopted in other small island contexts.
Turning to Goal 7, which spoke to the development of renewable energy with particular emphasis on small island States, he said St Vincent had invested heavily in developing geothermal resources. By 2019, it is anticipated that 50 percent of the national energy would be supplied geothermally and 80 per cent generated by a mix of renewable resources, including hydro and solar.
On the United Nations role in the spread of cholera in Haiti, he said that catastrophe had now killed over 10,000 Haitians and infected almost 800,000 others. The Organization had belated acknowledged its culpability while claiming immunity to deny victims their rights. In the Dominican Republic, thousands of citizens of Haitian descent were affected by an unresolved human rights crisis and the United Nations indifference towards them was unacceptable.
PM Gonsalves said that in 2016, the pressure for change had come not only from the “marginalized outposts of globalization’s casualties” but also internally from within rich and powerful nations. Marginalized nations and peoples had “thirsted too long at the dry spigot of promised trickle-down prosperity”, and the long-foretold “rising tide that lifts all boats” had come in the form of rising seas which threatened to inundate small island developing States.
Written by Ernesto Cooke
2030 AGENDA CAN BE FOUND BELOW
This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.