PM Lauds UN for supportive role in SDG implementation
Parliamentarians have been publicly recognized by Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, as holding significant responsibility for promoting and advancing implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in fostering ownership of these goals.
The Prime Minister was making a special contribution on the SDGs at the House of Representatives on 7 November 2017. Earlier, the Prime Minister and nearly all 63 members of the House had been pinned with commemorative SDG pins by high school students under the guidance of the United Nations Country Team to Jamaica.
Referring to the pinning ceremony performed by six high school students including UN Club presidents and Head prefects, he also lauded the contributions of United Nations programmes, funds and agencies: “As is evident from the pinning ceremony which took place today, the United Nations … is a critical partner that continues to demonstrate commitment to provide support to governments to integrate the sustainable development goals into national development plans and policies,” he noted.
Mr Holness further stated that UN agencies have been providing “unwavering support” to Jamaica’s efforts, and pointed out the contributions of the United Nations Development Programme Country Office in the development of a roadmap for the effective implementation of the SDGs in Jamaica.
With support from the UN, he said, Jamaica has embarked on several initiatives aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the SDGs, and expressed confidence that this strong partnership would continue.
The Prime Minister expressed Jamaica’s commitment to achieving the 2030 Agenda, and noted that mechanisms were in place to ensure their effective implementation. As an example, he noted that a Rapid Integrated Assessment of all Jamaica’s national planning documents by the UNDP in 2016 confirmed that Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan, the Medium-Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework, and sectoral policies and plans are strongly aligned with the SDGs. Mr Holness also noted that Jamaica is very well positioned to monitor progress towards the SDGs, having completed a map of its data capacity in relation to the SDG indicators. He said that Jamaica would provide an update on the actions and measures taken to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs at the 2018 High level Political Forum.
Other Members of Parliament from both sides of the political aisle also supported much of the Prime minister’s presentation on the SDGs, notably, Opposition MP for Kingston Central, Ronald Thwaites, who called for budgets to be aligned to the SDGs; Government MP for East Central St Catherine, Alando Terrelonge; and Government MP for St Andrew East Rural, the Most Honourable Juliet Holness.
In attendance at the Parliamentary session to support the pinning ceremony and to observe the Prime Minister’s statement were: Mr Bruno Pouezat, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative; Mr. Mark Connolly, UNICEF Representative; Dr Elsie Laurence-Chounoune, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP; Mr Vincent Sweeny, Head of United Nations Environment;; Ms Lorna V. Inniss, Coordinator, Cartagena Convention Secretariat, Ecosystems Division, UN Environment; Ms Vieria Bermudez representing the head of UNESCO. They were joined by Dr Wayne Henry, Director General of the planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ); Mr Easton Williams, Director Social Policy and Planning at PIOJ; and Sharon Miller, Director, Economic Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade.
Student leaders were mobilized from five Kingston high schools, including Excelsior High, Kingston College, St George's College, Convent of Mercy Alpha Academy, and Ardenne High School.
UN Jamaica is on an ongoing public education and advocacy campaign in collaboration with the PIOJ to spread awareness about the 17 SDGs, the global plan to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.