Gov’t hosts consultation to review Guyana’s progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals
Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni K. Singh and the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday (in conjunction with the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) led Guyana’s Second Voluntary National Review (VNR) Consultation on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal.
The VNR is the report of Guyana’s progress in effecting its Sustainable Development Agenda. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlines a transformative vision for economic, social and environmental development.
Tuesday’s engagement presented an opportunity for Government, private sector, and NGO stakeholders to report on and provide feedback on the progress made thus far on Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy, Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities and Goal 17 – Partnerships for the Goals.
Speaking at the forum Prime Minister Brigadier Mark Phillips who delivered the feature address said government is committed to attaining the SDGs.
“We recognize the importance of the SDGs and their aim to put a global end to poverty, to protect the planet and to ensure peace and prosperity for all. These goals are crucial to building a sustainable future for ourselves and future generations. Ladies and gentlemen, the SDGs are important because they address some of the most pressing challenges facing our world today-climate change, poverty, inequality and conflict are just a few examples that these SDGs aim to tackle by setting clear targets and mobilizing resources, the SDGs provide a roadmap for Governments, businesses and civil society to work together towards a common goal,” the Prime Minister noted.
He added that the importance of the SDGs also lies in the fact that they are interconnected, and the progress achieved in each Goal can have positive impacts onwards but noted to tackle the ambitious goals requires collective action that achieving the goals requires the participation and collaboration of all sectors of society.
During his remarks, Minister Singh reaffirmed Government’s commitment to advancing implementation of Agenda 2030, aimed at achieving the SDGs, notwithstanding the challenging global economic context.
“This engagement is not to be seen as an isolated activity because in fact this Government prides itself on its consultative approach to governance-the Manifesto itself was prepared out of a consultative process, our LCDS benefitted from National Consultations around the country, the various sector strategies and sector initiatives benefitted from consultation across the country. Our National Budgets benefitted from input from several stakeholders, our micro level interventions whether it be the roads we are building, the D&I structures that we are repairing, the interventions that we are making in our hinterland villages,” Dr. Singh explained.
He added that President Ali is constantly on the ground visiting communities to be able to hear directly from citizens while Government ministers are constantly on the ground engaging with citizens as these engagements inform the National Budgets and Government strategies.
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance Gail Teixeira during her remarks explained that the goals are not always easy ones to attain simultaneously as every country is at different levels of development in relation to the various goals that were set. She said the VNRs and consultation allow for the measurement of progress being made, the challenges being faced, whether it be a resource problem, human, financial, equipment, infrastructure, connectivity, electricity etc.
“All these things allow us to measure the progress we are making and to recognize where the gaps are and whether we address them as a nation,” she added.
In attendance and making presentations on their Ministries’ progress on the SDGs with the various technical teams from their Ministries were Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Oneidge Walrond, Minister of Local Government Nigel Dharamlall and Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai as well as various private sector and civil society groups. (Ministry of Finance press release)