Caricom re-states position on Sustainable Development Goals
Dominica’s President Charles Savarin addressing Sustainable Development Goals summit. Photo: CMC

UNITED NATIONS, CMC – The 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) grouping Monday said it remains firm in its support for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) even as it expressed concerns at some of the hindrances to achieving the United Nations mandate by 2030.

Addressing the high-level political forum on the SDG Summit at the UN, Dominica’s President Charles Savarin said Caricom’s position on the path towards achieving the SDGs has been clearly outlined in several debates and intergovernmental negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations.

President Savarin, addressing the Sustainable Development Goals summit, said, “We firmly believe that greater commitment, solidarity and transformative action are needed to achieve the said targets within a realistic time frame.”

He said the summit here provides a unique opportunity to fundamentally adjust the trajectory of all member states to take positive action towards its implementation.

Savarin said Caricom endorses the political declaration set out by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in a renewed call for all member states to re-commit towards this transformative process.

“The existential threats of COVID-19, over the last three years, exacerbated by the impact of climate change and war in Ukraine, calls for even greater leadership at the multilateral level, therefore what is required is a surge in commitments from Governments and other stakeholders to take implementation of the SDGs to the next level.

“To this end, decisive action must be taken to better support developing countries, through long-term lending at lower interest rates, debt relief and the creation of a robust and effective sovereign debt resolution mechanism,” Savarin stated.

The Dominican head of state said that Caricom is therefore calling for urgent action from the international community to reform the international financial architecture and ensure an enabling environment for developing countries to actively participate in and benefit from the global economy.

He said the Multi-vulnerability Index and the Bridgetown Initiative are two structures which have found consensus among Caricom and must be vigorously pursued.

The vulnerability index is a measure of the exposure of a population to some hazard. Typically, the index is a composite of multiple quantitative indicators that via some formula, delivers a single numerical result.

The Bridgetown Initiative, being spearheaded by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, is aimed at reforming the way rich countries finance poor countries in a climate crisis.

Mottley noted, for example, that rich countries are able to borrow at interest rates of between one and four per cent, while it’s around 14 per cent for poorer countries.

Additionally, Savarin said Caricom supports the call to outline national budgets with the SDG’s pathway.

He said gender equality, empowerment of women and girls, reduction in domestic poverty, access to clean water and sanitation, food and energy security must be prioritised, noting also that the use of technology as a transformative tool must be harnessed and no citizen should be disadvantaged.

“The 2030 Agenda is achievable. There will always be challenges, however, the capacity to overcome the most severe challenges is not an anomaly for humankind. These are indeed unprecedented times, but we can draw confidence from the fact that we have access to a wealth of knowledge and resources to meet the demands of the times,” Savarin told the high-level meeting.

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