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Historic participation of Caribbean countries at the UN General Assembly

Caribbean countries made one of their most memorable participations in history during the latest General Debate of the UN General Assembly last week.

Emotional pleas to mitigate climate change and to support the costly measures necessary to adapt to its effects, as well as to “build back better” after the devastating effects of extreme weather were expressed by the region’s delegates. On the top of everyone’s mind were the catastrophic effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria as the latter was still making its destructive way across the Caribbean.

Even on the wake of the catastrophic hurricanes, preparedness, humanitarian assistance and reconstruction were not the only issues raised by the region.  Delegates also made compelling statements about the importance of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals, and highlighted many of the vulnerabilities shared by Small Island Developing States. These included social and economic challenges, that range from debt to single sector economic dependency, human trafficking, migration and others.

Click on the links below to watch videos on demand of the Caribbean participation, or to read summaries and transcripts of the statements at the General Assembly.

 

H.E. Mr. Gaston Alphonso Browne,
Prime Minister
Antigua and Barbuda


Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/ag_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/antigua-and-barbuda

 

H.E. Mr. Darren Allen Henfield,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Bahamas

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/bs_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/bahamas

 

H.E. Ms. Maxine Pamela Ometa McClean,
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Barbados


Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript   https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/bb_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/barbados

 

H.E. Mr. Wilfred Elrington, 
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Belize

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/bz_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/belize

 


H.E. Mr. Roosevelt Skerrit,
Prime Minister
Dominica

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/dm_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/dominica

 


H.E. Mr. Elvin Nimrod,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Grenada

Video of speech  http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/gd_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/grenada

 


H.E. Mr.  David Arthur Granger,
President
Guyana

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/gy_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/guyana

 


H.E. Mrs. Kamina Johnson Smith,
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
Jamaica

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/jm_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/jamaica

 

H.E. Mr. Mark Anthony Brantley,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Saint Kitts and Nevis

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/kn_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/saint-kitts-and-nevis

 


H.E. Mr. Allen Michael Chastanet,
Prime Minister
Saint Lucia

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/lc_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/saint-lucia

 


H.E. Mr. Louis Straker,
Deputy Prime Minister
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/vc_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/saint-vincent-and-grenadines

 

H.E. Mrs. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Suriname

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/sr_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/suriname

 

H.E. Mr. Dennis Moses,
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Trinidad and Tobago

Video of speech http://webtv.un.org/
Transcript  https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/tt_en.pdf
News story https://gadebate.un.org/en/72/trinidad-and-tobago

 

 

 

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United Nations in the Caribbean joint statement on support for Irma victims

United Nations in the Caribbean

Press Release

For immediate release
Date:
 06 September, 2017
United Nations Deploying Aid and Personnel to Irma-affected Caribbean territories

Bridgetown, Barbados – September 6, 2017: The United Nations System is deploying staff and assistance to meet the needs of vulnerable Caribbean citizens in the path of record-breaking Hurricane Irma. Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have unique economic, environmental and social vulnerabilities that are exacerbated in severe natural crises.

“Hurricane Irma is an unprecedented threat to the Caribbean. The United Nations is working closely with the CDEMA-led Regional Response Mechanism (RRM) and the affected countries to bring assistance to those most in need.  We are saddened by the reports of lives lost, and of people made homeless by this storm,” stressed Mr. Stephen O’Malley, United Nations Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS.

Early indications are that there has been signficant damage to infrastructure in Sint Maarten, Anguilla, and Barbuda, while information from other islands is still coming in.

Rapid Needs Assessment and Technical Experts

Technical experts drawn from across the Caribbean, regional offices, and the various agency headquarters are deploying to support CDEMA and the affected countries as needed. These include water and sanitation and hygiene experts, engineers, medical doctors, logistics management, nutrition, waste water and child protection and social protection experts. Emergency funding will also be drawn down to respond the needs of those directly affected.

Agency Contributions

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has deployed a four-person UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team comprised of first responders to augment Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) capacity with coordination, needs assessment and information management expertise. UNDAC partners from the International Humanitarian Partnership and MapAction will provide support with logistics, communications and mapping.

UN Women Multi-Country office – Caribbean is partnering with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to provide dignity kits which contain basic health and hygiene products for displaced women and girls, such as soap, underwear, bras and sanitary napkins. UN Women is also able to provide technical and financial support on economic initiatives to get women and their families back on their feet and to address safety and security concerns.

In addition to the Dignity/Hygiene Kits, as requested, UNFPA can support in providing life-saving reproductive health commodities through emergency Reproductive Health Kits. UNFPA would be able also to offer technical guidance on the prevention of Gender-Based Violence and sexual violence in affected communities.

UNDP has activated its crisis preparedness plans and will support countries both during the immediate response to this disaster and in crucial early recovery activities like debris management, emergency employment and supporting core government functions, if asked.

UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Office is still working with governments of impacted countries, other United Nations agencies, partner organisations and the regional emergency response mechanism to offer the required assistance and support, but has already pre-positioned emergency supplies in Antigua to be rapidly distributed to the most affected islands. UNICEF’s priority is ensuring the safety and security of children, especially those who are most disadvantaged.

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) is deploying surge capacity with expertise in water, sanitation, hygiene, health and disaster assessment to support Ministries of Health and enable delivery of essential health services.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Subregional Office for the Caribbean will work with governments of affected states to assess impact on fisheries and agriculture and pave the way for recovery of livelihoods and adequate food and nutrition.

The emergency and disaster response is coordinated by the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management System. Under this umbrella system, the United Nations, donor agencies in the Caribbean including, USAID/OFDA, ECHO, DFID, Global Affairs Canada and others are coordinating their aid in light of the impact of Hurricane Irma and in readiness for the approaching Tropical Storm Jose.

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Sharon Carter-Burke
Communications Analyst
UN Women Multi Country Office - Caribbean
UN House, Marine Gardens
Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: +1 246 467 6000 Ext 6124

Fax:+1 246 437 6596
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Haiti has chance to solidify stability before UN mission’s drawdown, Security Council told

18 July 2017 – With three months left before the current United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti transitions to a smaller one, a UN envoy stressed today that the Caribbean country faces the “window of opportunity” to solidify stability, following recent elections.

“Haiti has remained on the path of stabilization and democratic consolidation,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Sandra Honoré, told the UN Security Council today.

“Looking ahead, for the country to make full use of the window of opportunity that emerged following the electoral process, additional measures will be needed to consolidate the security and stabilization gains of the past few years, create greater social and political cohesion and truly reinforce State institutions so that they can meet the needs of the Haitian people,” the Special Representative added.

Ms. Honoré noted that political space has opened up for the new Government to start addressing the many challenges facing the country, using this unique opportunity to tackle the root causes of instability, poverty, exclusion and impunity.

“Since then, initial steps aimed at overcoming longstanding problems in the areas of governance, rule of law and socio-economic development have been taken,” she said.

Those steps include a flagship development programme, the “caravan of change” in five of Haiti’s 10 departments, and the launch of legislative review to improve the investment climate, reinforce governance structures and restore State institutions.

However, it is “troubling” that the third branch of power – the judiciary – has not been brought to full functioning, she said, urging that key positions must be filled without further delay.

[testimonial author="Sandra Honore" Title="Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)" avatar="../images/2017/honoreicon.png" icon="icon"] “Ultimately, Haiti’s security, political, social and development agenda can only be shaped by the national authorities and the Haitian people themselves;" [/testimonial]

The senior UN official also repeated her calls to modernize the penal system: “Without a properly functioning justice system, the Haitian National Police cannot effectively deliver security for all Haitian citizens and the domestic and international investments in the national police force will not develop to their full potential.”


She underscored the vital importance of inclusive national dialogue to forge a common vision for progress and articulate an institutional reform agenda.

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10th ILO Caribbean Minister of Labour Meeting adopts its Conclusions

Kingston (ILO News) - Following two days of deliberation on realizing decent work under the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Ministers of Labour and other high-level representatives of the Ministries and Departments of Labour of the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, adopted their Conclusions  for action on key themes for the Caribbean growth, development and labour rights challenges:

  1. Elevating Decent Work to the national and regional policy level and the role of social partnership;
  2. Non-standard forms of employment;
  3. Harmonization of labour laws;
  4. Regional Initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour;
  5. Skilled Workforce for Sustainable Growth and Development;
  6. Improving productivity and competitiveness: the role of the labour management relations and transitioning to formality;
  7. Labour cooperation in the region.

“The objectives have been realized. You have defined a clear set of priorities and we as ILO depart with a much clearer understanding of the challenges, how to address them and what your expectations are” ...

  ILO Director-General, Mr Guy Ryder

 

 

 

ILO Director-General,congratulated  the delegations stating that he was encouraged by the assets constituents brought to the process and the “strength of the determination of Governments, Employers and Workers to come together to deal with the challenges. This is not a given in many parts of the world.” He was committed to make sure the distinctive nature of the Caribbean constituency forms part of the ILO global community. He expressed sincere appreciation to the host country Jamaica and all participants.

 

Read more...

UN expert urges more aid for Hurricane Matthew victims

13 March 2017 – An independent United Nations expert on human rights today welcomed the recent completion of the electoral process as “remarkable progress” for the island nation, while he also urged the authorities to address the situation in prisons, and redouble efforts to help Haitians affected by Hurricane Matthew and the 2010 earthquake.

Following his eight official mission, Gustavo Gallón, the Independent Expert praised “the transparency, professionalism and commitment of the Provisional Electoral Council, and the provisional government authorities in leading the elections.”

Even though not enough, the Independent Expert has noted the election of a female senator as well as three female parliamentarians to the lower Chamber. He also invited the authorities to intensify their efforts in continuing to promote the political participation of women.

He went on to say that detention conditions in Haitian prisons are extremely inhuman, cruel and degrading, according to the Independent Expert. Long pre-trial detention, which amounts to an average of 70 per cent at national level, is among the main causes of prison overcrowding, which reaches a rate of 358 per cent, equivalent to 1.43 square meters per prisoner.

There are prisons where the situation is even worse, according to a study conducted in 2016 of the National. “It can be said that 91 per cent of all detainees in this prison who are awaiting trial are illegally or arbitrarily detained, which represents an increase of 23 per cent since 2014,” Mr. Gallón explained, adding that the excessive level of overcrowding is also a factor, among others, that contributes to the high level of death in prison.

read more “If the current trend continues, projections for the year 2017 can result in the death of 229 prisoners, an annual mortality rate of 21.8 per 1,000," he said. Taking note of the establishment of a new Presidential Commission to assess the situation in prisons, he made an appeal to the authorities to implement urgent actions aimed at the abolition of prolonged pre-trial detention in order to improve prison conditions and to respect the rights of people deprived of their liberty.

The Independent Expert also called for efforts to continue to deal with the issue of people displaced following the 2010 earthquake, Hurricane Matthew last year, and the expulsions of Haitians from the Dominican Republic. “The dialogue between the Haitian authorities and their Dominican counterparts should be strengthened to ensure the rights to nationality and identity of Haitian people and their descendants,” he said.

Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
Read more...

10th ILO Caribbean Minister of Labour Meeting adopts its Conclusions

Kingston (ILO News) - Following two days of deliberation on realizing decent work under the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Ministers of Labour and other high-level representatives of the Ministries and Departments of Labour of the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, adopted their Conclusions  for action on key themes for the Caribbean growth, development and labour rights challenges:

  1. Elevating Decent Work to the national and regional policy level and the role of social partnership;
  2. Non-standard forms of employment;
  3. Harmonization of labour laws;
  4. Regional Initiative: Latin America and the Caribbean Free of Child Labour;
  5. Skilled Workforce for Sustainable Growth and Development;
  6. Improving productivity and competitiveness: the role of the labour management relations and transitioning to formality;
  7. Labour cooperation in the region.

“The objectives have been realized. You have defined a clear set of priorities and we as ILO depart with a much clearer understanding of the challenges, how to address them and what your expectations are” ...

  ILO Director-General, Mr Guy Ryder

 

 

 

ILO Director-General,congratulated  the delegations stating that he was encouraged by the assets constituents brought to the process and the “strength of the determination of Governments, Employers and Workers to come together to deal with the challenges. This is not a given in many parts of the world.” He was committed to make sure the distinctive nature of the Caribbean constituency forms part of the ILO global community. He expressed sincere appreciation to the host country Jamaica and all participants.

 

Read more...

UN in the Caribbean - working towards the SDGs

ECLAC - Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (CEPAL)

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 07ECLAC has been involved in a project entitled “Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean: Reducing the Carbon Footprint in the Caribbean through the Promotion of Energy Efficiency and the Use of Renewable Energy Technologies” through which ECLAC and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) have helped provide countries in the Caribbean with increased opportunities to develop projects in energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with possible avenues for funding these projects. 

 

This has led to policy changes throughout the region, and even a new regulatory board, the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC) in Saint Lucia.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 08

 


Through the project entitled “Strengthening the technical capacity of public finance officials in select Caribbean Small Island 

Developing States (SIDS)”, ECLAC has provided training and workshops to policy-makers and finance managers in the application of methods and procedures for better management and forecasting of public expenditure and revenue

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 13
An ECLAC-led team carried out a mission to Belize in August, to support the Government as it assessed and strived to recover from the damage from Hurricane Earl.

In February, ECLAC and UNISDR carried out training in Panama to prepare participants for disaster and how best to use the methodology provided.

 

 

 

 


ITU - International Telecommunications Union 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 17

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that “The spread of information and communication technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies". ITU is continuously making a concerted effort to highlight the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) will play in achieving the SDGs within its Member States.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 09

 

 

ITU is helping with the development of a National ICT plan for Trinidad and Tobago (2017-2027). This will take the form of technical advice to the government to ensure an organizational, functional and governance structures that are consistent with the Government’s national agenda and goals for the sector; taking into consideration the country’s specific requirements, circumstances and limitations.

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 04

 

ITU is coordinating a Cyber Security Awareness Programme for Caribbean Schools. This will include Child Online Protection (COP) - Caribbean Cyber Awareness & Anti Cyber Bullying workshop and Train the Trainer Programme in 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 


 FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 02

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03

The right to adequate food is a human right. FAO continues to play a role in promoting policy dialogue and developing partnerships between the Government, producer groups, commercial sectors and civil society.

 

In direct support to the national goal to reduce Non Communicable Diseases, the Ministry of Health, FAO, PAHO and UNDP trained thirty persons on Communications for Behaviour Impact.

 

 

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 15

With the funding of the Global Environment Facility, FAO, state agencies and environment interest groups are working on forestry and protected areas co-management plans and biodiversity conservation targets in Matura, Trinity Hills, Nariva, Main Ridge Forest reserve and the Marine Park of North East Tobago.

 E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 14

With GEF Funding, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and fisheries are working together to improve the national action plan 

and the institutional and regulatory arrangements for shrimp/bottom trawl fisheries.

 

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 12FAO, Ministry of Agriculture, NAMDEVCO and farmer groups tested and developed Post Harvest Protocols for the production of pumpkin and cassava.

 

 E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 13In support of national food safety 34 public health inspectors and an FAO food expert came together to standardize food inspection protocols and to draft a national food inspection manual.

FAO and Caribbean governments mobilized funding for a technical assistance project to produce Agriculture Disaster Risk management plans and preparedness training.



UNHCR-  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 04Collaborates with the Living Water Community (LWC) in Trinidad and Tobago and the Ministry of Education to develop a protocol for UNHCR’s persons of concern, which would ensure that their children have access to education and that registration requirements, including immunization cards, identification documents and previous school records do not constitute barriers.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03Ensure, through the LWC, that refugees are able to access services at public health facilities and through a network of private doctors who provide pro bono services to refugees. This year, six families received either one-time financial assistance for medical costs or regular support for chronic conditions.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 02

Through the LWC, UNHCR assisted 98 individuals with financial assistance to cover accommodation costs. Additionally, each month an average of 80 families receive food items through LWC’s Food Bank, which UNHCR partially funds. Food items frequently include, milk, beans, rice, flour, sugar and coffee. Families are selected to receive this assistance based on particular vulnerabilities. In addition, this year, eight families participated in a monthly cash-for-work program

 

 

 

 


 WHO/PAHO - Pan American Health Organization

 

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03PAHO/WHO, alongside the Ministry of Health, conducted a two-day training workshop for obstetricians and midwives on the Medical Management of Post-Partum Haemorrhaging, a leading cause of maternal deaths world-wide and in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 17This was followed by the pilot roll out of the Perinatal Information System (SIP) which saw Health Care and IT professionals from the five RHAs, Ministry of Health, the HIV Coordinating Unit in the Ministry of Health and MAMATOTO receive training on the PIS System which will assist the country to improve the care of mothers and their babies and avert maternal and newborn deaths.

 

PAHO has done work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health contributing to the strengthening of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Management system in Trinidad and Tobago, including procurement of antiretroviral drugs. The aim of this mission was to assist the country in averting any future shortages of multiple health products including key medicines used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and the adverse effects on patients and patient care in the public sector.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 02In July 2016, a two day workshop was held for Public Health Inspectors to train them on proper food hygiene and good manufacturing practices. This workshop was also used to validate a new WHO/FAO manual for training food handlers and entailed a project in which all Public Health Inspectors spanning all counties of Trinidad and Tobago came together in strategizing for the requirements needed to register all food handlers.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 14

PAHO has collaborated with the Ministries of Health, Planning and Agriculture to address the safety in the consumption of locally caught fish following the “Fish kill” incident in the Gulf of Paria. PAHO has helped find an internationally accredited laboratory to conduct toxicological analyses on the locally caught fish and to develop a Terms of Reference to conduct a public health risk assessment on consuming the fish caught in the Gulf of Paria.

 

 

 

 

 


 

UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03

 

Promotes Universal Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) for all, particularly groups most at risk, through the adoption of a national SRH policy.

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 04

 

Provides support to the Ministry of Education in implementing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)/Life Skills Education in schools through Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) through technical assistance and South to South collaboration with Jamaica.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 05Developed a mobile SRH application, to provide information on SRH to young people.

Works with organisations such as the Inter-religious Organization and networks of men and boys to address gender equality

 

 

 

Read more...

UN in the Caribbean - working towards the SDGs

ECLAC - Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (CEPAL)

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 07ECLAC has been involved in a project entitled “Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean: Reducing the Carbon Footprint in the Caribbean through the Promotion of Energy Efficiency and the Use of Renewable Energy Technologies” through which ECLAC and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) have helped provide countries in the Caribbean with increased opportunities to develop projects in energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with possible avenues for funding these projects. 

 

This has led to policy changes throughout the region, and even a new regulatory board, the National Utilities Regulatory Commission (NURC) in Saint Lucia.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 08

 


Through the project entitled “Strengthening the technical capacity of public finance officials in select Caribbean Small Island 

Developing States (SIDS)”, ECLAC has provided training and workshops to policy-makers and finance managers in the application of methods and procedures for better management and forecasting of public expenditure and revenue

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 13
An ECLAC-led team carried out a mission to Belize in August, to support the Government as it assessed and strived to recover from the damage from Hurricane Earl.

In February, ECLAC and UNISDR carried out training in Panama to prepare participants for disaster and how best to use the methodology provided.

 

 

 

 


ITU - International Telecommunications Union 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 17

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that “The spread of information and communication technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies". ITU is continuously making a concerted effort to highlight the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) will play in achieving the SDGs within its Member States.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 09

 

 

ITU is helping with the development of a National ICT plan for Trinidad and Tobago (2017-2027). This will take the form of technical advice to the government to ensure an organizational, functional and governance structures that are consistent with the Government’s national agenda and goals for the sector; taking into consideration the country’s specific requirements, circumstances and limitations.

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 04

 

ITU is coordinating a Cyber Security Awareness Programme for Caribbean Schools. This will include Child Online Protection (COP) - Caribbean Cyber Awareness & Anti Cyber Bullying workshop and Train the Trainer Programme in 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 


 FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 02

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03

The right to adequate food is a human right. FAO continues to play a role in promoting policy dialogue and developing partnerships between the Government, producer groups, commercial sectors and civil society.

 

In direct support to the national goal to reduce Non Communicable Diseases, the Ministry of Health, FAO, PAHO and UNDP trained thirty persons on Communications for Behaviour Impact.

 

 

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 15

With the funding of the Global Environment Facility, FAO, state agencies and environment interest groups are working on forestry and protected areas co-management plans and biodiversity conservation targets in Matura, Trinity Hills, Nariva, Main Ridge Forest reserve and the Marine Park of North East Tobago.

 E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 14

With GEF Funding, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and fisheries are working together to improve the national action plan 

and the institutional and regulatory arrangements for shrimp/bottom trawl fisheries.

 

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 12FAO, Ministry of Agriculture, NAMDEVCO and farmer groups tested and developed Post Harvest Protocols for the production of pumpkin and cassava.

 

 E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 13In support of national food safety 34 public health inspectors and an FAO food expert came together to standardize food inspection protocols and to draft a national food inspection manual.

FAO and Caribbean governments mobilized funding for a technical assistance project to produce Agriculture Disaster Risk management plans and preparedness training.



UNHCR-  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 04Collaborates with the Living Water Community (LWC) in Trinidad and Tobago and the Ministry of Education to develop a protocol for UNHCR’s persons of concern, which would ensure that their children have access to education and that registration requirements, including immunization cards, identification documents and previous school records do not constitute barriers.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03Ensure, through the LWC, that refugees are able to access services at public health facilities and through a network of private doctors who provide pro bono services to refugees. This year, six families received either one-time financial assistance for medical costs or regular support for chronic conditions.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 02

Through the LWC, UNHCR assisted 98 individuals with financial assistance to cover accommodation costs. Additionally, each month an average of 80 families receive food items through LWC’s Food Bank, which UNHCR partially funds. Food items frequently include, milk, beans, rice, flour, sugar and coffee. Families are selected to receive this assistance based on particular vulnerabilities. In addition, this year, eight families participated in a monthly cash-for-work program

 

 

 

 


 WHO/PAHO - Pan American Health Organization

 

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 03PAHO/WHO, alongside the Ministry of Health, conducted a two-day training workshop for obstetricians and midwives on the Medical Management of Post-Partum Haemorrhaging, a leading cause of maternal deaths world-wide and in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 17This was followed by the pilot roll out of the Perinatal Information System (SIP) which saw Health Care and IT professionals from the five RHAs, Ministry of Health, the HIV Coordinating Unit in the Ministry of Health and MAMATOTO receive training on the PIS System which will assist the country to improve the care of mothers and their babies and avert maternal and newborn deaths.

 

PAHO has done work in collaboration with the Ministry of Health contributing to the strengthening of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Management system in Trinidad and Tobago, including procurement of antiretroviral drugs. The aim of this mission was to assist the country in averting any future shortages of multiple health products including key medicines used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and the adverse effects on patients and patient care in the public sector.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 02In July 2016, a two day workshop was held for Public Health Inspectors to train them on proper food hygiene and good manufacturing practices. This workshop was also used to validate a new WHO/FAO manual for training food handlers and entailed a project in which all Public Health Inspectors spanning all counties of Trinidad and Tobago came together in strategizing for the requirements needed to register all food handlers.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 14

PAHO has collaborated with the Ministries of Health, Planning and Agriculture to address the safety in the consumption of locally caught fish following the “Fish kill” incident in the Gulf of Paria. PAHO has helped find an internationally accredited laboratory to conduct toxicological analyses on the locally caught fish and to develop a Terms of Reference to conduct a public health risk assessment on consuming the fish caught in the Gulf of Paria.

 

 

 

 

 


 

UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund

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Promotes Universal Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) for all, particularly groups most at risk, through the adoption of a national SRH policy.

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Provides support to the Ministry of Education in implementing Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)/Life Skills Education in schools through Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) through technical assistance and South to South collaboration with Jamaica.

 

E INVERTED SDG goals icons individual RGB 05Developed a mobile SRH application, to provide information on SRH to young people.

Works with organisations such as the Inter-religious Organization and networks of men and boys to address gender equality

 

 

 

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Rural Latin American and Caribbean areas need targeted agricultural policies, investments – UN

30 September 2016 – Economic growth is not enough to eliminate poverty in rural areas of Latin America and the Caribbean, and governments need targeted policies and investments for agricultural development and correct historic inequality experienced by millions of people across the region, says a United Nations report released today.

“With the region's poorest people living in rural areas, the Rural Development Report 2016 demonstrates the need for a far more comprehensive and holistic approach to economic development in order to eradicate poverty and ensure prosperity for millions of people,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in a news release from the UN agency.

“The report makes it clear that investing in rural and agricultural development means investing in the whole economy,” Mr. Nwanze said.

The Rural Development Report 2016: Fostering Inclusive Rural Transformation , released by IFAD, is a rallying call to policymakers and development practitioners to win the global war against poverty, the release said.

It brings together leading thinkers to analyse the experiences of rural development in over 60 developing countries, 16 of them in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Of the countries analysed in Latin America, Bolivia is the only case in which reduction of poverty has progressed fast in spite of the fact that the transformation of its nationwide and rural economies has been slow. The Bolivian example, the report says, proves that proper, targeted policies can reduce poverty in every kind of social and economic context.

“Although millions of people in the region have left poverty behind over the last few decades, inequality remains extremely high in the region and one quarter of the population still lives in poverty,” said Joaquín Lozano, IFAD Director for Latin American and the Caribbean. “To change this situation, we have to start in the rural areas where poverty is more pervasive.”

The report establishes that to enable Latin America and the Caribbean to overcome poverty, inclusive rural transformation needs a comprehensive approach that goes beyond just increasing agricultural productivity. It has to give rural people access to land, infrastructure, health, education, finance and contribute to establishing stronger local, regional and national institutions.

Great strides made to overcome traditional urban-rural dichotomy

According to the report, over the past few decades great strides had been made to overcome the traditional urban-rural dichotomy. For instance, agriculture is no longer the only economic activity in rural areas where more and more families are combining farming and non-farming activities to make a living; cultural differences between rural and urban populations, especially among youth, are blurring; and the divide between urban and rural areas is also blurring as rural communities grow into medium-sized cities and more people live between rural and urban areas.


This complex reality represents opportunities as well as challenges that require policymakers and development practitioners to change their approach to rural poverty issues.

The report concludes that policies and investments need to bring poor, often marginalized, rural people into the economic mainstream so that rural development is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. In the case of Latin America this applies especially to historically neglected segments of the population, including rural women and youth, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant communities.

“If we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger, rural areas need to be transformed,” said Mr. Nwanze. “But we know from this report that the process is not automatic. It is a choice governments need to make, and it is a choice that is becoming increasingly urgent. The future prosperity of people and nations depend on it.”

[ story was originally posted in UN News Centre - http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=55169#.V_JsbZgrKM8

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New UNDP report highlights the need to rethink the methods for ranking development in the region’s countries

Bridgetown, September 12, 2016 – Caribbean countries need a new generation of public policies to increase gains in the economic, social and environmental fronts while boosting climate and financial resilience and protecting people throughout their life cycles, says the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR) for the Caribbean, launched here today.

 The Caribbean HDR titled “Multidimensional Progress: human resilience beyond income” highlights the need to rethink the methods for ranking development in the region’s countries that go beyond per capita income, economic growth rates and Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Caribbean HDR calls on governments, the private sector and all of society to rethink the region’s progress along multidimensional lines, inspired by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): nothing that reduces the rights of people and communities or threatens environmental sustainability can be considered progress, the report highlights.

 “The inspiration for this report comes from the strong demands of Caribbean leaders for more comprehensive metrics for assessing development, and for a more nuanced examination of the meaning of ‘graduation,’ recognizing that income per capita does not reflect the vulnerabilities, development needs and challenges of middle income countries,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at the launch with Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Irwin LaRocque and Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Didacus Jules and Caribbean academic authorities.

 The report also highlights the fact that Caribbean countries‘ high debt hinders the ability to access finance for sustainable development, limiting the region’s ability to achieve the SDGs. In view of the development financing context in the Caribbean, the report demonstrates how, for the most part, Caribbean countries are ineligible for concessional finance due to their status as middle-income countries. With average national per capita income levels above the international financial eligibility benchmark, the report makes a case for a review of eligibility criteria to access concessional financing. The report underscores the extreme economic and environmental vulnerabilities in Caribbean countries that – like other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – make the region’s countries special cases for development.

 

"The challenges of sustainable, holistic and universal development do not end at a certain income threshold: we don’t ‘graduate' from development challenges unless we can respond accordingly to the multiple dimensions that enable people to live the lives they consider valuable, " said UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Jessica Faieta.

 In line with the SDGs, the report stresses that on the one hand it is crucial to invest in people, environment, sustainable and affordable energy, institutional efficiency, stability and security as these are key factors to boost economic growth. On the other hand, it is essential to ensure that economic growth is inclusive, empowers people, leaves no one behind, and is not achieved at the expense of the environment.

 This also entails investing in people, protecting women and men throughout their life cycle, particularly the most vulnerable, according to the report, which contains Caribbean-specific data, analysis and recommendations, complementing the regional HDR launched 14 June.

 The report focuses on several groups and their “vulnerabilities”, which accumulate over a life cycle hindering people’s capacity to fulfil their potential and also to leave poverty behind, the report stresses.

 

Women are disadvantaged in the labour market, with lower level and lower paying jobs than men in the Caribbean, according to the report. Although women head nearly half of the Caribbean households, the participation of women in senior managerial jobs is still limited to less than one quarter of these jobs in all researched Caribbean countries, with the exceptions of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados.

 

In the Caribbean, women are more affected by unemployment than men, although the gap is reducing over time, the report shows. Between 2000 and 2013, the labour force participation rate of women aged 15-64 increased by 2.2 percent whilst that of men decreased by 2.5 percent.  However, gender differences are large with 59.3 percent of women in labour force versus 78.7 percent for men according to the report.

 

Women

are studying more, causing the educational gap between women and men in the Caribbean to widen in the last years in favour of women. According to the report, education can be a potential protective factor against women´s disadvantages in the labour market, but women are still earning less than male colleagues and are proportionally holding fewer decision-making positions in the public and private sectors. An example of women’s underrepresentation in politics is that the percentage of women MPs ranged from 6.7 percent in St. Kitts and Nevis to 25.7 percent in Antigua and Barbuda in 2014.

 

The report stresses that violence against women is a key challenge for the Caribbean, not only threatening lives but also negatively impacting all of society. Different types of violence – physical, sexual, psychological or a combination of them – affect between 20 and 35 percent of women in Caribbean countries for which data are available.

 

Youth

are also a critical group in vulnerability, the Caribbean report stresses. Youth unemployment is a common challenge for both women and men. Youth unemployment rates range between 18 percent and 47 percent except in Trinidad and Tobago where it is 10 percent. For young women, teenage pregnancy can hinder the possibilities of studying, working – and leaving poverty behind. Young men, especially in poor communities, are both the main victims and the main perpetrators of crime in the Caribbean. These vulnerabilities must be addressed in all ages, the report stresses, so they do not build up over the life cycles.

 

Older persons

- On average, the Caribbean has a higher rate of population 65 years old and above, and is ageing faster, than the Latin America region. It is estimated that by 2025, 11,4 percent of the Caribbean population will be 65 years or above. Older women are more at risk of poverty and chronic diseases than older men (whose life expectancy is lower and who are less likely to access health care and detect disease especially at earlier stages), but benefit more from family support, according to the report. Pension schemes, especially non-contributory ones, are often inefficient and inadequate both in coverage and value. Older women’s contributory pensions tend to be lower than men´s as a consequence of women in their earlier years concentrated in lower remuneration jobs.

 

Indigenous peoples and Maroons are also acutely vulnerable to poverty, unemployment, teenage pregnancies, and substance abuse, the report highlights.

 

Factors that have pushed people out of poverty in the Caribbean are different from those that prevent them from falling back, the HDR stresses. In the past decade, labour markets and education were the biggest engines behind exiting poverty. However, the report argues that it is essential that a new generation of public policies strengthen the four factors that prevent setbacks: social protection, care systems (particularly for children and older persons), physical and financial assets (such as owning a car, a home, savings or bank accounts that act as ‘cushions’ when crisis hit), and labour skills. This is especially important during economic slowdowns.

 

The report stresses the importance of social investments, showcasing that Caribbean countries proportionately spend one-tenth of what other Latin American countries spend on social policies. “At the core of the multi-dimensional perspective on poverty, is the recognition that economic growth and income accretion are insufficient for lifting and keeping people out of poverty. As a consequence, measures to target and address key sources of vulnerability and deprivation and to strengthen adaptive capabilities, such as in the areas of education, health, training, employment opportunities, and social protection are of critical importance,” the report argues.

 

 

 

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