Board Room Table

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

On the 28th January 2020, Trinidad and Tobago held one of its VNR’s. It was held at the Ministry of Works and Transport head office under the auspices of the Ministry of Planning and Development. These VNR’s are aimed at assessing where T&T is in relation to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There will be a United Nations (UN) high-level meeting to be held at its headquarters in New York in the week of 13th to 17th of July 2020. In order to have our reports prepared for then, we have enlisted the consultancy services of Mr. Keith Santos. Mr. Santos is responsible for leading the information gathering and the preparation of the report.

There are 17 SDGs, adopted by all UN member states in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

These are:

1. No poverty
2. Zero hunger
3. Good health and well-being
4. Quality education
5. Gender equality
6. Clean water and sanitation
7. Affordable and clean energy
8. Decent work and economic growth
9. Industry innovation and infrastructure
10. Reduced inequalities
11. Sustainable cities and communities
12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action
14. Life below water
15. Life on land
16. Peace justice and strong institutions
17. Partnerships for the goals

The achievement of these SGDs are measured by 232 indicators

Each country is given the flexibility to report on certain goals. T&T has chosen to report at this VNR in July 2020 on goals 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17. The discussion for this VNR were goals 3, 4 and 5 and as such the invitees to this focus group were governmental, private and civil society who were best suited to contribute on where we are and what we need to do the achieve these SDGs. An important part of this VNR was how the SDGs coalesce with vision 2030. Being a representative from a health organization I was involved in the focus group on SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being.

The common themes that came out from the focus groups were:

1. Persons are much more aware of the SDGs than vision 2030
2. Governmental support and commitment appears to be inadequate
3. Differently abled and the mentally ill are marginalized
4. The need for continuous education as a prerequisite for re-licensure for persons who require same to practice
5. Over reliance on certification and not a competence
6. Weak or non-functioning regulatory institutions
7. Organizations operating in silos resulting in duplication of efforts between and within organizations especially government organizations.

There will be a series of focus group sessions with different participants, which will be invited based on their relevance to the SDG being discussed. There will also be public meetings to be held in San Fernando, Port of Spain, Arima and Tobago. The dates and times for these will be made available as the time drawers nearer.

The TTRNA would like to thank the Ministry of Planning and Development and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) local consulate for seeing it fit to invite the Association to these vital discussions, aimed improving the well-being of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

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