Post-2015 National Consultation launches in St. Lucia
Today, the St. Lucia Post-2015 National Advisory Committee, in collaboration with the United Nations Sub-regional team for Barbados and the OECS, launches a Post-2015 National Consultation process, which will focus on the contribution of citizens and communities across the country in determining a global development agenda in the post-MDG period.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have, in recent years, been a guiding framework of countries and development partners in the global fight against poverty, vulnerability and exclusion. The year 2015, which is the deadline set by the international community for the achievement of the MDGs, is almost here, and provides an opportunity to reflect on what countries have managed to achieve, what they have learnt, and the challenges ahead.
In September 2010, world leaders, including the governments of the Caribbean, met in New York to reaffirm their commitment to the achievement of the MDGs. In June 2012, in Rio, the international community also reiterated its commitment to their achievement, and the need to go further by agreeing on a future Development agenda beyond 2015. Arguably, one of the key successes of the MDGs has been the creation of a common development agenda that unites the countries and peoples of the world. These time-bound, goals and targets, which are clear and measurable, have focused action on a set of basic indicators for monitoring and addressing sustainable human development.
On average, Latin America and the Caribbean has met the target for reduction of hunger and has made positive advances in infant mortality and gender equity. However, the Secretary-General's Report (2010) notes not such favourable progress in other areas, including poverty reduction, education, and goals related to health and environmental sustainability. In st. Lucia, While indigence has declined between 1995 (7.1 per cent) and 2005 (1.6 per cent), estimates of vulnerability suggest that economic or environmental shock can plunge an additional 16.2 per cent of the population into poverty (Kairi, 2005). Progress is also affected by threats to environmental sustainability; emerging issues in education quality, such as low educational attainment and high rates of repetition and non-completion; high prevalence of chronic, non-communicable diseases (CNCDs); and issues of citizen insecurity. But there are also some key opportunities to foster inclusive, employment-led growth; improved health and well-being; enhanced food security and other aspects of human development.
2015 represents the end of an ambitious cycle in the international development agenda, and an opportunity to review the priority areas and improve the ways in which we address them. The UN Secretary General has committed to facilitating a broad-based consultative process at the global, regional and local levels which will ultimately lead to the definition of a unique and comprehensive post-2015 agenda. St. Lucia, as one of fifty (50) countries worldwide engaging in this process over the next few months, and the only country from the Caribbean region, has agreed to not only represent a national perspectives, but those issues that are common to Caribbean SIDS.
All are invited to share thoughts, comments, ideas and aspirations on The Future We Want for St. Lucia the region, and the world via the online space http://www.worldwewant2015.org/SaintLucia2015, as well as the national meetings.
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