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Apr 11, 2016

Sustainable Development Goals, the Path to 2030

From 2000 to 2015 the world focused on the Millennium Development Goals – a structured framework which nations used to chart a path to development in areas like health, education, economic growth and gender equality. The MDGs have now begun the transition into the post 2015 SDGs…Sustainable Development Goals – seventeen of them. The discussion on Belize’s push towards the SDGs is well underway, and this morning local stakeholders, along with personnel from the United Nations Development Program, met in Belize City to chart a clearer path forward to 2030. Mike Rudon dropped in and has the story. 

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

More than fifteen years ago, many of the organizations represented here today were on board to kickstart the Millennium Development Goals, eight global goals designed to ultimately improve the lives of all persons in all communities across the world. Today, with some or all of those goals met to some extent, there has been a transition, and an expansion of the scope.

 

Karen Barnard

Karen Barnard, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP

“Fifteen years later we are able to say what we have accomplished or what we haven’t accomplished with those goals in each country, and Belize has successes, you know those very important areas that they’ve worked very hard to get there. One would be making sure that all the children are in school, making sure that fewer women die during childbirth and a number of different goals related to health, related to the environment. But now, with that whole process concluded in some way – the millennium development goals – we have a bigger project, a bigger framework called sustainable development goals. So again all the countries in the world came together and discussed and finally pinpointed a new set of goals which we also call global goals which are seventeen.”

 

Those seventeen incorporate the eight previously set out – but now there is much more to work towards, including peace, justice and strong institutions, climate action and gender equality.

 

Karen Barnard

“It gives us something to work toward. Belize has to decide which of these seventeen goals they need to take and focus on and try to accomplish. I feel confident that Belize is in a good position because I find it is a place where people really care about their country, they care about their neighbors, they care about people that they don’t know, that they see on the streets. I think Belize is a very caring country and the government is committed as well. So I think that Belize has a lot of potential to work on this.”

 

Besides an expansion of scope, there is also a focus on sustainability – doing good for all the world’s citizens while ensuring that betterment in the short time doesn’t have a negative impact around the corner.

 

Karen Barnard

“If we have…if we’re building a hotel because we have tourism which will create jobs for people, that in a particular community that does not come at the expense of…for example if people in that community have lived from fishing, that all of that does not reduce the number of fish so that their children are not able to live from fishing anymore because the fish aren’t there. So it’s a kind of balancing all of that and it’s a big challenge, but these challenges are easier when it’s not just Belize, it’s a lot of countries talking about the same things, focusing on the same things are working together, learning from each other on how to get there, how to strike that balance and how to make sure that people’s lives are better.”

 

The two-day workshop is being facilitated by the United National Department of Economic and Social Affairs, also tasked with supporting Belize in the formulation of a sustainable development strategy.

 

Seleshi Bekele Awulachew

Seleshi Bekele Awulachew, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

“Belize has achieved quite a lot in terms of the Millennium Development Goals, but when you say the 2030 agenda or post-2015 sustainable development goals, we don’t mean that we stop what we’ve been doing with the MGD and move to the new agenda. It’s a continuum actually, but the new agenda brings the opportunity to expand those eight goals to seventeen goals. For example in the past there was an education goal. It continues to be an education goal. There were health goals. It will continue as well. Those for which we have not achieved the full extent will be achieved during the SDG era.”

 

The workshop includes presentations geared towards the transition from the MDGs to the SDGs, and how the experiences of one can assist in working toward the other – a better world by 2030. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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