By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced that it will assist Caribbean countries to help them achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by the United Nations (UN).
UNESCO made the decision to offer the support at a recent Cluster Office meeting held in Montego Bay Jamaica, where the organization outlined its way forward in strengthening its work in the region.
UNESCO representatives discussed several key issues including the target for quality education with indicators covering Early Childhood Development (ECD), Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), literacy, teachers, among others.
They also discussed other priority areas including: addressing climatic and weather conditions; ensuring full realization of the human right to water and sanitation; promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development; and providing justice for all.
Director and representative of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, Katherine Grigsby, said that over the next 15 years the organization will assist through policy advice, technical assistance, capacity development and knowledge sharing of best practices.
The UN introduced the “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” document at the UN Sustainable Development Summit held in New York, USA, from September 25 to 27.
The agenda has 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) containing 169 integrated targets, structured to build on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), approved in 2000.
The SDGs, which come into effect on January 1, 2016, focus on areas such as: poverty eradication, with emphasis on extreme poverty; emphasizing the protection of human rights; gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; empowering vulnerable groups including those with disabilities, the elderly, and persons living with HIV/AIDS; and combatting the effects of Climate Change.