The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has launched the preparation process for the country’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The country is preparing to present its progress in achieving the United Nation’s SDGs, at the 2022 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) scheduled for July 2022.
Director-General of the PIOJ, Dr. Wayne Henry, speaking at the launch held on December 9 at the entity’s head office in Kingston, said that the VNR is being conducted within the context of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and will be guided by the theme of the HLPF: ‘Building Back Better From COVID-19 While Advancing the Full Implementation of the 2030 Agenda’.
Dr. Henry said the general focus of HLPF 2022, will be on the impact that COVID-19 has had on countries and their ability to meet the global targets, with specific emphasis on five goals.
These are Goal Number 4: Quality Education; Goal Number 5: Gender Equality; Goal Number 14: Life Below Water; Goal Number 15: Life Above Land; and Goal Number 17: Partnerships.
He noted that the first VNR process in 2018, bolstered by other local review processes, identified various needs including that of strengthening the framework of engagement and partnerships; localisation, alignment, and mainstreaming; monitoring and evaluation; and capacity building to effectively implement the SDGs and leave no one behind.
He pointed out that in recognition of these gaps, the second VNR will assess the level of alignment and mainstreaming of the SDGs at the local level, to inform a more
a continuous and sustained programme of engagement.
Meanwhile, Dr. Henry underscored Jamaica’s leadership in major global issues including SDG financing and environmental and social issues.
The target is for the conservation of at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.
In keeping with the recommendations of the 2017 roadmap for SDG implementation, Dr. Henry noted that innovative mechanisms are being developed to address the financing gap.
VNRs are a critical component of the monitoring framework for the SDGs, intended to track the implementation of Agenda 2030.
They are robust, effective, participatory, transparent, and integrated tools, that promote accountability to citizens, foster exchanges of best practices across countries, and support mutual learning.