Gov’t takes VNR of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to hinterland areas

-Consultation conducted in Lethem, Region Nine    

Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni K. Singh and the Ministry of Finance today (in conjunction with the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) hosted a Hinterland Stakeholder Consultation on the Presentation of Guyana’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in St. Ignatius Village, Lethem, Region Nine. There, 24 Village Leaders and approximately 150 persons were able to meet and review Guyana’s progress in effecting its Sustainable Development Agenda.

The VNR allows for the input of all stakeholders including persons in riverain and hinterland communities and today’s consultation saw presentations made by various sectors. It allowed for discussion on the current position in terms of objectives and perspectives looking ahead while also presenting an opportunity for interaction with the wide cross section of stakeholder groups in attendance as they examined mainly five of the SDGs, namely Goal 6 – Potable Water, Water Sanitation and Harvesting Water, Goal 7 – Renewable Energy and Access to Energy, Goal 9 – Infrastructure Industry and Innovation, Goal 11 – Cities and Municipalities, Housing, Disaster Risk Management and Preparedness and Goal 17-Means and Implementation of the SDGs.   

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlines a transformative vision for economic, social and environmental development. Government has continuously reaffirmed its commitment to advancing implementation the Agenda, aimed at achieving the SDGs, despite the challenging global economic context. Under the leadership of His Excellency Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the current administration has been, as mandated preparing its review with focus placed on five of the SDGs in preparation for the upcoming SDG Summit to be held in September 2023. At that Summit many more countries from around the world currently conducting reviews of their implementation as well, will also be reporting on their progress in keeping with the United Nations resolution.

Addressing those gathered today for discussion, Senior Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh said the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government led by President Ali, is people-centered and people-driven as he noted that the engagement is not to be seen as an isolated activity but one in   which Government prides itself in terms of its consultative approach to governance. Minister Singh also highlighted the key interventions made by Government in various sectors in pursuit of the achievement of the SDG goals.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai who also addressed the gathering said Guyana is the only country in the world where whenever there are new issues on the table that Government brings the people together to sit down, inform and discuss as well as garner their contributions and have them participate in the process. 

Meanwhile, Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill told participants that the presence of the Government Ministers was not due to the absence of other engagements at this time but is a clear symbol of the priorities of the Irfaan-Ali led Administration and how it engages the Indigenous people.     

During the engagement, persons in attendance were able to seek answers while the forum also sought to provide an opportunity for active discussion on longstanding challenges and the country’s vulnerability in terms of fighting climate change as well as external shocks.