By Eric Rose
Bahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas — Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie said at a recent international symposium held in The Bahamas that Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations are transformative and provide a path by which the planet can be preserved for generations to come.
“The 17 goals and the accompanying targets are the culmination of important deliberations between nations,” Prime Minister Christie said. “They represent a set of goals which every country can systematically pursue. These goals focus on inclusive development, the elimination of poverty, and hunger, the provision of quality education, clean water and sanitation and the creation of a healthy, safer world.
“These are ambitious goals but with focused determination and commitment they are realistically achievable.”
Prime Minister Christie was addressing the official opening ceremony for the Symposium on “Implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the SAMOA Pathway in Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Equipping public institutions and mobilizing partnerships”, hosted by the Government of the Bahamas with the support of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).
Prime Minister Christie said that all of the countries present that day, together with others who could not be there, had committed themselves to an “aggressive” agenda of sustainable development over the next 15 years.
He added that it was critical that the next steps focus on how to achieve the goals, while respecting the unique needs and challenges faced by individual nations.
“My Government, like all others here, has prioritized the implementation of the 2030 Agenda,” Prime Minister Christie said.
He also noted that “good governance” is critical.
“A properly functioning government is essential if we are to have any hope of success,” he noted. “We must examine our respective systems of governance and implement necessary adjustments.
“The success of our efforts in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is heavily dependent on having the right policies in place and ensuring effective coordination of the implementation of the Change Agenda.”
Prime Christie pointed out that when he talks about good governance he was not only talking about governments’ systems.
“I am talking about the governance arrangements in the private sector, in civil society and in the governmental system as well,” he said. Good governance is not the responsibility of any one institution or group of institutions; it is the responsibility of all of us working collaboratively.”
Prime Minister Christie said that the 2030 Agenda is people-focused and it places the citizen at the centre of development.
“It recognizes that ‘no man is an island’,” he stated. “It is a truism that we as Small Island Developing States know more clearly than others the challenges of independence and working in silos.”
Prime Minister Christie said that those present understood “intimately” that sustainable development requires connections and interdependent relationships.
“This is as true in a global context as it is at the local level as well,” he noted. “Again, I emphasize that Sustainable Development requires connections — connections between the citizen and his/her government, between the government and the private sector and civil society, and between other nations.”