PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn announced that the government of Trinidad and Tobago has committed to present Trinidad and Tobago’s first Voluntary National Review (VNR) on Sustainable Development to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York later this year.
The VNRs share each UN member states’ experiences, successes, challenges, and lessons learned, with a view to accelerate the implementation of the global Sustainable Development Agenda. As part of its follow-up and review mechanisms, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages Member States to ‘conduct regular and inclusive reviews of progress at the national level, which are country-led and country-driven’.
Participation in the VNR is voluntary and Trinidad & Tobago’s participation emphasizes the Government’s dedication to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are also the driving force behind Trinidad and Tobago’s National Development Strategy, vision 2030.
Consultations have begun with the business sector, youth, NGOs, government sector institutions and community groups as well as academia in the first phase with more open national consultations engendering an all-citizen approach to follow.
The main aim of these consultations is to ascertain the perceptions of citizens on whether the work of government is achieving the SDGs and to in turn find out what work various organisations and individuals are doing. An extensive data collection drive with support from the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) is also a major part of the project.
The ministry of planning and development is the coordinating body for the VNR and a report will be compiled which will serve as the content for the National Review.
Minister Crichlow-Cockburn is confident that Trinidad and Tobago’s review will be positive since there have been achievements in addressing climate change with a recently updated Green Gas Inventory to measure the country’s emissions; a new automated permitting system for the construction sector will be piloted in a month to increase ease of doing business index.
The transformation of the Central Statistical Office to the National Statistical Institute (NSITT) is in training and a sophisticated system for licensing, motor vehicle and road safety and ticketing is underway through the ministry of works and transport.