In 2015, along with the rest of the Global Community Saint Lucia made a commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As a small island developing state, with significant vulnerabilities to external economic shocks, the impacts of natural disasters and effects of climate change, Saint Lucia recognizes fully that sustainable development with a focus on people, planet, prosperity, partnerships and peace has to be at the core of our national plans and programmes, in order to meet the needs of present and future generations.
In early 2017 the Government of Saint Lucia established its National Coordination Mechanism for the 2030 Agenda which comprises a SDG-Cabinet Sub-Committee of Ministers (CSC) who provide policy guidance to the Sustainable Development Goals National Coordinating Committee (SDGNCC) - the governing committee tasked to guide the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs in Saint Lucia. The SDGNCC is a multi-sectoral committee co-chaired by the Ministries responsible for Sustainable Development and Economic Development.
Understanding the need for all actors across society to contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda, the inter-Ministerial SDGNCC is also comprised of representatives from the private sector, Academia, Youth, Civil Society and Non-Government Organizations. The Committee’s mandate provides for mandatory engagement with Faith-Based and Community-based organizations, as well as Persons with Disabilities, women’s groups and the wider public to ensure that no one is left behind.
In April 2018, the Government of Saint Lucia embarked on an inclusive and strategic process to develop the country’s Medium-Term Development Strategy (MTDS) 2019-2022. The Prime Minister and his Cabinet produced outputs which formed the basis of the work programme of consultative economic and social Labs. The Labs, which functioned as idea incubators, facilitated interactive discussions between participants from 134 organizations representing the full spectrum of relevant stakeholders, and was conducted over the course of a month. They engaged in an iterative process of issue prioritization and the development of solutions based and actionable implementation programmes, with associated goals and targets around six Key Results Areas (KRAs).
The KRAs are to be integrated into the MTDS as national priorities and include three Economic areas - tourism, agriculture and infrastructure, and three Social - healthcare, education and citizen security. Saint Lucia’s overarching environmental priority remains addressing the adverse effects of climate change, which impacts every area of our sustainable development.
Concurrent to the development of the MTDS, Saint Lucia continues to undertake a number of initiatives, projects and programmes that align with the implementation of the SDGs. These initiatives and programmes are not yet structured within the SDG framework, but they contribute toward the attainment of SDG targets. For example, Saint Lucia has made meaningful strides in the implementation of SDGs 3 and 4 on health and education, with significant progress occurring in advance of the 2015 adoption of the 2030 Agenda.
Saint Lucia’s National Coordination Mechanism for the 2030 Agenda continues to strengthen policy coherence and policy integration at the national level, including through recent collaboration and assistance from the United Nations Development System (UNDS); however fundamental challenges that limit effective implementation, monitoring and review of the SDGs persist.
As Saint Lucia works to chart a path to sustainable and inclusive development, the financial means by which the Government is to implement its national priorities remains a persistent challenge, with the difficult task of identifying appropriate mechanisms and strategies for financing the SDGs. Human, technological, and institutional capacity constraints also contribute to a particular set of challenges that retard Saint Lucia’s effective implementation of the SDGs.
While plans are underway to expand the scope of Saint Lucia’s 2020 Population Census to incorporate a SDG focused approach, there is still a critical need to strengthen the national statistical system, in order to adequately track and measure progress at the national level.
Saint Lucia’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) will highlight the progress that the country continues to make and the challenges faced in implementing the goals under review at the 2019 HLPF in addition to those goals that align to our Medium Term Development Strategy.