Trinidad and Tobago
Voluntary National Review 2020

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago remains committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To this effect, our National Development Strategy: Vision 2030, incorporates the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and other internationally agreed frameworks, across the three dimensions of sustainable development, economic, social and environmental.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) underscores the Government’s commitment to sustainable and inclusive development that leaves no one behind. The VNR process engaged stakeholders, assessed localisation of the SDGs and identified pathways for accelerating action toward sustainable development and implementing the 2030 Agenda.

SDG Progress

Driven by a collective commitment to inclusivity, Trinidad and Tobago follows the whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to SDG implementation. As such, nationwide consultations with multiple stakeholders were held. However, while the recent COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the postponement of some in-person consultations, the Government continued engagements through an online platform.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago will be reviewing the Medium-term National Goals (2021-2025) to ensure alignment with SDG targets and indicators. In addition, the Accelerators identified in Trinidad and Tobago’s Roadmap for SDG Implementation will receive further focus for integration in national policies and plans.

Highlights of the Eight SDGs addressed in Trinidad and Tobago’s VNR.

Significant enhancements have been made to infrastructure to support the universal healthcare system, with parallel improvements in the number of Physicians and Nurses.

Citizens have access to free primary and secondary education. The system has been modernised through the introduction of a School and Learning Management System and School Based Management Standards to improve efficiency and service delivery.

Women and children remain among the country’s most vulnerable groups. Major achievements include the Marriage Act, 2017 which abolished child marriages and the National Workplace Policy on Sexual Harassment.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago plays a significant role in promoting decent work through a number of strategic objectives including fostering decent working conditions, strengthening labour oversight bodies, the modernisation of labour legislation and the further development of policies and initiatives toward the realisation of the Decent Work Agenda.

Support for the social sector and the protection of its most vulnerable citizens is achieved through the National Social Mitigation Plan, 2017-2022, and the development of a National Policy on Persons with Disabilities.

Support for the social sector and the protection of its most vulnerable citizens is achieved through the National Social Mitigation Plan, 2017-2022, and the development of a National Policy on Persons with Disabilities.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitment aims to achieve a reduction in emissions from three sectors (electricity generation, industry and transportation) by 15% by 2030 from business as usual (BAU), and an unconditional reduction in public transportation emissions by 30% compared to 2013 by 2030.

Trinidad and Tobago constantly strives to devise and implement multidimensional solutions to the peace and security challenges by strengthening capacities towards achieving long-lasting peace and safety in society. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service established the Gender-Based Violence Unit and the Judiciary established the Children’s Court System to support women and children, respectively.

Civil society organisations lead the way on partnerships through the CSOs for Good Governance Project, SDG Catalyst Network and SDG Knowledge Platform.

Main Challenges

Implementation of the SDGs present a number of challenges. However, the Government is developing initiatives to address these setbacks with support from, and in collaboration with national stakeholders, as well as regional and international partners.

  • Financing for sustainable development: Trinidad and Tobago’s reliance on fossil fuels as a substantial contributor to GDP delays economic diversification and decarbonisation. The vulnerability to climate change and external shocks as a Small Island Developing State, strains economic reserves which are often times redirected to recovery efforts. Opportunities for alternative green financing sources and the establishment of a sustainable development fund would be explored.

  • Data and statistics: Trinidad and Tobago has identified capacity gaps in the national statistical system that prohibits the collection and timely dissemination of data; even disaggregation remains a challenge. Initiatives across sectors for enhanced statistical capacity and adaptation of a system for monitoring and reporting on SDG indicators require improvement and further support.

Conclusion

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago reiterates its commitment to ensuring that no one is left behind. We continue to promote inclusive participation of all stakeholders for the implementation of and reporting on the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Focal point
Mr. Earl Nesbitt
Permanent Secretary
Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment
Port of Spain

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Trinidad and Tobago is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
United Nations