Main Message of the VNR
Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines focuses its development plans on being a country that is diverse, modern, internationally competitive and committed to the social development of its people and environmental sustainability. The country’s vision of “Improving the Quality of Life for All Vincentians” is built on the principle of putting people at the centre of its development and this is aligned with the SDGs and elaborated in the country’s National Economic and Social Development Plan (2013-2025).
The country’s vision is further elaborated through five interrelated development goals that place emphasis on ensuring a better quality of life for all through the re-engineering economic growth; enabling increased human and social development; promoting good governance and increasing the effectiveness of public administration; improving physical infrastructure, preserving the environment and building resilience to climate change; and building national pride, identity and culture.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Development Pathway in the Context of the SDGs
The commitment to the SDGs is operationalized through the National Economic and Social Development Plan, which aligns the country ’s development objectives with related global sustainable development goals and targets. This integration represents a first and critical step to localizing the SDGs. A Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA) of the country’s planning framework highlights that this Small Island Developing State currently has 62 per cent of all planning/policy documents aligned with the SDGs and accompanying targets.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Governance and Institutional Framework for the Implementation of SDGs
The Government recognizes that an institutional mechanism is necessary to facilitate the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the SDGs. Government ministries and agencies are responsible for the alignment of all policies and key programmes with the Agenda 2030 framework. These policies facilitate integrated assessment of the pace of the progress in realizing the SDGs, alongside local development objectives.
In regard to the 113 SDG targets that were found to be applicable to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Statistical Office was tasked with creating mechanisms for data mining of these indictors so that the monitoring and evaluation framework for SDG implementation can be completed to facilitate better tracking, reporting and analysis of progress.
The advancement of Agenda 2030 will be underpinned by extensive stakeholder consultations and involvement. Although political commitment to the SDGs is high, it is recognized that SDG implementation requires a holistic approach involving the public and private sector, NGOs, CSOs, the media and, importantly, the involvement of youth – as future leaders. A focus has therefore been placed on continuing to strengthen mechanisms to enhance participation of all stakeholders to achieving the SDGs.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ First Voluntary National Review
The VNR illustrates how national processes are shaping the advancement of the SDGs in the country as well as the challenges being faced – including financing gaps – in implementing these goals, how these challenges are being addressed, and how progress is being tracked towards achievement of the SDG targets. The preparation of the report, at the time of a global pandemic emphasizes how not only current known vulnerabilities but also new and emerging global issues can suddenly impact the development trajectory of countries, and further highlights the challenges and opportunities that must be considered for the achievement of Agenda 2030. As a country with a strong ethos on inclusiveness, the VNR preparation required innovative solutions as the country battles issues related to mitigating mechanisms as a result of the covid 19 pandemic – heightening the role of technology in accomplishing these goals.
The concept of “leaving no one behind” fully resonates with the country’s development pathway as it targets issues related to reducing inequalities, eliminating all forms of poverty and empowering women and youth. While notable strides have been made, it is also recognised that there is much to be accomplished. Agenda 2030 provides a clear guide to enabling the advancement of development around the five principles of the Agenda (5Ps) – people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. Prior to the adoption of Agenda 2030, St. Vincent and the Grenadines had already began a cohesive process of implementing measures to build a sustainable society through environmental, economic and social improvements underpinned by good governance and, despite challenges, the country remains fully committed to this task for the benefit of future generations.