Saint Lucia: Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Joachim Henry, has enunciated Saint Lucia’s commitment to overcoming structural barriers that impede and disproportionately affect populations in situations of vulnerability.
At the 14th Ministerial Forum for Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), held in Ecuador from September 29 to 30, Minister Henry said that Saint Lucia reaffirms its determination to achieve key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as outlined by the United Nations. He pledged Saint Lucia’s continued support to strengthen regional ties on matters of social and economic dimensions and expressed a general willingness to collaborate on proposals that would lead to further development and enhancement of social protection systems across the sub-region.
He went further in joining with calls from the August body for a deliberate strengthening of alliances between developmental actors, including governments and the private sector, to fulfil all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The over-a-dozen-strong sub-regional Ministerial Forum called for a more robust move towards social protection systems that are shock responsive and contribute to inclusive and sustainable growth, poverty and vulnerability reduction and resilience building.
In the end, the ministers agreed to consolidate social protection systems that are universal, fiscally sustainable, and favourable to growth. They also decided that these systems needed to provide economic empowerment for all, balancing gender roles and responsibilities.
The two-day Ministerial Forum convened under the theme, “Recalibrating: How to Get Back on Track Towards the SDGs,” was organized by the Government of Ecuador, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Saint Lucia recently completed a comprehensive revision of its National Social Protection Policy (NSPP), which has since been presented to the island’s Cabinet of Ministers.