Alicia Bárcena

Alicia Bárcena

The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have undertaken a huge commitment to the 2030 Agenda with important advances in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nevertheless, trends reveal that compliance with this global roadmap to 2030 is at a critical point in the region.

Nearly four years after its approval, 29 of the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean now have institutional mechanisms for the coordination and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda at the national level, grounded in legal instruments that define the scope and objectives of this work.

In contrast, the diversity in scope of some of the SDGs has put the integrity of the 2030 Agenda at risk. Thus, while some goals have been reached at the regional level, others would only be attainable with high levels of growth or strong distributive changes, and others appear unattainable under any circumstances.

Among noteworthy advances achieved in the region, we can highlight the reduction in the mortality rate for children under five to less than 25 per 1,000 live births; and there is a positive trend in the percentage of internet users.

However, it seems very difficult for the region to grant universal and equitable access to potable water at an affordable price for all. Meanwhile, the trend in access to secondary education is inadequate for all boys and girls to complete that level on time by 2030. Moreover, the positive trend shown in the region with regard to the prevalence of malnutrition has stalled.

Recent economic and distributive performance, meanwhile, is insufficient to eliminate extreme poverty: in the past ten years, GDP in Latin America has grown by less than two per cent annually (1.7 per cent). And the Gini index—which measures income distribution—fell by 0.9 per cent annually over a period of ten years, although in the past three years, the rate of reduction was just 0.6 per cent annually.

For all these reasons, and given that the trends of many indicators show that the goals of various SDGs will not be reached, the policies for implementing the 2030 Agenda are more necessary today than ever. Likewise, assessing the impacts of these policies is crucial when it comes to determining whether they are reverting negative trends and reinforcing positive ones.

The 2030 Agenda requires a new multilateralism that will strengthen confidence in international cooperation and collective action for the provision of global and regional public goods; increase resilience in the face of financial, trade and technological shocks; universalise welfare states and protect the rights of minorities; bolster the diverse interests of the majority over those of organised groups or where capital and technology are concentrated; and shore up the capacities for deliberation, transparency and informed debate of all citizens.

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The high-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, taking place at United Nations headquarters in New York on July 9-18, invites member countries to present their progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and exchange experiences in the construction of more resilient societies.

This forum is the ideal stage for the countries of the region to reinforce their commitment to comply with the agenda of civilising transformation that the world has set for 2030 and an opportunity to take greater and better strides toward combating the stigma that has historically marked our identity: inequality.

—Alicia Bárcena is

executive secretary of ECLAC


Now that the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) cricket competition has come to an exciting conclusion with Barbados Tridents taking the trophy and supremacy, it is time to look closely the performance our local Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR). The TKR started the competition very well with a succession of wins, but later on in the competition seemed to have lost their way.

I wasn’t missing. Technically. At least in my manic mind I wasn’t. I was on the run, like the heroine in a sci-fi film. I had escaped the confines of the home where nurses and doctors were trying to bring me down from my high; had caught a maxi-taxi and headed straight to my oasis, my home away from home, the Hilton. 

THE Opposition Leader’s budget response, moreso her party’s manifesto for the upcoming general elections, was far ranging. In particular the plans outlined for development, diversification of the economy, ignore the local characteristics of the private sector to whom she gives the role of being the main driver of economic growth, 

THE People’s Partnership administration, since January 2015 via Act No 15 of 2015, had enacted procurement law. It has been awaiting proclamation by the present People’s National Movement administration. Colm Imbert has been responsible for budget statements by his Government since September 2015.

Good government is more than the use of sovereign power to create prosperity, productivity and happiness. Good governing is the imaginative use of intuition, skills and knowledge to administrate with the participation and consent of the governed. Human rights are a mechanism to win consent of all persons being governed because it ensures fairness and respect for everyone.