Studies and Perspectives – ECLAC Subregional Headquarters for The Caribbean
The post-2015 development agenda presents a major opportunity for Caribbean countries to reverse decades of lagging economic performance and make the transition to balanced, holistic, and people-centred growth and development. The MDGs, while valuable in promoting gains in poverty reduction, health, education, nutrition, and maternal well-being were not tailored to the growth and development needs of the region. This can now be changed by a post-2015 development agenda which goes beyond improving the welfare of citizens by meeting basic needs and enhancing access to primary services.
The necessary scaling-up of the MDG framework will require that the sustainable development goals, which will anchor the post- 2015 development agenda, are capable of promoting structural change, competitiveness and output gains while advancing social development and meeting environmental concerns. They must also address the unfinished business of the millennium development goals, primarily in the area of human development.
The broader scope of the SDGs is particularly important for the Caribbean. Despite its middle income status and moderate to high human development classification (except for Haiti), the region has experienced poor growth performance over several decades. The region should benefit from goals that, amongst their objectives, serve also to directly strengthen economic performance and promote beneficial engagement with the global economy.
It is imperative that, consistent with Rio +20 and other globally agreed outcomes, including those particularly relevant to Small Island Developing States (SIDS), a transition by the region from the lowgrowth trajectory that has obtained for decades be towards sustainable and inclusive growth and development, which not only improves economic performance, but conserves the environment, reduces inequality, strengthens resilience, and promotes social inclusion.
This paper will contend that if national, regional, and global will and resources can be mobilized around a set of SDGs with transformational potential, Caribbean development could in the near future attain an historic inflection point.
UN Symbols: LC/L.4098 ; LC/CAR/L.472