Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation, the Honourable Alva Baptiste, represented Saint Lucia at the Caribbean forum: Shaping a Sustainable Development Agenda to address the Caribbean reality in the 21st Century, as well as at the Conference on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Follow up to the development agenda beyond 2015 and Rio+20, from March 5-6 and 7-9 respectively, in Bogota, Republic of Colombia.
Both meetings were hosted by the government of the Republic of Colombia in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC).
The Caribbean forum brought together ministers of government from the Caribbean region, as well as representatives from international and intergovernmental organizations, and civil society in order to examine the challenges faced by Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and to provide input in defining a post-2015 development agenda.
Honourable Alva Baptiste presented a preliminary report on Saint Lucia’s national consultations towards the post 2015 development agenda – an initiative of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) which was launched in Saint Lucia on February 11, 2013.
Saint Lucia is one of 50 countries selected to conduct national consultations to inform the global debate on development and lead to the international discussion of a post 2015 development agenda.
The second activity – namely, “Conference on Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: United Nations development agenda beyond 2015 and to Rio+ “ – was convened as a first step towards adopting a regional perspective on examining progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the post 2015 development agenda, as well as agreements adopted at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) held in June, 2012.
The closing ceremony of the Conference was presided over by Honourable Alva Baptiste; Her Excellency Ms. María Ángela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Colombia; His Excellency Mr. Antonio Patriota, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil; and Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Director of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In his statement, the Minister echoed the notion of the need for a new development model based on structural change for equality and environmental stability.
Both the Caribbean Forum and the Latin America and the Caribbean Conference agreed on critical guidelines and priority areas for action as the region engages in the variety of processes in the United Nations post 2015 development agenda.