Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Wednesday, July 05, 2017. To achieve the goals and objectives set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework of the United Nations, all institutions in our various countries must be “active and interventionist” in all areas that will accelerate innovation and growth, according to Dr. Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of the West Indies Open Campus.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s “Caribbean Action 2030” regional conference on SDGs hosted at The UWI Regional Headquarters on June 28, 2017, Dr. Longsworth said, “The University joined the call to action among partners who can make a difference to the fulfilment of this ambitious Caribbean Action 2030 Agenda.” She noted that as the region’s most established higher education institution, The UWI has consistently been engaged in research and partnerships that stimulate national and regional development, but stated “It is no longer enough for the University to provide research support for these issues. The University’s 2017-2022 strategic plan centres on The UWI as an active player, partnering with governments, regional and international organisations and other institutions in all areas that will move the needle on the key issues of economic and social development which will lead to just, peaceful and prosperous societies.”
Dr. Longsworth also pointed out that The UWI was already contributing to issues of immediate importance of the region “…from the threat of the sargassum on our tourist industry to the Zika virus that threatened the health of our region, the implications of BREXIT, issues of de-risking in the banking sector and others. This, in addition to the creation of partnerships on all continents to harness expertise has led to the formation of the SUNY UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development which is framed around the SDGs, joint centers for research in Africa and China, and talks are advanced with Europe and Latin America for the establishment of similar centers. These partnerships are strategically placed to pull together human and other resources in the joint efforts to successfully address each of the sustainable development goals in the Caribbean”, she declared.
Following the opening ceremony, Dr. Longsworth and the UNDP’s Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean, Ms Jessica Faieta, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalise a joint mission to advance the agenda of poverty alleviation, democratic governance and peace building, climate change and disaster risk and economic equality.