CARICOM and UNDP representatives meeting in New York
By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
NEW YORK, USA -- Under the chairmanship of Suriname’s ambassador to the United Nations, Henry MacDonald, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) administrator, Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand, held a meeting on Tuesday to review their relationship and set future goals.
The agenda included an overview of CARICOM-UNDP relations and UNDP restructuring and its implications for the Caribbean region.
MacDonald commended UNDP for its work in the region.
In an overview of the activities of UNDP, the Surinamese ambassador said that the vast majority of the organization's resources are devoted to advancing the UN Charter's pledge to "promote higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development."
MacDonald said, “United Nations development efforts have affected the lives and well-being of millions of people throughout the Caribbean and in the world positively.”
“Just like the UNDP, we also believe that lasting international peace and security are possible only if the economic and social well-being of people everywhere is assured,” he said.
“CARICOM continue to see the UNDP as the most important and possibly also most influential multilateral vehicle towards sustainable development in our countries.”
According to the Surinamese diplomat, “The UN Development Program, the UN's largest provider of grants for sustainable human development worldwide, is actively involved in attaining the Millennium Development Goals.”
Some of these goals are poverty reduction and achievement of the MDGs, democratic governance, crisis prevention and recovery, environment and energy for sustainable development.
In summarizing the activities of UNDP, MacDonald said that it (UNDP) has encouraged the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women and gender equality, minorities and the poorest, and most vulnerable. But MacDonald added that the issue of violence against women was not tackled by the MDGs and that it must be addressed robustly in the post 2015 Development Agenda.
MacDonald is organizing a CARICOM retreat on Saturday in his own words to “brainstorm and prepare our work for this year.”