Antigua and Barbuda to present first-ever Voluntary National Review to United Nations


Antigua and Barbuda will present its first-ever Voluntary National Review report (VNR) under the theme “Build Forward Stronger” concerning the implementation of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals at the Ninth Session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) on Tuesday, July 13.

As part of the presentation, a report, an accompanying introductory video, and a statement will be unveiled.

HLPF is the main United Nations (UN) platform for the review of progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). VNRs are voluntary and country-led and are presented by the UN Member States during annual HLPF sessions. They present a snapshot of a country’s SDG progress.

The SDGs and their associated targets are a “…blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” United Nations member states, including Antigua and Barbuda, adopted the 2030 Sustainable Agenda and its seventeen (17) interconnected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015.

The SDGs, also known as “global goals,” cover social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. They are a call to action to eradicate poverty and hunger, ensure access to quality education, tackle climate change and reduce inequalities to address the most vulnerable, and ensure that no one is left behind.

This year, the HLPF convenes from the 6th – 15th of July 2021 and will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Forty-three countries are expected to present a VNR during this year’s HLPF session.

Antigua and Barbuda’s first-ever VNR presentation will share updates on the country’s progress towards the achievement of the SDGs. E.P. Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade of Antigua and Barbuda, and Joy-Marie King, Director of International Trade will be presenting the country’s VNR to the HLPF. Other first-time countries include San Marino, Marshall Islands, Angola, and Cuba.

Antigua and Barbuda’s VNR Process:

Voluntary National Reviews (VNR) track a country’s implementation of the SDGs. In preparation for the VNR, the International Trade Unit within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through assistance with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) held extensive consultations with various stakeholders, including government, civil society, private sector, youth, academia, and development partners to collect inputs.

The consultations were structured along with the “5 P’s” approach-: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnerships for an integrated approach.

The services of two consultants were utilized – Elizabeth Emanuel (report compilation) and Sonalli Andrews (Multimedia and Graphic Design Services including the cover of the VNR).

As a result, both the VNR report and video reflect successes, challenges, as well as lessons learned, which will serve to strengthen policies and partnerships. The collection of statistical data, which covers official SDG indicators, allows for a comprehensive assessment of SDG progress and can help mobilize support from external partners.

Antigua and Barbuda’s VNR presentation to the HLPF will take place on July 13 at 11:15 am. To watch the presentation online, visit UN Web TV.

Other members of the Ministry’s VNR team include Zeina Hechme, Senior Foreign Service Officer, and Javier Spencer, Foreign Service Officer.

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