SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The first lecture series on sustainable development, organized by the University of St. Martin (USM), the department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Ministry of MECYS representative of UNESCO, have come to an end.
The lecture series that took place between September 2018 to 2019 was geared towards interlinks between NGO’s, the private sector, Government and academia, in promoting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda in St. Maarten.
Attended by all walks of life from our community, the series was considered as a huge success. Attendees participated vividly/intensely after panel-specialists elucidated on, inter alia, topics pertaining to our justice system, poverty issues, the environment, and economical and social challenges.
According to Ms. Morales, representative of the department of The Interior and Kingdom Relations: ‘One of the main lessons learnt from the lecture series is, that partnerships for development are needed between Government, NGO’s, the Private sector, Academia and Civil society.
This partnership is needed to determine the development areas through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by mainstreaming those in our policy and development plans. At the same time, actions are needed to reach sustainable development’.
In light of the interests and enthusiasm for the lecture series, USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona Baéz, Dean of Academics, Dr. Rolinda Carter, USM Events Manager, Ms. Valda Hazel, Ms. Marcellia Henry (UNESCO) and Ms. Morales (BAK) have developed a 6-lecture series for 2019-2020.
The new lecture series will start in October 2019 and end in May 2020. Themes like; Eradication of Poverty, Gender and Sexual Diversity, Education and Lifelong learning, Our Justice System, Delinquency & the GANG phenomena, Environmental concerns, North/South partnerships on St. Martin, are among others, which will be presented and discussed.
The projected dates of the 2019 – 2020 series will take place every 3rd Thursday of the month at the USM. The USM recently received the SDG champion certificate from Government for their efforts in bringing awareness to the SDG’s.
Furthermore, the USM has been selected as the partner for the lecture series based on its goal of promoting lifelong learning. To which SDG 4 is “Quality Education”.
Dr. Carmona and Dr. Carter, confirm that ‘when it comes to sustainable development and even recovery, St. Maarten’s main institution of higher education (USM) must be on board.’
This Lecture series initiative tackles mainly SDGs 1, 2 (No Poverty and Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDGs 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent work and Economic Growth), SDGs 13, 14 and 15 (Environmental Sustainability) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), as well as SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). By collaborating and designing new programmes in the areas of science, health, technological innovation, the USM works on a better quality of (higher) education, which is essential for the development of our country.
The Department of The Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) is the designated focal point for the Sustainable Development Goals for the St. Maarten Government.