The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Country Office Suriname in collaboration with the Institute of International Relations of the Anton de Kom University (IIR / Adekus) organized on 16 and 17 November, 2016 a two-day regional academic seminar entitled “Academic discourse on opportunities and challenges for Small States in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “.
During this seminar, scholars from Trinidad & Tobago, Cuba, Guyana, Brazil and Suriname presented papers which dealt with the SDGs in relation to small states.
This seminar should be seen as a follow-up of a symposium on SDGs organised the IIR, in collaboration with various institutes of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the AdeKus and UNDP, the organized in 2015. At this symposium, the focus was to create awareness among academics and students of the Anton de Kom University. It could be regarded as the first activity in Suriname in the context of the introduction of the SDGs in Suriname and the Caribbean.
At the seminar the challenges and opportunities for small states in relation to the realization of SDGs were presented and discussed. The academic world and the world of policy makers had been given the opportunity to discuss the matter with a view to creating more awareness around the SDGs and the role of that academia and research could play. Governments should realize that the science and research are crucial importance for creating possibilities to achieve the goals. There were papers presented on the implementation of the localizing SDGs in Suriname; Climate change and the SDGs; safety and the SDGs; the Cuban perspective experience on the SDGs and resilience building; and South-South cooperation and the SDGs.
The seminar was preceded by the launch of the Caribbean Human Development Report of the United Nations. As part of the launch a panel with the Speaker of Parliament, Chair of the Board of the University, Director of the General Bureau of Statistics, Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and a representative of a Civil Society Organisation, was engaged in the discussion of the content of the report.
The seminar may be regarded as a great success proven by the large audience, including representatives of international organizations, foreign representatives in Suriname, teachers, students, policy makers and government officials, and many other interested parties, that attended for both days.
A special feature was that this seminar via live stream (for first time in the history of UNDP Suriname and the University) was broadcasted to the Caribbean and other countries in the world.