The United Nations has pledged its support to the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to enhance its data capacity. According to UN Resident Coordinator Richard Blewitt, this will assist the Assembly in formulating future policy.
The parties met on Friday (26th February) to discuss the Tobago Comprehensive Economic Development Plan, which Blewitt said fits into the UN’s goal of sustainable development.
“We have a great opportunity to deepen the collaboration goal moving forward,” he told reporters at a media briefing that followed the meeting at the Pavilion of the Pigeon Point Heritage Park.
“We need to enhance the data capacity to really understand how we make policy on the basis of evidence, and definitely the UN stands ready to support the THA on that area and many areas as well.”
Blewitt added: “We know that the country (of) Trinidad and Tobago, the economic situation is very challenging and this (is) really a moment where the UN can step up its cooperation and collaboration in the interest of sustainable development.”
Also attending the meeting were THA Secretaries, director of the Management Services Unit Mary Ann Leonce and Planning Department coordinator Bobby Andrews, as well as UN agencies based in Trinidad and the Caribbean.
The UN resident coordinator said the meeting was incredibly well prepared by the THA team “to make sure that we had a reality check, how we have done in the last couple years of our partnership”. Both sides then outlined the expectations for the partnership moving ahead with a plan of action, which the UN committed to deliver to the Assembly within a week. Blewitt said the UN plans to visit Tobago annually and meet with the THA to measure its progress.
The Chief Secretary described the meeting as highly productive.
“Most of us, even I after all these years, were able to get an even greater insight into the workings of the UN and its specific agencies,” he stated.
“I want on behalf of the people of Tobago to express our appreciation to all the agencies for what they have done for Tobago over the years
“But I think most importantly for me,” London added, “is that this exercise provided us with more opportunities for even more collaboration in the future and of course an enhanced relationship between us and the various agencies.”